I think a local killer makes sense, but we know, from looking at census records, that people moved around frequently, depending upon their circumstances changing (employment to joblessness, health to illness, married state to widowhood, etc.)
Indeed, however it was quite common for people to move around for those reasons without leaving the confines of Whitechapel. From doss-house to doss-house, from street to street, from Ratcliff Highway to Commercial Road.
I suppose that the only disadvantage to being a 'local guy' is that he would have suffered a greater risk of being recognised by someone. On the whole though I'd say local man or a regular visitor (for work eg)
A local man wouldn't have to explain his presence in the area and being recognised would present a problem only if seen in incriminating circumstances. On balance I subscribe to the notion that the killer(s) lived locally and, if a single killer was indeed responsible I would surmise that he lived west of Bucks Row, east of Mitre Square, south of Hanbury Street and north of Commercial Street. Resident on or near to Flower & Dean St would be my guess.
By the way, after watching the last two episodes of the documentary series "Victorian Slumhouse", I have nothing but respect for any Londoner with roots in the East End. I have a much better idea of the harsh living conditions and history of the slums now.
Great little series that, something interesting in every program.
I wasn't convinced that using todays currency values was a good idea, thats all.
I will openly admit most of my "research" has been done on this site
Its the easiest way isn't it?..Lazy..yes....even parasitic , but I simply take in what the more knowledgeable folk offer.
I am in the same class : ( The waterfall of info is daunting!
I listened to one ["Rippercast" episode], and I honestly forget who it was, but he espoused, more or less "Anyone that had come to the conclusion it was a " Unknown local man" had virtually given up and really had no place in "Ripperology"...
I'm a believer in that theory as well. (Not that I couldn't be sold on a particular individual, if pressed.) (And I don't have delusions that I "have a place in Ripperology"...just some impressions.)
Partly I think it's MOST FRIGHTENING to think of Jack the Ripper as a quiet neighbor who was watching everyone the whole time, standing and living beside them, etc. There's just something so awfully creepy about that! Bleech.
The FBI thoughts that stayed with me were 1.) he lived alone, with no one to ask him questions about his late night comings and goings, or blood splattered clothes, 2.) he lived somewhere close by, into which he could dodge off the streets relatively quickly, and 3.) the fact that he was never caught in the act was as much a matter of luck as cunning or planning.
One might say he just rented an extra place in Whitechapel, or knew of a workplace or some secret corner/cellar/whathaveyou where he could hide out, but that just ups the chances of being noticed, I'd think. As locals were questioned, they might say "Well, there is this guy who only uses his place on weekends...no one knows him that well." Or "There is a guy who seems to duck into his storefront/smithy/studio late at night sometimes...oh yes, particularly on nights murders happen."
I'd think those scenarios would draw unwanted attention to him.
Intimate knowledge of streets, lanes and how and where they intersect with major thoroughfares would indicate that the killer of any of these women had some comfort with navigating around the area. Which would lean compellingly to someone who was located in that same area.
What I find interesting with this question is this: if more than one person killed the Canonicals, what would his reaction be to similar crimes happening right around him? Would he be indignant and write to someone to claim what was his work and what wasn't? Would he try to publicly blame the party that he felt was responsible? Would he leave the area immediately?
I find that notion of claustrophobia and a killer caged in his own backyard potentially explosive.