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  • Jacob the Ripper

    Legend has it that 'Jack the Ripper' gave himself the famous epithet in the Dear Boss letter. While these days it seems to be generally accepted that the letter was cooked up by the press, I'm open to the possibility that the letter (along with several others) were authentic.

    But where did the killer get the inspiration for this trade name? Why the name Jack? Is the answer not staring us in the face? "Jack" is derived from the name "Jacob", the biblical patriarch. There seems to be a number of Jews called Jacob, even today, who assume the nickname "Jack" rather than use their Old Testament first name. The killer obviously wasn't going to use his real name, so he chose a variant thereof that was more common, less semitic and yet allowed him to retain his real identity.
    Last edited by Harry D; 08-14-2014, 02:31 PM.

  • #2
    Hi Harry

    It's worth noting that a lot of Jack's were given the christian name of either John or Jonathan.

    Cheers John

    Comment


    • #3
      Jack was also a very [and I do mean very] common nickname in the LVP.
      G U T

      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

      Comment


      • #4
        What are we looking for, a list?
        Jolly Jack Tar,
        Union Jack,
        Spring-heeled Jack,
        Jack o'lantern,
        Jack knife,
        Jack Russell,
        Jack the Giant killer....

        No need to look outside the British isles for inspiration...
        Regards, Jon S.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Harry D View Post
          Legend has it that 'Jack the Ripper' gave himself the famous epithet in the Dear Boss letter. While these days it seems to be generally accepted that the letter was cooked up by the press, I'm open to the possibility that the letter (along with several others) were authentic.

          But where did the killer get the inspiration for this trade name? Why the name Jack? Is the answer not staring us in the face? "Jack" is derived from the name "Jacob". There seems to be a number of Jews called Jacob, even today, who assume the nickname "Jack" rather than use their Old Testament first name. The killer obviously wasn't going to use his real name, so he chose a variant thereof that was more common, less semitic and yet allowed him to retain his real identity.
          Hi Harry

          Looking at the use of Jack. The union jack, no one knows where that term originated, but it has possible roots from Charles the 2nds time.

          You can also associate it with a trade.

          Also the phrase 'jack of all trades' has been in usage since the 1600s.

          The first letter that was sent, I think, was the dear boss letter. I believe it to be fake. Now the from hell letter I feel could be authentic, because of the kidney.

          The dear boss letter was the letter that bore the name: Jack the ripper. Dissecting the reason as to why the dear boss letter was sent in the first place: Was it to try and incriminate someone? Was it sent as a joke? Was a good publicity stunt for the papers?

          If the dear boss letter was the first, then of course the obvious thing for writers of other letters to do is to copy that example.

          The from hell letter was not sent to the papers, rather to Lusk. The killer I don't think wanted to brag about the murders in the form of letters, the murders did that for him. If he did write this letter then Lusk was an important piece of the puzzle to this case.

          Having said that, I don't know who the killer was. He may well have been a jew. I just don't think the letters are a strong enough indicator as to the killer being a jew.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            What are we looking for, a list?
            Jolly Jack Tar,
            Union Jack,
            Spring-heeled Jack,
            Jack o'lantern,
            Jack knife,
            Jack Russell,
            Jack the Giant killer....

            No need to look outside the British isles for inspiration...
            You forgot Jack Frost.

            And FYI, Jack the Giant Killer draws inspiration from Jacob's Ladder in the OT.

            Comment


            • #7
              My bet is Springheeled Jack.
              Last edited by MrBarnett; 08-14-2014, 04:08 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Natasha View Post
                The first letter that was sent, I think, was the dear boss letter. I believe it to be fake. Now the from hell letter I feel could be authentic, because of the kidney.

                The dear boss letter was the letter that bore the name: Jack the ripper. Dissecting the reason as to why the dear boss letter was sent in the first place: Was it to try and incriminate someone? Was it sent as a joke? Was a good publicity stunt for the papers?
                Hello Natasha,

                I believe the Dear Boss & Saucy Jacky, along with several of the other letters, are authentic for the following reasons (to name a few):

                1. The author had intimate knowledge of the murders that only the killer would know.
                2. The timing of the Dear Boss Letter was only two days before the double-event.
                3. He referred to clipping the ear of his next victim and then apologised for not delivering on his word. Eddowes had her earlobe cut off, and we know that Jack was in an hurry.
                4. He referred to the first one being a squealer (Stride).
                5. Any murderer after notoriety would send letters to the press instead of the police. The Zodiac did, after all.
                6. The killer confirmed that he was only targeting prostitutes. Any hoaxer trying to whip up a storm would want no woman to feel safe on the streets. It leads one to believe that the killer was on a crusade of sorts.
                7. A hoaxer would have no motive to deny that the Whitehall mystery was the work of the Ripper. He sounds outraged by the implication.

