1. Jacob Levy

Jacob Levy was born in Aldgate in 1856.  He followed in his father’s trade as a butcher, and by 1888 he was living in Middlesex Street with his wife and children, which was right in the heart of Ripper territory (and close to where Catherine Eddowes was murdered).

Jacob had a history of violence, criminal behaviour and mental instability.  In 1886 he was sentenced to 12 months prison for stealing meat from another butcher (but was instead sent to an asylum in Stone to serve his time).  It was during this time that his wife claimed that Jacob almost ruined her business and also added that “he also feels that if he is not restrained he will do some violence to someone; he complains about hearing strange noises; cries for no reason; feels compelled to do acts that his conscience cannot stand; and has a conscience of a feeling of exaltation”.  She also revealed that “he does not sleep at nights and wanders around aimlessly for hours”.

In August 1890, Jacob was admitted to the City of London Lunatic asylum as an insane person.  His cause of illness was listed as ‘mania’ (which was noted that he’d had for ‘some time’), perhaps a result of contracting syphilis, and he died 29 July 1891 from complications of the disease.

Jacob Levy is an interesting suspect for a number of reasons.  First off, he knew the area well, having lived his whole life in the Aldgate/Whitechapel area.

Most of the doctors who examined the victims were of the opinion that the killer possessed at least some anatomical knowledge.  Whoever Jack was, he worked fast, in often very poorly lit areas, and yet under these conditions he was able to remove parts of the victims’ internal organs, usually slicing the poor women from pelvis to breastbone and cutting their throats deeply (echoes of how a butcher might slaughter and gut a pig or a cow).  Being a butcher, Levy possessed both anatomical knowledge and was skilled with a knife.

Also, city police were known to have strongly suspected a man who worked on the same street Levy worked.  Inspector Robert Sagar reportedly said in his memoirs: “We had a good reason to suspect a man who worked in Butcher’s Row, Aldgate.  We watched him carefully.  There is no doubt that this man was insane, and after a time his friends thought it advisable to have him removed to a private asylum.  After he was removed, there were no more Ripper atrocities”.  Levy not only worked as a butcher in Aldgate, but was insane and eventually removed to an asylum.

Another report given by ex-Inspector Harry Cox shares similarities to both Sagar’s account and one of Levy’s strange personality traits.  Inspector Cox was assigned to a suspect in “a certain street” and watched him “in his place of business” for nearly three months.  Of particular interest, Inspector Cox gave a chilling account of one night when he shadowed the suspect on “one of his late night walks”.  Apparently the suspect, who had “a wilder look than usual on his evil countenance” led the officer on a late-night trawl through the labyrinthine streets of Whitechapel, accosting numerous women, and generally acting strange and suspicious, before leading Cox back to his place of business.

According to Levy’s wife, Jacob would often take late night walks, walking aimlessly for hours.  So while Levy may have been both Sagar’s and Cox’s suspect, it should be noted that the description of Cox’s suspect doesn’t tally with that of Levy, and so the likelihood of Levy being the man Cox tailed for three months is slim.

Jacob Levy was a convicted criminal who, by his wife’s own admissions, harboured feelings of violence.  He was committed to an asylum suffering from mania, and died shortly thereafter from complications of syphilis.  So not only was he mentally unbalanced (with a history of petty crime, often present among serial killers), but very possibly frequented prostitutes in the Whitechapel/Aldgate area.  Also Robert Anderson’s wife once said that the Ripper was interned in an asylum near Stone.  The asylum Levy was sent to in 1890, the City of London Asylum, was in Stone.

Then there are some interesting and possibly pertinent facts regarding his family.  His mother died in June 1888, just a few months before the first generally accepted Ripper murder – was this a stressor to the murders?  While serial killers live in a deviant fantasy world most of their lives, and have sometimes advanced to petty crime or even killing small animals by their teenage years, often it takes a tragedy or traumatic event in their lives to trigger their killing career.

And Jacob’s older brother, Isaac, was apparently living in the Wentworth Buildings in 1888 (he lived there until his death in 1891).  The Wentworth Buildings was where the graffito and bloody piece of apron were found.  Did Jacob, after butchering Catherine Eddowes, head to his brother’s house to either find shelter, or to try and deflect heat off his own house, in case he was being followed?

