Were the women killed by Jack the Ripper, Jewish?

The Ripper (possibly) left some graffiti stating that “The Juwes are the men That Will not be Blamed for nothing” or “The Juwes are not The men That Will be Blamed for nothing” Which could translate to “The Jews are men who will not take responsibility for anything” which could indicate that he was anti-semetic. But it could also be “The Jews are men who take the blame for anything.” which could indicate that he was laughing at the police for concentrating their search effort on Jewish people–which he would presumably not be.

As such, I had to wonder whether the women he killed were Jewish or looked Jewish (tanned skin, dark hair), as this could indicate which meaning would be correct–and provide some insight to the background of the man.

I have read quite a bit of Ripper lore, and I haven’t run across this theory.

One of the victims, Annie Chapman, was known as “Dark Annie,” but other than this, I don’t think your theory would have any basis.

The best resource for this is casebook.org: http://www.casebook.org/victims shows the known victims (there are only five definite, though others have been sometimes been considered). It doesn’t appear that any of the actual victims were Jewish, nor were any of the others.

Some of the likely Ripper suspects are Jewish, but I’ve never heard that any of the murder victims were. I think someone would have mentioned that were it the case. Mary Jane Kelly was called “Ginger,” so I’m guessing she wasn’t dark. Liz Stride was Swedish; while she doesn’t appear to have been a blonde, I think that would put her out of the running too.

I think the idea of a serial killer stalking Jewish prostitutes in England, where they wouldn’t have been common at all, is a little odd.

One popular theory holds that it refers not to jews, but collectively to Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, the three assassins who murdered Hiram Abif in the Masonic legend. Proponents of this theory point to the fact that this graffito was found near one of the victims’ bloody apron.

The main problem with this theory is that it is utter bollocks. Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum were never refered to collectively as “the Juwes” until some crackpot wrote a book in the '70s about how the Ripper was a deranged Freemason and was never caught because all the other Freemasons in positions of authority covered his ass.

While it’s a provocative bit of graffiti, there’s really nothing at all to suggest that it was connected to the murder. If it was, why were there no other similar incidents connected with the other murders? The killer just happened to have a bit of chalk and the time to loiter around the crime scene that one time?

I think that, before you spend any time trying to determine how the crimes relate to the jewish people, you should have some assurance that the graffito was placed there by the killer, and is, in fact, a clue of some sort. It really doesn’t seem likely that it is.

Certainly, but as a question to pop off on the board…

But, yeah, from what I could tell just looking at the names, the women didn’t appear to be Jewish.

And indeed, whether the text came from him or not, who knows. But if it did, it still doesn’t say much–except of his literary skills. And without a police photo, it is hard to determine how likely it was that the grafitti was actually connected to the strip of cloth.

But I can’t admit to having studied anything more on the cases than what the Wikipedia and a few googled sites say.

If the person is a low-to-middle class Londoner, stalking them in a foreign country would make less sense. Plus, Whitechappel appears to have been almost 50% Jewish.*

  • According to this site there were 76,000 people living in Whitechapel, of which 30-40,000 were Jewish.

Sure. My point is that it’s a small population.

About 50% of the population in Whitechappel is also female… :dubious:

If you’re a serial killer and you particularly want to kill Jews, and the highest population of Jews (locally) is in a certain area of town, wouldn’t that be the most likely place for you to go?

Maybe, but according to RealityChuck’s link, 4 of the 5 victims were definitely christian. There is nothing at all about the remaining woman, Annie Chapman (Née Smith,) to suggest that she was jewish.

So if Jack did write that graffito or some of the letters in various hands speculatively attributed to him, and it was his intention to kill jews, he did just as poorly at trying to work out folks ethnicity or religion as he did at spelling. :smiley:

a great deal of nonsense has been written about these murders over the years, most of it built on foundations of sand. The fact that no one was ever indicted for the crimes prompts many writers into complicated theories about why. The truth is that forensic science was vitually non-existant at the time, the art of criminal detection was in its infancy. The police relied almost wholly on making an arrest at the scene of the crime, and the use of informers, and if neither of these sources could help then they had very little left to go on. The serial killers is amongst the most difficult of murderers to catch, his motives are often unfathomable and he seldom has a confederate to betray him.

Yep. Catching the Ripper at the time would have required spotting him in the act of murder, or finding diaries or such in his home confessing. No DNA evidence back then.

There was a theory at the time that the murderer was Jewish. A letter, supposedly written by the killer, denied this and other speculations:

I’m not a butcher, I’m not a Yid,
nor yet a foreign skipper,
but I’m your own ‘light hearted’ friend;
Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

re the OP:
Mary Jane Kelly was either blond or redhaired and had blue eyes. She told the last person she lived with she was born in Limerick, Ireland. She probably could not be said to fit any sterotypical Jewish look (OP: looked Jewish (tanned skin, dark hair)

A good discussion of the JUWES graffitti