                As for the From Hell letter, while the kidney is compelling, it is not conclusive, and this seems more like someone using the Ripper to pursue a personal vendetta against Lusk than actual correspondence from the killer. We know that Lusk was being stalked, and there was that strange episode in the tavern. The Whitechapel Committee were probably treading on the toes of Whitechapel's lesser ne'er do wells, which earned him an enemy or two.

                I just thought it was an interesting little fact that the name "Jack" is adopted as a nickname by a lot of Jews with the name Jacob who wish to disguise their Jewish roots.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                  Hello Natasha,

                  I believe the Dear Boss & Saucy Jacky, along with several of the other letters, are authentic for the following reasons (to name a few):

                  1. The author had intimate knowledge of the murders that only the killer would know.
                  2. The timing of the Dear Boss Letter was only two days before the double-event.
                  3. He referred to clipping the ear of his next victim and then apologised for not delivering on his word. Eddowes had her earlobe cut off, and we know that Jack was in an hurry.
                  4. He referred to the first one being a squealer (Stride).
                  5. Any murderer after notoriety would send letters to the press instead of the police. The Zodiac did, after all.
                  6. The killer confirmed that he was only targeting prostitutes. Any hoaxer trying to whip up a storm would want no woman to feel safe on the streets. It leads one to believe that the killer was on a crusade of sorts.
                  7. A hoaxer would have no motive to deny that the Whitehall mystery was the work of the Ripper. He sounds outraged by the implication.

                  As for the From Hell letter, while the kidney is compelling, it is not conclusive, and this seems more like someone using the Ripper to pursue a personal vendetta against Lusk than actual correspondence from the killer. We know that Lusk was being stalked, and there was that strange episode in the tavern. The Whitechapel Committee were probably treading on the toes of Whitechapel's lesser ne'er do wells, which earned him an enemy or two.

                  I just thought it was an interesting little fact that the name "Jack" is adopted as a nickname by a lot of Jews with the name Jacob who wish to disguise their Jewish roots.
                  Hi Harry

                  You make some good points/connections in relation to the letter, but is it possible that the press had contributed to the distribution of information regarding detail s of the murder?

                  The ear clipping thing makes me wonder weather this was an accident/coincidence that the ripper had inflicted these injuries.

                  Prostitutes were an easy target because of their night time habits.

                  No one heard Stride scream, the possible murderers were interrupted, but this wasn't because the scream instigated anyone to investigate.

                  Most killers do indeed write letters, but in this case the only letter with some authenticity, I feel, is the from hell letter, an indication that the killer was trying to send Lusk a message. Although as you said it is inconclusive weather this letter was real.

                  Not sure about what letter you are referring, but I will make a point about the letter writer denying claiming the Whitehall mystery murder, but I would like to demonstrate another theory about this.
                  The Whitehall mystery: the description given of the body indicates someone who never did manual labour, was well nourished, and possibly healthy.
                  This could be perceived as a woman who was not destitute. If the writer (hoaxer) of this letter was perhaps an upper class man (not super rich, maybe financially secure) for example, had a hatred of the lowest of the lowest class, through snobbishness, or who maybe had caught something, or maybe another reason, would he therefore want to make a point that what the ripper was doing actually a way of 'clearing the streets'?
                  Denying the murder of someone of the same class (upper class etc) could perhaps have been something a hoaxer, a fantasist would do, in relation to my reasons above. The writer of the letters may have been someone who would like to have done these things. Writing the letters maybe was a release of pent up frustration, anger etc. The letters are probably a way of getting in on the action.

                  Looking at another explanation and therefore crediting your theory, if the murders were separate, then maybe there is a possibility that the killer of one,some whatever victims, could have been the writer of 1,2 etc letters

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know this is an old thread, but still:

                    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                    Hello Natasha,

                    I believe the Dear Boss & Saucy Jacky, along with several of the other letters, are authentic for the following reasons (to name a few):

                    1. The author had intimate knowledge of the murders that only the killer would know.
                    Perhaps, but could you be more specific?


                    2. The timing of the Dear Boss Letter was only two days before the double-event.
                    But the author did not state that it would be a double-event.


                    3. He referred to clipping the ear of his next victim and then apologised for not delivering on his word. Eddowes had her earlobe cut off, and we know that Jack was in an hurry.
                    So maybe the same author penned both letters. Does not mean that the author was also the killer.


                    4. He referred to the first one being a squealer (Stride).
                    Yes?

                    5. Any murderer after notoriety would send letters to the press instead of the police. The Zodiac did, after all.
                    Many do, and many do not. Most, in fact, do not.

                    6. The killer confirmed that he was only targeting prostitutes. Any hoaxer trying to whip up a storm would want no woman to feel safe on the streets. It leads one to believe that the killer was on a crusade of sorts.
                    A hoaxer's main goal is to be considered authentic. That prostitutes were the ones targeted was no secret.

