Mary 'Polly' Nichols was a divorced mother of five living in London. She developed a drinking problem soon after her divorce, and this caused problems and an argument with her father, resulting in him kicking her out of his home. Without a job or a place to live Polly resorted to prostitution in her desperate ways to get money.
Polly was found by Charles Cross, a cart driver, lying dead in front of the entrance to his stable on Buck's Row, on the 31st August 1888 at 3:40am. He was unsure whether she was drunk or deceased so he called the police. She was deemed dead and declared murdered after the police had arrived. A police-surgeon concluded she had been dead for about half an hour, meaning Charles and his cart had just narrowly missed the murderer.
Polly's death was the first of the five murders by the notorious Jack the Ripper.
Eliza Ann 'Annie' Smith had had a happy married life with three children, until her oldest daughter unexpectedly died at the age of twelve. Annie turned to alcohol in her sadness and this caused her marriage and home life to break down. After leaving her home and suffering from tuberculosis she turned to prostitution and flower-selling as a way of making money.
Annie was found dead and mutilated in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street, on the 8th September, 1888. She was thrown out of her lodging house in the early hours of the morning due to being unable to pay rent. A witness claims they saw her talking to a 'dark' man at 5:30am. She was found by the owner of 29 Hanbury Street at 5:55am.
Annie's death was the second murder of Jack the Ripper.
The most credible letter from the alleged Jack the Ripper was sent on the 25th of September, 1888, to the London Police, between the second and third murders.
I believe this letter is genuine because it fits in the sequence quite well. In the letter he talks about chopping off his next victim's ears, which he does not do to the next victim, but instead to the one after. This is because when he was murdering the third victim he was supposedly caught in the act by a market trader and his horse, so he could not do what was planned, instead carrying it out on the third. The letter also has very bad grammar, punctuation and spelling, and addressed as 'from hell', all pointing out that Jack the Ripper was uneducated and probably had a poor childhood, which may have been a motive for his killings.
Elizabeth 'Long Liz' Stride was born in Sweden but moved to England in 1866 and married a carpenter. She got divorced in 1882 and began dating another man who claimed she was 'always drunk'. He even tried to lock her up to stop her going to get drunk.
Liz was murdered on the 29th September, 1888, last seen leaving a pub with a man that morning. She was found by a market trader and his pony who were on their way home and then discovered as dead when he returned to her with a group of drinkers with candles from the public house. Her throat was cut back to her spine but the rest of her body was untouched, which led many to believe that 'Jack the Ripper' may have been caught in the act and then fled, never getting to properly do what he intended.
Liz was the third murder by so called Jack the Ripper.
Catherine 'Kate' Eddowes was a mother of three, divorced in 1880. She took to prostitution after her divorce so she could afford the room she was living in.
Kate was murdered on the 30th September, 1888. She was arrested by police the night before because she was drunk and pretending to be a fire-engine on the street. She was let out of the police station at 12:55am and then found dead at 1:45am in Mitre Square, Whitechapel. Her body was very badly mutilated. She was ripped open with her intestines laid over her shoulder and had V shapes cut into her cheeks and eyes. The tip of her nose was sliced off and her ear lobes had been cut through. Her left kidney and uterus were also missing.
Kate Eddowes was the fourth woman murdered by Jack the Ripper.
Mary Jane 'Black Kelly' or 'Ginger' Kelly was born in Ireland. After living in Wales for a while, she moved to London where she got married. Her husband was then unfortunately killed in an accident, so she turned to prostitution and working in a brothel as her source of income. She lived with another man for awhile, until they broke up because he found out that she was letting other prostitutes sleep at their house. Mary Jane was young and pretty unlike the other victims, at only twenty-five years old.
Mary Jane was murdered on the 9th of November, 1888. She was seen just the day before drunkenly singing in the streets. At 10:45am her landlord came into her room on Dorset Street to demand her rent money which was six weeks late, but found her dead and mutilated body on the bed, with her clothes folded neatly next to her. Her dead body was described as 'more like the work of the devil than the man', suggesting she was yet another victim of Jack the Ripper.
Mary Jane was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper.