Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jack the Ripper was a German sailor, detective claims

Jack the Ripper was probably a German merchant seaman named Carl Feigenbaum. That’s the theory proposed by English former murder squad detective Trevor Marriott. ...

Between August and November 1888, five prostitutes were killed and horribly mutilated in and around London’s crowded, impoverished Whitechapel area.

Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly had their throats slashed and – with the exception of Stride – their abdomens mutilated. Then the killings stopped abruptly. The murderer was never identified. And the Jack the Ripper phenomenon began.

In the 123 years since, countless suspects have been proposed – and rejected – from various poor Polish immigrants to Queen Victoria’s physician William Withey Gull and even Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

But according to English former homicide detective Trevor Marriott, Jack the Ripper was most likely a German merchant sailor from Karlsruhe named Carl Feigenbaum.

Marriott, author of "Jack the Ripper: The 21st Century Investigation" and "The Evil Within: The World’s Worst Serial Killers," aired his theory in Germany this week in a ZDF documentary co-produced by National Geographic.

Marriott says he has used modern policing methods to overturn many of the old assumptions about the Ripper murders and gathered evidence that points to Feigenbaum, who was eventually convicted and executed for murdering Juliana Hoffmann in New York in 1894.

“There is a case for suggesting he might have been the first trans-continental serial killer,” Marriott says.

In 2002, the retired Bedfordshire policeman – who’d had a long-running interest in the Ripper case – decided to sift through the evidence, see what could be discounted, and determine what facts remained.

"When I looked through it, I thought, 'There are lots of things here that are not right, that are not factually correct'," he says. "The Ripper mystery is based on many wild, speculative, uncorroborated theories.'"

The police at the time believed the Ripper was a local man – and subsequent theories have generally assumed that he was at least a Londoner. But Marriot takes a novel approach, alleging that the murderer might have been a sailor.

“There were two merchant docks close to Whitechapel, and Whitechapel had hundreds of prostitutes and we all know that where seamen are, there are prostitutes as well,” he says. “It’s an area that hadn’t been explored by the police at the time back in Victorian times, so it was a totally new lead really.”

Hundreds of vessels came in and out of London every day. It was a “mammoth task,” he says, but he went through thousands of shipping records and found that there was a vessel, the Reiher, that was docked on all the dates of the murders save one. On that date, another vessel from the same line was docked.Around the same time, Marriott learned that what he calls a “Ripper-like murder” – of a woman named Juliana Hoffmann – had taken place in New York in 1894, six years after the five women in Whitechapel. The man convicted for that murder was German Carl Feigenbaum, who was also using aliases including Anton Zahn and Carl Zahn.  ...

via Jack the Ripper was a German sailor, detective claims - The Local.

Marriott’s case against Feigenbaum relies heavily on Lawton so he gives the lawyer’s theory full play. He goes beyond Lawton, however, when, instead of just saying that Feigenbaum travelled around Europe and the US, he adds a list of Ripper-like murders that occurred throughout Europe and the United States at a time when Feigenbaum was still living in Germany and sailing between Europe and North America on ships from Bremen:

October, 1889. Flensburg, Germany. Murder and dismemberment of a prostitute.

January, 1889. Managua, Nicaragua. Murder and mutilation of six prostitutes.

11 April, 1890, Hurley, Wisconsin, USA. The murder of prostitute “Lottie Morgan.”

28 April, 1890, Benthen, Germany. Murder and mutilation of a woman.

4 December, 1890. Berne, Switzerland. Murder and mutilation of “peasant girl.”

24 April, 1891, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. Murder and mutilation of Carrie Brown.

25 October, 1891. Berlin, Germany. Murder and mutilation of prostitute Hedwig Nitsche.

31 January, 1892. New Jersey, USA. Murder of Mrs. Elizabeth Senior.

3 April, 1892. Berlin, Germany. Murder of a prostitute.

31 August, 1894. New York City, New York, USA. Murder of Mrs. Juliana Hoffman.

Marriott then adds to this list all of the Whitechapel victims starting from Martha Tabram, excluding Elizabeth Stride and Rose Mylett, and points out that after Feigenbaum’s execution reports of Ripper-like murders around the world stopped.


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