Identifying Jack the Ripper: old clues, new science
Criminologist David Wilson applies the latest scientific techniques in a new BBC Science documentary - we asked him if we finally know the identity of Jack the Ripper.
In 1888 in Whitechapel, London, five women were murdered by a man the press dubbed Jack the Ripper. 130 years later, we’re still fascinated with this case.
An intriguing and lengthy list of suspects have been proposed, both by the police at the time and by various authors over the intervening years. Determining the identity of the killer is a task that’s been taken on by many, with the Jack the Ripper case spawning books, walking tours and even an annual conference.
In a new BBC One documentary, Jack the Ripper - The Case Reopened, criminologist David Wilson and Emilia Fox take a scientific approach to this cold case. They apply modern investigatory techniques to determine who the killer was and why he carried out these horrendous crimes. And what they find is very interesting.
He speaks to Helen Glenny, editorial assistant at BBC Science Focus Magazine.
Warning: Some of the descriptions of the murders involved are graphic and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
- The Ripper of our nightmares: 5 theories about Jack the Ripper’s identity [via History Extra]
Listen to more Science Focus Podcast episodes:
- Wildfires: past, present and future
- Belka and Strelka – Russia’s canine cosmonauts
- What it’s really like to die
- The London Fatberg
- What’s going on with the weather?
- What’s the deal with algorithms?