17. Another Pole was suspected of the murders by the police
Severin Klosowski, who lived in Whitechapel at the time of the murders, lived with several prostitutes over time, including one named Annie Chapman. She had no known relationship with the Ripper victim of the same name. Klosowski later took her surname as part of one of several aliases he used in London, George Chapman. He was known for his violence against women, beating several of his “wives” and threatening worse. Klosowski arrived in Whitechapel just before the first of the canonical murders, and left shortly after the last. He went to the United States for a time before returning to Britain. Some ripperologists attribute a murder in New York City, that of Carrie Brown in 1891, to Klosowski. Sensationalist newspapers there reported the arrival of London’s Jack the Ripper, though Klosowski didn’t arrive in the USA until after the murder.
Although physical evidence linking Klosowski to the Whitechapel murders remains scarce, including interviews with investigators, one factor hangs in favor of his being Jack the Ripper. He did commit at least three known murders, with all victims being women. All were mistresses posing as his wife. His method of killing them involved poisoning with tartar-emitic. The murders of his “wives”, who were also business partners, took place in Britain in 1897, 1901, and 1902. The third murder, and reports by neighbors of Klosowski’s violent tendencies led to a police investigation. When the evidence of poisoning emerged, the bodies of the first two victims were exhumed, and found to contain toxic levels of the same poison. British law allowed him to be charged for only one of the three murders in a single indictment. He was tried, convicted, and hanged in 1903.