It was late in the night, an hour past midnight and the streets were quiet. The air was slightly crisp but as to be expected for a cool autumn night in London. Many taverns and other places of business had closed for the night however those who worked on the streets were just opening. Just weeks prior and almost a day to the month, the citizens were in a frenzy and state of shock as the city streets of Whitechapel were covered in blood. Two prostitutes has been murdered and their bodies showed the results from a man who appeared to know what he was doing perhaps making him a professional of his trade. The first woman was Mary Ann Nichols, her body was discovered on Bucks Row. Her throat had been cut and her body had been severely mutilated leaving foul play an obvious factor but motive rather undetermined. It was revealed that Nichols was estranged from her husband and one night after a gathering with friends fell into the debaucheries of alcoholism and prostitution. She was found laying on her back but not as she usually would at 3:40 a.m by officer John Neil. A doctor was called in to determine and pronounce the death. The other was a woman by the name of Anne Chapman. Her body was found on 29 Hanbury Street on September 8th. Just like Mary Ann Nichols she too had her throat cut, had her body brutally mutilated and was also a prostitute. However unlike Nichols her organs were removed in such a way that it suggested that the killer had professional doctoral and surgical knowledge. Though she was already suffering from a degenerative disease she had two children she left behind.
After these murders the people of Whitechapel went into bewilderment. They had never seen anything like this happen in the cities around them let alone their own. It put people on high alert and no one felt safe and who knew if the police were doing anything about it, it certainly didn't seem like it. For the first time London was faced with something they'd never been faced with before, a serial killer. After the two murders people knew not if and when he would strike again. They would not have to wait long after the second murder. 2 weeks later as told in the beginning on the crisp night of September 30th 1888 the killer would strike once more. Businesses closed up around 11 p.m although some at Midnight leaving the killer plenty of time to wait for the streets to clear. Also giving him time to prepare if he even contemplated his thoughts at all. The alleys drew for immense suspicion, so much so that they kept guards on the main streets of the alleys to ensure peoples protection and to see if they could catch the killer. It is uncertain as to whether or not the killer knew if these guards were on the main streets as he had formed a pattern. This pattern however would not be determined until later on. As 12:45 a.m approached the streets were pretty clear. The only ones left walking about were the few guards and many vagabonds and prostitutes. As ten minutes past, the streets were growing darker and colder and it was only a matter of time before the blood would pour once more.
1:00 a.m had arrived. Elizabeth Stride walked along Berner Street as she did every night looking for her next customer. These streets were somewhat different compared to the streets to which she was accustom and used to in Sweden to which she lived several years ago. Miss Stride as she was called now following a divorce from her husband back in 1882 was no stranger to London's Law enforcement. She had been arrested on many occasions for public drunkenness and ironically enough would have only wished she was arrested tonight. As she walked her usual route she noticed that she was the only person around and this made her feel slightly uncomfortable. Normally she would see at least a few people or so even a few fellow women of the same work but tonight this was not the case. She furthered her walk down the long dark alley hearing only her own footsteps against the stone ground. She stopped suddenly to pause as if she heard something but when only the wind brushed up against her cheek she let out a sigh and carried on once more. She was about half way to the end of the alley when she daw a shadow cross from one side to the other in front of her. She realized the shadow appeared in front but that something was in back of her. As she turned around she saw no trace of anyone there. A chill came over her exterior but she calmly gathered herself and turned back around slowly. As she turned around someone came from the left side of her. Before she could fully face her stalker on her own he took a knife and slashed it across her neck from right to left cutting the jugular just slightly. She fell to the ground and the killer crouched down to her now lifeless body to further leave his mark. Before he could however, he heard a sounds of a horse coming from a distance but heard it coming closer to him. Not wanting to risk being caught he ran around to the corner and hid behind the wall. It was then that Officer Louis Diemschutz made his way into 40 Berner Street with his pony. He saw got off his pony and looked down at the lifeless body of Elizabeth Stride.
