Monday, November 16, 2009

Come and Knock on Their Door—And Bring the SWAT Team!

Last night, The Discovery Channel aired a fascinating program called Jack the Ripper in America, in which a former police detective and "cold case" expert proferred strong evidence that the infamous serial killer continued his grisly spree in New York and other American cities in the 1890s. The program made a convincing argument that Jack the Ripper was, in fact, James Kelly, one of the original suspects in the case, whom the London police lost track of after the Ripper's last confirmed victim. Kelly, who had escaped Broadmoor Insane Asylum shortly prior to the first Ripper killing—incarcerated there for stabbing his wife to death in the neck—strangely showed up at the asylum forty years later and offered a detailed account of his whereabouts during the previous four decades. His travels took him to many cities and locales throughout America where various prostitutes had been horribly mutilated during the same time frames that Kelly documented. Additional forensic evidence makes for a strong case that James Kelly was indeed Jack the Ripper.

However, Ripper "experts" have never asked for my theory of Jack's true identity. And I believe I know whose it is.

Are you ready, Scotland Yard?

The real Jack the Ripper must be none other than...

People's Exhibit A: Jack Tripper → Jack Tripper → Jack T. Ripper → Jack the Ripper.

People's Exhibit B: Many of the females with whom Jack Tripper consorted vanished without a trace:

» Roommate Chrissy Snow
» Roommate Cindy Snow (Chrissy's cousin)
» Lana Shields, his flirtatious middle-aged neighbor
» Linda Page, Jack's one-time girlfriend
» Helen (and Stanley) Roper, his original landlords

People's Exhibit C: Jack Tripper achieved a degree in the culinary arts. As a chef, Jack Tripper was an expert with knives and had unlimited access to them.

People's Exhibit D: Posing for years as a gay man, Jack Tripper would not have been perceived by women as a misogynistic threat, some of his eventual victims possibly even befriending and confiding in him. Such an elaborate ruse would, in the eyes of many, remove Jack Tripper from the realm of suspects.

People's Exhibit E: Jack Tripper had a criminal record and spent an unknown amount of time in jail. Even though those bars look as flimsy as a garden lattice, the fact that Jack Tripper was previously incarcerated lends support to a tendency toward violence and a complete disregard for civil behavior. His argyle jumper further suggests that Jack Tripper may have visited Great Britain—and possibly even the Whitechapel district of London, where the murders occurred.

People's Exhibit F: Like the Ripper's fifth victim, Mary Kelly, roommate Chrissy Snow's face was horribly mutilated...albeit with pie ingredients, which caused no permanent injury or disfigurement.

People's Exhibit G: Jack Tripper frequented the Regal Beagle. The modern beagle is an English breed and was highly prized as a hunting dog in 19th-century England—note Darwin's HMS Beagle as an example of the breed's status. As a quintessentially English pub, the Regal Beagle surely was a hangout for expatriated Brits in Santa Monica, a gathering place where English gentlemen could enjoy a pint of bitters while discussing the latest cricket match or ghastly murder. That Jack Tripper spent much time at the Regal Beagle lends strong credence to his possible English heritage.

Now I'm not saying that I've made an airtight case and that the file on Jack the Ripper should once and for all be closed...but I am saying that Vanessa just walked by my office in a thigh-high skirt and black leather boots, so I'm going to have to end this entry to make low, groaning noises...

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