Lastly, there were the eye-witness testimonies.  Out of all the witnesses who may or may not have seen the Ripper, two stick out in my mind as the ones most likely to have actually seen the murderer with his victims.  I’ve long held the opinion, before ever hearing about Jacob Levy, that the two likeliest groups to have seen the Ripper were Elizabeth Long and the threesome that included Joseph Lawende and Joseph Levy.  Long claimed she saw a woman she later identified as Annie Chapman with a man outside the house where Chapman was found brutally murdered, and only a short time before the body was discovered.  The threesome saw a woman and man by an alleyway that led into Mitre Square only ten minutes before Catherine Eddowes was found butchered there, and one of the men, Lawende, identified her clothing as similar to what he had seen the woman wearing.

Now, whether these people actually saw the Ripper, or indeed even the victims, is always open to debate.  But I think it highly likely that they did see the infamous murderer with his victims, and so what of their descriptions of the man they saw?  Well, here’s where we run into some discrepancies…or do we?

Elizabeth Long described the man she saw with Annie Chapman as “a little taller than the deceased”.  Chapman was only 5ft, so we can conclude that the man was somewhere between 5ft 1in and 5ft 3in.  Lawende, on the other hand, said the man he saw with the victim was 5ft 9in (or 5ft 7/8in, depending on which report you read) – considerably taller than Long’s man.

However, if we look at Joseph Levy’s inquest testimony, we get a remarkably different description of the man’s height.  According to Levy: “I should think he was three inches taller than the woman, who was, perhaps, 5ft high.”

A very astute observation from a man who claimed he barely took any notice of the couple!  Like Annie Chapman, Catherine Eddowes was exactly 5ft tall – just as Levy described. However, here we have two strikingly different opinions regarding the man’s height by two friends who saw the same man with the woman at the same time.  Both of them can’t be right: so who was wrong – and who was right?  The police seemed to have favoured Lawende as the man most likely to have seen the killer, and gave his description the most weight.  However, Joseph Levy was still called to give his testimony at the inquest (whereas the third man, Harry Harris, wasn’t), and furthermore, he was able to provide the exact height of the deceased, and his description of the man as being only three inches taller was both exact and a stark contrast to his friend (you would have expected them to give similar height readings, since they did see the same man at the same time).  So, why such a difference between the two descriptions?  Did the police ever wonder why there was such a discrepancy?  A one or two inch difference in opinion is understandable; a four to six inch difference is another matter entirely.

It’s interesting to note how similar in height both Chapman and Eddowes were, and how short the men Long and Levy saw with the two women were – both around the 5ft 3in mark.  Was this a coincidence?  Or did both Long and Levy see the same man with two of the Ripper’s victims (and, thus, see the Ripper himself)?

And so what of Jacob Levy?  What was his height?  Exactly 5ft 3in!

Another interesting aspect to the witness Joseph Levy was the way he acted at the time of the sighting, some things he said, and his demeanour four days later at the Eddowes inquest.  On the night of the murder, he apparently said to his companion Harry Harris: “I don’t like going home by myself when I see these sort of characters about.  I’m off!”  He further added that the Court ought to be watched.  When this was brought up at the inquest, and the Coroner asked Joseph: “Your fear was rather about yourself?” Levy answered: “Not exactly”.

Did Joseph Levy know more than he was letting on?

The Evening News on the 9th of October reported that: “Mr Levy is absolutely obstinate and refuses to give the slightest information and he leaves one to infer that he knows something but that he is afraid to be called on the inquest”.

Could it even be that Joseph Levy recognised the man he and his companions saw with Catherine Eddowes that night?  Could it be he recognised Jacob Levy, a man he not only lived near, but was related to?   A relation he knew to be a criminal, even mentally disturbed?

It’s very likely that Jacob Levy and Joseph Levy were cousins, as it appears that their fathers were brothers, and if this is the case, then it’s easy to understand why Joseph appeared to have acted strangely at the inquest, like he was holding something back.

