Between April 1888 and February 1891 a series of horrific murders took place in the Whitechapel district of London. Eleven women were murdered in total, many horribly mutilated. Their killer (or at least the killer of the first five) none other than the infamous Jack the Ripper. Jack was then as he is now a near legendary figure – an un-catchable, demonic figure, stalking the fog filled alleys of Olde London Town in search of victims. Theories about the Ripper's motives and identity still abound, but some seem rather more fantastic, or far-fetched than others. Here then are a few of the most unusual theories put forward about just who Jack the Ripper may really have been.
When news of the original Ripper murder was printed in the newspapers some readers had trouble imagining such a deed done by an Englishman, and wrote in to say as much. By the time details of the second killing were in print, journalists were already beginning to draw analogies between the barbarism of the slaughters and the bloody murders reportedly committed by Native Americans against the good, honest, settlers. Once again people wrote in to the papers, and this time they had a solution: they knew whom Jack the Ripper was!
Buffalo Bill Cody's world famous Wild West Show toured England in 1887/1888, and one of his performers was a Native American Sioux Medicine Man named Black Elk. Queen Victoria herself requested a private performance from some of the performers and Black Elk not only sang and danced for Her Majesty, but even shook her hand after the show. In May 1888 somehow Black Elk and two other Native American performers missed a train in Manchester and were cut off from the rest of the Wild West Show who set sail for America once more. From Manchester the trio made their way southward, to London.
These stranded “savages”, were whom the newspaper reading public now pointed the finger of suspicion towards. Indeed, Black Elk and his companions were arrested on their third day in the capital but later released without charge. This arrest and release took place before the Ripper claimed his first victim however, and by the time people were writing into the newspapers certain that they must be responsible, these three Native Americans were already performing in Paris.
Through The Looking-Glass
In 1996 Richard Wallace's book Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend was published. In the book Wallace put forward the idea that Lewis Carroll may have been the Ripper.
Poet, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is much better known today by his pen name of Lewis Carroll. Writing as Carroll, Dodgson created the character of Alice and wrote of her adventures in the surreal realms of Wonderland and the world beyond the Looking-glass.
In 1861 Dodgson became a deacon of the Anglican church, but, despite his religious background, and in direct defiance of the laws of his college, he refused to become a priest. There has been much speculation about why this may have been the case, many subsequent biographers claiming that he was conflicted about his sexuality in some way. This speculation often goes hand in hand with the rumour that the author proposed to (the then eleven year-old) Alice Liddell in 1863 and that the rejection of this by herself and her family caused a great rift between he and they. There is, if should be said, absolutely no evidence for this whatsoever.
In 1996 Richard Wallace's book Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend was published. In the book Wallace put forward the idea that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson may have been the Ripper. His evidence for this was largely based on Dodgson being within relatively easy travelling distance of the crime scenes, and upon anagrams. Yes, anagrams.
Wallace takes this passage from Dodgson's "Nursery Alice":
"So she wondered away, through the wood, carrying the ugly little thing with her. And a great job it was to keep hold of it, it wriggled about so. But at last she found out that the proper way was to keep tight hold of itself foot and its right ear."
And turns it into:
"She wriggled about so! But at last Dodgson and Bayne found a way to keep hold of the fat little whore. I got a tight hold of her and slit her throat, left ear to right. It was tough, wet, disgusting, too. So weary of it, they threw up – Jack the Ripper."
The same, of course, could be done with pretty much any passage ever written in the English language, though admittedly Dodgson did love puzzles. The only mention Charles Lutwidge Dodgson left mentioning Jack the Ripper was from a diary entry dated August 26th 1891, when he records talking to a friend about "his very ingenious theory about 'Jack the Ripper'". He did not, however, record the theory itself.
Was Adolf Hitler Jack the Ripper? Hitler wasn't actually born until 1889 so that seems... well, impossible. What if that's just what "they" want you to think?
This theory is perhaps the most convoluted and unlikely ever concocted, encompassing as it does several other conspiracy theories. Prince Albert Victor is often put forward as a Ripper candidate in his own right. Albert Victor died in 1892 at the age of twenty-eight but, of course, this theory says that the death was faked. The Prince assumed a new identity – that of a young German boy named Adolf Hitler, who apparently, may also have been the illegitimate son of Baron Rothschild.
“Evidence” for this can be found in the fact that Hitler was once said to have a good understanding of architecture although he apparently had no schooling in it. Prince Albert Victor however had studied architecture. Also, the fact that Hitler's only sibling was made change her surname once he rose to power, the dictator claiming to have no sister publicly.