                    7. A hoaxer would have no motive to deny that the Whitehall mystery was the work of the Ripper. He sounds outraged by the implication.
                    In which letter does the author deny responsibility for the Whitehall mystery?


                    As for the From Hell letter, while the kidney is compelling, it is not conclusive, and this seems more like someone using the Ripper to pursue a personal vendetta against Lusk than actual correspondence from the killer. We know that Lusk was being stalked, and there was that strange episode in the tavern. The Whitechapel Committee were probably treading on the toes of Whitechapel's lesser ne'er do wells, which earned him an enemy or two.
                    Neither the doctors nor the police at the time thought that letter was genuine. The kidney had been preserved, after all, which the killer would not have had little reason to do before sending it to Lusk.


                    I just thought it was an interesting little fact that the name "Jack" is adopted as a nickname by a lot of Jews with the name Jacob who wish to disguise their Jewish roots.
                    No one at the time made that connection. And most of the Jews at the time could not simply hide their Jewishness by changing names. Jack was then, as it still is, a common name used in precisely this sort of situation. A sailor was a "jolly Jack tar", just like a prostitute's client was a "John", just like an unknown man today is "John Doe". However, "John the Ripper" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Karl View Post
                      No one at the time made that connection. And most of the Jews at the time could not simply hide their Jewishness by changing names. Jack was then, as it still is, a common name used in precisely this sort of situation. A sailor was a "jolly Jack tar", just like a prostitute's client was a "John", just like an unknown man today is "John Doe". However, "John the Ripper" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
                      Well a lot of them could if they could ditch the accent, and depending on the accent even then a person could probably pass. You were who you said you were, and there wasn't a lot of challenging that unless you accidentally busted out in Yiddish.

                      And Jacob IS the christianized anglicized version of the name. Yakov or Yakob or Israel would have been the original. Not a lot of J sounds in Eastern European languages. And there were Christians who named their sons Jacob. Moses not so much, Isaac and Abraham less than Jacob, but Jacob could pass. I don't know if a bunch of Jacobs called themselves Jack. First I've heard of it. I've heard of other nicknames, but Jack is new.
                      The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Errata View Post
                        Well a lot of them could if they could ditch the accent, and depending on the accent even then a person could probably pass. You were who you said you were, and there wasn't a lot of challenging that unless you accidentally busted out in Yiddish.

                        And Jacob IS the christianized anglicized version of the name. Yakov or Yakob or Israel would have been the original. Not a lot of J sounds in Eastern European languages. And there were Christians who named their sons Jacob. Moses not so much, Isaac and Abraham less than Jacob, but Jacob could pass. I don't know if a bunch of Jacobs called themselves Jack. First I've heard of it. I've heard of other nicknames, but Jack is new.
                        Jack is a nickname for jacob.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The suffering servant

                          Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                          Legend has it that 'Jack the Ripper' gave himself the famous epithet in the Dear Boss letter. While these days it seems to be generally accepted that the letter was cooked up by the press, I'm open to the possibility that the letter (along with several others) were authentic.

                          But where did the killer get the inspiration for this trade name? Why the name Jack? Is the answer not staring us in the face? "Jack" is derived from the name "Jacob", the biblical patriarch. There seems to be a number of Jews called Jacob, even today, who assume the nickname "Jack" rather than use their Old Testament first name. The killer obviously wasn't going to use his real name, so he chose a variant thereof that was more common, less semitic and yet allowed him to retain his real identity.
                          Hi Harry,

                          You are on the right track. Even if I canīt tell you much about this, I have to say that you are thinking in the right direction. I appreciate that. So I would like to give you some feedback.

                          First of all, the Whitechapel killer chose the name Jack the Ripper and he had a certain reason for doing that. His reason had nothing to do with jews or jewish religion and it had nothing to do with christianity or Jesus.

                          And in spite of that, this video partly gives the motive for it:

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayWryXD5J5E

                          You have to ignore the religious references totally though. Thanks for your very interesting question.

                          Regards Pierre

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Person I remember best changing his name from JACOB is ISRAEL. Was his last name Schwartz or Lipski?
                            there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Aren't there lots of speculations as to why Jack was chosen as a 'trade name'?

                              The fact that Jack had a certain jauntiness about it, Jolly Jack Tar, 'Jack be nimble' of the nursery rhyme, the prison escapee Jack Shephard who was written about in chapbooks, Sixteen String Jack the 18th century highwayman well known through a famous Gaiety musical of the 1880's, were some of them.

                              There was the legendary Springheel Jack, whose exploits were known through Penny Dreadful magazines for boys. Spring Heeled Jack, who supposedly terrorised London in early Victorian times, was never caught. Plenty of material for a journalist who as a boy had read cheap literature.

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