But even if they weren’t related, both men were butchers, and worked barely fifty yards from one another.  So it’s safe to say that in all probability they did know each other, regardless of whether or not they were cousins.

If Joseph did recognise Jacob Levy with the murdered woman, why didn’t he say anything to the police about it?  If they were related, perhaps it’s more understandable why he didn’t – maybe the family were suspicious of the police and wanted to handle Jacob their way.  If they weren’t related, maybe Joseph was simply too afraid for his and his family’s life to tell the police what he saw?  Or perhaps he did tell the police what he saw, but without sufficient evidence, they couldn’t arrest Jacob and had to be content to merely watch him and hope he’d slip up.  It is interesting to note that the period of time between the double murder on the 30th of September and the next Ripper murder on the 9th of November was the longest of the entire series.  Was this because the Ripper knew he was being watched by the police and had to wait until things cooled off before slipping away and committing another murder?

It’s been said that Anderson’s witness, called upon to identify his Polish Jew suspect at the Seaside Home, was either Joseph Lawende or Israel Schwartz, as, according to Anderson, “the only person who ever had a good view of the murderer, unhesitatingly identified the suspect the instant he was confronted with him”.  But perhaps this witness was Joseph Levy, the man who had become uneasy when coming upon the couple the night Eddowes was murdered, and who described the man as being 5ft 3in at the inquest; perhaps he had recognised fellow butcher (or cousin) Jacob Levy that night, but waited until Jacob was safely caged in an asylum before making a positive identification.  But if this is true, then it begs the question: why agree to go to the Seaside Home to identify the suspect if he already knew the suspect was a Jew and wasn’t going to testify against him on such grounds?  Because, according Swanson (in his marginalia), the witness refused to swear against the suspect “Because he was also a Jew and did not wish to have it left on his mind that he was responsible for the life of a fellow Jew.”

There are other niggling issues that weaken the case against Jacob Levy.  First off, there was the eighteen month gap between the last generally accepted Ripper murder (9th November) and Levy being committed to the asylum (August 1890).  The gaps between the Ripper murders were between one week at the shortest and, at the longest, around six weeks.  So eighteen months seems a long time for Levy, if he was the Ripper, to lay low and not commit any murders.  It’s not uncommon for serial killers to have long cooling off periods.  These periods can last anywhere from a couple of hours to decades.  So, compared to such lengthy periods, eighteen months isn’t such a long time.  However, when taken with the cooling off periods of the Ripper’s previous murders, eighteen months is a long time for such a frenzied killer to be quiet.  However, there could be a number of reasons for this.  Maybe Levy, after Mary Kelly, simply fell apart, unable to function at a level where he could roam the streets and find suitable victims.  But then if his mania did grow to such a level to stop him from killing, why did his friends and family wait eighteen months before committing him?  Less likely, but still possible, after fulfilling every deviant fantasy in Miller’s Court, maybe the demons that drove him to kill died down enough for him to keep him in control for a good portion of the time afterwards; and only when his mania grew too strong was he finally committed.  Or maybe he simply felt too on edge with all the police presence on the streets after Mary Kelly’s murder, and decided to lay low for a while, but then his mania took over and he was committed before he could kill again.

Then there is the fact that Levy was married, with eight children.  While it’s not uncommon for serial killers to have families, it’s usually those of the organised type, that are cunning enough, in control enough, to be able to hide their true personalities and carry on seemingly normal relationships and even marry.  On the other hand, disorganised killers are much less likely to marry, or to even carry on relationships for long periods, due to them being generally less in control of themselves, shier and more introverted.  While Jack the Ripper seems to have displayed a mixed type of organised and disorganised traits, his crimes and victimology showed a greater leaning towards disorganised, and so, according to some of the leading experts in the art of criminal profiling, the Ripper would be less likely to have a wife, or even be in a relationship, instead preferring to be alone, or living with family.  The fact that Jacob Levy was both married and had children doesn’t mean he wasn’t the Ripper; it just clashes with some of the generally accepted views of a disorganised personality type.

