Was Holmes the Ripper?

Zoë Donovan, Reporter

Could the infamous first serial killer of American History really also be the man who caught the attention of London in the late 1880’s? Jeff Mudgett, the great-great-grandson of H.H. Holmes seems to believe so. Since he inherited Holmes’ diaries, he’s been trying to prove the two as a single individual.

The 1880’s saw the ‘birth’ of the first American serial killer, H.H. Holmes, but it also saw the murders of several prostitutes in Whitechapel, London. Holmes was originally trained in the medical field, which was something that police during the time of Jack the Ripper saw as a prerequisite for the murders of the women in London, as they were found disemboweled and missing organs.

Holmes also seemed to have shared the same type of victims, young women, though he wasn’t quite as picky as the Ripper. Mudgett claims that the sketches of Jack the Ripper are eerily similar to those of his great-great-grandfather. When he sent handwriting samples from Jack the Ripper’s uncanny letters along with Holmes’ they came back with positive results. Mudgett also cites that during the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, Holmes was unaccounted for and his whereabouts unknown in the U.S.

Many skeptics have ruled this out, stating that there is too much of a variance in the motives for it to be the same man. Since the murders took place, nearly 100 suspects have been seriously considered. Over a century after the events, it remains unlikely anyone will ever know the identity of Jack the Ripper.

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