There's Only One Jack The Ripper Crime Scene Photo In Existence

Jack the Ripper is perhaps the most infamous and researched serial killer in history. Some of the most chilling examples of his handiwork are the photographs taken at the murder scene of Mary Jane Kelly, his fifth and perhaps final victim. These are essentially the only photos of a Ripper crime scene known to exist.

In 1888, an unknown man murdered poor and disenfranchised women in the East End of London, an over-crowded, poverty-stricken corner of the city. The press quickly dubbed the perpetrator “Jack the Ripper,” and the whole of London remained on edge while the police hunted for and failed to apprehend the wanted man. Jack the Ripper’s identity remains shrouded in mystery and will most likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Historians even have difficulty agreeing on the number of women he targeted. The so-called “canonical five” – the victims on whom most people agree – were Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly.

The last of these five, Mary Jane Kelly, was slain in her room at 13 Miller's Court in the early hours of November 9, 1888. Though whether or not Kelly was Jack the Ripper’s final target is debatable, her body was actually photographed at the scene, unlike those of the other four women. While the photographs of the scene are quite graphic, they allow a clear historical understanding of Jack the Ripper's actions and of the tragic history of violence against women.