I've taken the plunge here and voted "no". A bit audacious of me, because I can't really be the best judge and "undecided" should be the logical choice. But the case against McKenzie feels wrong. The fury that so trademarked the ripper seemed to be so much less intense here. I think she was more likely the victim of a copycat killer.
By "fury" I meant that the wounds that he inflicted were, relative to the wounds on the earlier canonicals, relatively light, as I understand it. Even the most serious wounds to the abdomen didn't even injure the muscular structure. This was not like the forceful, furied, deep ripping frenzy that was typical of the ripper. There may have been a reason for this, maybe it was the ripper and he was just shattered by this time. But it doesn't feel right to me and so I'm inclined to think this was a copycat.
Difficult question because what constitutes a "Ripper Murder"? There doesn't seem to be any real consensus, then or now.
I voted 'Yes'. Obviously the matter is unlikely ever to be decided one way or the other but I don't like to sit on the fence (even assuming it would take my weight). Right area; throat cut; some degree of abdominal mutilation; similar age and lifestyle to other victims.
It could be a copycat obviously but that word is used to describe any murder which doesn't fit the beholder's idea of a Ripper "norm". Were there several copycats or one copycat who committed several murders? I'm not convinced either way. I do think Alice McKenzie justifies further research. It's a shame no-one's turned her up in the historical archives.
In my mind another Ripper attack is more likely than a copy cat.
Did copy cats exist in 1888?
I don`t think so, a lot less likely than the real murderer, who was still running around.
Yes, some murderers were influenced by infamous murder cases, but they generally already had a motive, and no motive can be found in the McKenzie murder.
Mckenzie, the right type of victim, the right crime scene, the right time and in the right area.
The differences in the wounds possibly explained by the use of a smaller knife, and tight clothing around the abdomen.
The McKenzie murder contains just what we would expect a copycat killer to reproduce:
—cutting of the throat
—abdominal and genital mutilations
—abandonment of the body
It does not, however, contain the following two signature elements we would expect to be present if it were indeed the work of the Ripper:
—victim incapacitated prior to being killed (no evidence of strangulation or a punch to the face)
—sexually degrading posing of the body (body appears to have simply been placed on its side)
I’m referring to the description of the Ripper’s signature developed by Keppel et al in the article we all by now know about.
The tepid mutilations are also reason to believe it was a copycat killing. In the case of the Ellen Bury murder, there was a strong situational incentive for the killer to tone down the mutilations. There appears to have been no such situational incentive here. Given the quantity of the cuts, we know that the killer had enough time with the body to inflict some major damage, and also to pose the body, but he did not do so.
For these reasons I think this should be viewed as a copycat killing.
Of course, regardless of who we think killed McKenzie, and indeed Kelly, one avenue seems extremely unlikely, and that is that both Kelly and McKenzie are copycats. It would require there to be two copycats - one over the top, and one under the top.