Diemschutz leaned over her body and realized she was in fact dead. He also noticed the wound was fresh meaning it was recent, real recent. He was no doctor but even he knew a fresh wound that seemed done only minutes prior to his arrival. The killer peered from around the corner looking upon the policeman examining his latest victim. Rather then feel a sense or ecstatic pride like he normally did, for the first time he felt nervous. His heart was beating rapidly and so loud to him that he thought the policeman would overhear it and catch him. He also noticed his breath had become hard and it was then that he left out a sigh that was more of a erratic gasp. He looked away and turned back from the corner as the policeman looked up and then looked around upon hearing a sound. He listened hard as he peered his eyes slowly all the way around from left to right. He arose from his feet and began walking in the direction to which the killer was. He called out "Hello, is anyone there?" but heard nothing. The policeman continued walking further until he stopped just shy of the corner. He looked out from the alley and into the streets but saw nothing and not realizing the killer was just feet away from him. The killer did not have a sixth sense but he knew where the police officer was. Without peering over because it wasn't possible it was as if the killer could feel where the policeman was. He moved two inches to the left slowly and now gripping his knife firmly he waited. The policeman walked back to the body of Elizabeth Stride. He took one last glance at her and shook his head. He closed her eyes and got back on the his and was ready to get back on his pony when he heard another sound.
Around the corner the killer started to make a break for it. He started running in the opposite direction and upon doing so tripped and fell landing into a trash pile. It made enough of a sound to alert the policeman and he soon realized that this was perhaps the killer. He got up and ran and hid around another corner just a few feet ahead. As he peered out he saw the policeman with his gun drawn. As he kept coming he stopped once again and looked down at the trash. He kept walking slowly nearing the corner further with the killer just feet away from him. The killer continues running as he jumps up and climbs onto a stone wall to a building. As he runs and turns yet another corner the policeman catches a glimpse of the back of him and his shadow. "Hey Wait!" The policeman yells out to him. The killer is now running full blast as hard as he can and doesn't dare look back. He once again feels as if his heart is about to beat right out of his chest. Normally he never gets like this but then again this has never happened before. No one has ever gotten this close to him after a murder. He keeps running and running for what seems like miles but in reality is only two blocks. When his feet cannot take anymore and he can't go any further he finally stops and sits on a walkway to catch his breath. After regaining his breath he slowly walks into the dark alley paths that have welcomed him so many times before. With no signs of the policeman or any other around he continues along until he comes across another young woman.
Two blocks back, the policeman who had seen a slight glimpse of the back of the killer stopped halfway in the alley to which he ran. The killer was too fast and escaped but he knew that the killer felt his impact. He knew he just for a moment had gotten into the head of him and hopefully that alone was enough to stop him. But the policeman's thoughts and big ideas would be short lived, real short lived. As he was thinking this at the precise moment, The ripper has struck again. After he regained his composure and knew the policeman had stopped trailing him he had found another victim and struck again. The victim would be found later on just like Elizabeth Stride but what the policeman did not realize was that he didn't leave an impression on the killer, the killer had left one on him. Had he seen, stopped and caught the ripper he could have ended it all. He could have prevented two more known murders and possible more unsolved ones not connected to him. He could have solved the mystery of his identity that would become enshrouded in years to come. He came the closest anyone ever has and ever will to catching the notorious Jack the Ripper. But what if? and almost, doesn't count and perhaps if he had caught him history would be different. Another woman would loose her life that night. Two woman murdered on the same night just 45 minutes apart. September 30th, 1888 could have been the night the Ripper was caught but instead two woman were murdered and he continued on his brutal legend as he continued to fill the streets with blood.
YOU ARE READING
In 1888, The streets of London were covered in blood when one man murdered five women and possibly even more. However what few know is that during his 3rd murder he was almost caught. It is this event that will be told and a fictional story based of...