Still, even with these issues, I feel that Levy is a strong suspect.  He lived and worked in the heart of Ripper territory, living close to where Eddowes was murdered (it is generally thought that the Ripper, after almost being caught in Dutfield’s Yard, fled towards the safety of home, which was Westwards, towards the City boundaries where Eddowes was found murdered – near where Levy lived and worked).  He was a butcher, thus knew his way around a knife and the internal workings of a body.  He was a criminal, known to harbour feelings of violence, and was committed to an asylum where he died from complications of syphilis (suggesting he might have been familiar with the loose women of the East End).  He matched two of the stronger witnesses who saw a short, stout ‘foreigner’ (euphemism for a Jewish person) with two of the victims shortly before their bodies were found mutilated.  He was the right age for a serial killer and for the various witness descriptions (Levy was 32 years old at the time of Whitechapel murders), and may have been the man certain detectives trailed and regarded as a strong suspect for the murders.

Jacob Levy may not have been Jack the Ripper, but I believe he’s the strongest candidate currently known.

Candidacy of Jacob Levy: ****½ (out of 5)

Published on November 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm  Comments (140)  

140 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have to agree. Levy is a tantalizing suspect. I liked Arbie La Bruckman at one time, and I also liked William Bury and Tumblety to a degree, but Levy blows them all away.

    • As a Doctor, I think Ripper is a Butcher. No surgeon, I know could perform that sort of procedure in the dark in 10 minutes. In one of the murders he removed the uterus without puncturing the bladder. A Butcher preparing a carcass would do this quickly. Removing the bowel and mesentery as he did in many murders, is also typical of an Abbatoir worker.

      • I agree – in terms of the anatomical knowledge displayed by the murderer, as well as the possible hallmarks of a slaughterman (the cutting of the throat, the disemboweling), a butcher does seem the most likely answer. Pity we’ll never know for certain…

        Thanks for reading, Steve.

    • kosminsli still best suspect dont understand how anyone would say levy is a better suspect hes a good.one but not the best

  2. Levy doesn’t get the attention that a lot of the bigger-name suspects get, but he’s such a strong candidate. Bury is definitely a viable suspect, although I doubt he was the Ripper, but I’ve never been keen on Tumblety as a suspect – as you can read on my Tumblety suspect page.

    Thanks for reading, Chris.

  3. If the signature “Jack the Ripper” in so-called JTR letters is authentic then we may have one more reason to suspect Jacob Levy that he was a ripper. Jack is a short form of Jacob…


    By the way, on Polish Wikipedia we can find an information that Jacob Levy made similar language errors in his letters like an author of so-called JTR letters. Is this true? No informations about it in your article.



    It is interesting that there is nothing about Jacoby Levy on English Wikipedia:



    • Hi, Charlie,

      The reason I don’t make mention of the Ripper letters on my site is that I don’t believe the murderer wrote any of them (and if he did, I think the ‘From Hell’ letter is the most likely one). As for the Polish Wiki – I can’t read Polish, so I can’t understand what the site says, but does it mention letters that Levy wrote? This is news to me! I would be grateful if you could translate the appropriate text with regards to Levy.


      • Hi Brett,

        in my last post I put the link to a google translation of “Kuba Rozpruwacz” (Jack the Ripper) entry on Polish Wiki. However it has very bad quality so I made some corrections. I am aware that it is still no good translation but I hope more easy to read:

        “Jacob Levy (1856-1891) – born into a Jewish family, son of Joseph and Caroline Levy. One of the most likely suspected of being Jack the Ripper. He worked as a butcher at Middlesex Street and there he lived at number 36th. His place of work and live were very close to the places of murder of the first casualties. It is known that his wife had at least four sons of whom at least one was suffering from syphilis. There is a supposition that Jacob Levy was a frequent customer of prostitutes in London from whom he contracted a disease which, in turn, passed to his wife and son. Blaming the prostitutes he could have killed them and mutilated in order to made them reminding people suffering from syphilis (truncation of the eyes and nose, lacerations on her cheeks.). He was not at home any night when Jack the Ripper was doing his murders. His butcher’s knowledge gave him a knowledge about human anatomy, which may also be a proof that Jacob Levy was Jack the Ripper. He only used the services of poor prostitutes such as Annie Chapman and Mary-Jane Kelly, because to the more expensive ones did not allow him his financial situation. He was convicted of receiving stolen goods and theft of meat. Letter written by him contained a language errors, just like in Jack the Ripper letters that was sent to the police. Jacob Levy died on July 29, 1891, as a result of syphilis.”

