|Mary Jane Kelly|
The hypothesis Jack the Ripper was in fact Jill the Ripper was first postulated by Detective Inspector Frederick Abberline of the London Metropolitan Police. His conjecture stemmed from testimony by Mrs. Caroline Maxwell. Mrs. Maxwell claimed she'd seen Mary Jane Kelly twice after doctors presumed she was murdered. The D.I. speculated the woman she'd observed the second time was actually the killer. The suspect might have disguised herself in Mary’s clothing after disposing of her own blood-soaked garments. Though Mary was discovered partially undressed, her clothing was left at the crime scene, folded neatly on a chair. Consequently, this premise doesn’t hold-up.
Nevertheless, if the murderer was female, it was guessed she'd be a midwife. As Casebook: Jack the Ripper, a comprehensive source on the Whitechapel murders, indicates, there a numerous explanations for why a female suspect is credible. Since law enforcement presumed the killer was male, a woman could butcher with impunity. Next, a blood-spattered midwife hurrying through Whitechapel’s streets late at night wouldn't be a peculiar sight c. 1888, and consequently wouldn’t rouse any misgivings. Lastly, midwives had the anatomical familiarity detectives expected the Ripper possessed.
|A wax likeness of Mary Pearcey|
from Madame Tussauds
Right; I'm not convinced. Still, that’s not to say women didn’t perpetrate gruesome crimes during the period. To read about a confirmed Victorian lady-killer, check-out: The Pied Pipers of Victorian England.
For more about Jill the Ripper, visit:
Jack the Ripper May Really Have Been Jill the Ripper
Jack The Ripper, Was Murderer Really A Woman? Asks Author John Morris
Was Jack the Ripper a woman?