3. Additional murders occurred both before and following the canonical five
The five canonical murders attributed to Jack the Ripper were both preceded and followed by additional killings in the Whitechapel and Spitalfields neighborhoods. Some “Ripperologists” – the term coined to describe avid hunters of the killer – claim Jack performed these murders. There are claims of eleven victims in total. Others have claimed evidence that Jack left London to continue his brutal killings in the United States. The Metropolitan Police disagreed, and continue to disagree in the 21st century. They have long officially attributed the canonical murders to the single individual known as Jack the Ripper. Though they identified several suspects during their investigations they never charged anyone, lacking sufficient evidence against any individual. During the course of their investigation, they interviewed more than 2,000 people. More than 80 were detained, later released for lack of evidence.
The investigators made several presumptions regarding the killer, though not all agreed with them. Some believed the murderer had precise knowledge of anatomy and surgical procedures, leading to speculation he possessed medical training to some degree. Police surgeon Thomas Bond entered the investigation when Robert Anderson of Scotland Yard requested he review the evidence from the first four murders. Bond later performed the autopsy on Mary Jane Kelly. His report to Anderson, delivered on November 10, 1888. It included the comment “mutilation was inflicted by a person who had no scientific nor anatomical knowledge”. He added, “In my opinion, he does not even possess the technical knowledge of a butcher or horse slaughterer or any person accustomed to cut up dead animals”. Nonetheless, press speculated the killer was likely a butcher or slaughterer.