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Friends of the Chaos: What Dillinger, the Zodiac Killer, Bonnie and Clyde Have in Common?

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Adreanna Badia

John Dillenger, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Zodiac killer all have one thing in common: crime. They are all remembered for the chaos and felonies they commited centuries after they passed away. Reasons for crime can range from financial issues that can lead to such famous bank robbers as Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillenger, to malicious murders with the prime motive behind it being to watch society panic. A prime example of a pychotic, cold-hearted killer would be the infamous Whitechapel murderer, Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper was know for vicious killings of prostitutes, he was never cought, and to this day remains a fascinating mystery.

The year was 1888, and the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. The people of Londan lived for sophistication and often turned a blind eye to the more frequent dirty crimes of their society. Whitechapel was known as one of the dirtiest, poorest, slums in London. It was also known for prostitution. Prostitution was a common job back then for lower class women living on their own in need of money. It was also strictly looked down upon. The people of Londan were ill-mannered to prostitutes and often inveighed their thoughts about their activities. But many were still shocked when the crimes of Jack the Ripper were discovered. Since many of England wanted to ignore the obvious activities that were happening in Whitechapel, the vicious slaying of multiple prostitutes was a slap across the city’s face. Jack the Ripper, a strange, unknown being, was maliciously murdering women and leaving their bodies in plain sight for the public to see.

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The first victim was Mary Ann Nichols. She was murdered on the night of August 31st. Her throat and abdomen had been cut. She had been walking about the streets looking for a way to secure money to pay for a room when the murderer must have taken her from behind. She was found by a man who went to contact the police. While he was a gone the Constable John Neil found her body. He quickly contacted a doctor, whom immediately upon seeing the body declared her dead.

The second victim was Anne Chapman. She was killed on September 8th, eight days after the death of Mary Ann Nichols. There was no doubt that this was the work of the same hand for her throat and abdomen were also cut. Yet unlike Nichols body, Chapman’s had been more mutilated; part of her intestines were laying above her right shoulder and her throat had been cut more deeply than Nichols.

The third time the Ripper struck was on the night September 30th; on that night he committed a double murder. Elizabeth stride and Catherine Eddowes were the next victims for the malevolent killer. Stride was murdered in the typical “Jack the Ripper” fashion with her throat cut, yet strangely abdomen left unscathed. Eddowes, on the other hand, was brutally murdered far worst than any of the victims before. She had been butchered so that her face was almost unrecognizable. Half of her body was slashed to pieces and a kidney had been removed.

Yet the very last know victim of the Ripper’s work had the worst of them all. Mary Kelly was savagely murdered on the night of November 8th. She was found in her room, number 13 at Miller’s Court. Her throat was cut like the rest but this time Jack the ripper had carved some of the skin off of her legs.

She was the last definite victim of the venomous murderer that haunted the streets of Whitechapel.

Jack the Ripper “ was a sick man, a man twisted with hatred and wracked by sadistic cravings”(47), or so was said to be by Colin Wilson, the author of Encyclopedia of Murder. Whatever the Ripper had been like, he had caught the attention of England. He had shocked the city of London into realizing the dirty deeds that went on underneath the curtain of the night. He had also been rumored to write letters to the police. There was no absolute proof that it was the Ripper himself. A possibility was that it might have been a copycat hoping to steal some limelight. In one of the letters though he had written about trying to remove the ear from Catherine Eddowes body. That had not been released to the press yet and only the killer could have known about that(36). In one of the letters the Ripper, or a copycat, had mailed in half a kidney. He taunted the Police chief who received it by saying that he had eaten the other half of it(26). Though many of the descriptions in the letters are spot on with his crimes, the information in the letters alone was not enough to capture the infamous Jack, if it were truly him that wrote the letters.

Jack the Ripper has stayed as much of a mystery today as he had been centuries ago. The reason as to why he had murdered the women is also unknown. Many believe it was a hate crime against prostitution, another belief is from Colin Wilson, author of Encyclopedia of Murder, which is that “Jack the Ripper was a homosexual sadist with a hatred of women”. Yet the true reason why he went on a rampage of vile murder is still a mystery. The identity of the Ripper is also still unknown. There have been countless suspects and theories ranging from a woman to a possible Russian plot in hopes to overcome the British Police (47). Although there is a long list of supposed suspects, not one has ever been close enough to be defined as the actual killer. Despite the years and years that people have poured over the evidence, they are no closer to finding the identity of the unknown villain than they were before.


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