        The only sources mentioned on Polish Wiki are “The Complete History of Jack the Ripper” by Philip Sugden and “The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook” by Stewart Evans i Keith Skinner. I had checked history of edition of this article and I found that the passus of Jacob Levy was added later without connected to any sources. It would not suprise me if the author was inspired by game “Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper” where Jacob Levy turns out to be the JTR at the end of the game.

        It is quite interesting but this game claims to be only one place where Levy’s letters are mentioned.

        “Now you have to open the box. Take all the metal draughts. You will find a butcher’s letter there (Documents – A Butcher `s Letter). Jacob Levy was trying to get to the club. Unfortunately, Joseph wrote him a negative opinion.”


        No informations about it in other articles and publications reffering to Jacob Levy. So it could be a fiction which was not checked by an Wiki author. Or maybe not? I don’t know but I will try to verify it…


        PS. Why did you not mention anything on your blog about Carl Feigenbaum?



      • Thanks for posting the translation, Charlie.

        I think you’re right – it does seem that whoever wrote that Wiki entry was using the game as a reference. I’ve never read about letters being found written by Levy! I think that would be huge news in the Ripper world if that was the case.

        As for Feigenbaum – there’s simply too many suspects for me to write about all of them, and so had to be selective with which ones I chose. Perhaps I will add to the suspects lists as time goes by, and if so, Feigenbaum will probably be one of them.


  4. I also wonder who were Jacob Levy’s ancestors and from where did his parents come from? Could they have been Polish Jews? It could be difficult to verify I suppose, because “Levy” is a typical Jewish/Hebrew surname, not like Kosminski which sounds as Polish one. Or maybe Jacob’s father and mother were Russian or German Jews?

    As for Feigenbaum I think he could be one of top suspects if we had any evidence that he was in England, Nicaragua, Germany etc. at time where these famous murders on prostitutes had taken a place. Unfortunately we don’t have…

  5. i am convinced that jacob levy was jtr… throw away all emotion, use facts, logic, examine all features of witnesses, motive, logistics,knowledge of anatomy,rage potential,physical descriptions,and why no more took place with his incarceration… then, one must say… that jtr, was mr. joseph levy

    • Jacob Levy is certainly the strongest candidate we currently have.

      Thanks for your comments, Herb.

    • I can think of a reason for the disrepency in discriptions from Joseph Lawende and Joseph Levy. People in Whitechapel hated Jews at the time, Jews were communist and anti-monarchy – Joseph Lawende deliberately described a person who was both blonde, and much taller than people tended to be at that time i.e not Jewish- there could have been good reasons in terms of racial tension within the area to try to avert attention from the Jewish community.

      I know Polish Jews can be blonde – but I still think the discrepency is too obvious. Does any one know what colour hair Jacob levey had?

      • Hi Carol,

        Thanks for your comments. I don’t think Lawende described the man as being blond – he described his complexion and moustache as fair, so that could mean blond, but it’s not specific. I do agree that the man he described was taller than the average person back in 1888 Whitechapel. Maybe Lawende did deliberately give a misleading description of the suspect in order to divert attention from the Jewish community. It would explain the discrepancy between him and Levy. Or, maybe it’s just something as simple as witness error. The police seemed to lean toward Lawende, not Levy, in the description of the man seen with Eddowes, but still, I tend towards Levy for some reason. Just a gut feeling I have.

        As far as I’m aware, there’s no description of Jacob Levy’s hair colour.


  6. Well, what more can I add to all that has been said about Jacob Levy, A few things, I am so near to finding his last resting place. You see I am Jacob Levy’s Great Grand Son (on my mums side of the family) I have only known about the family link for about 5 years as the family were told many years aho that he was burried in a paupers grave. We knew that he was a butcher and that when he died my Great Grandmother Sarah was helped by a charity to set up a stall selling bits and bob’s in Petticote Lane so that she could feed the family. One of there sons was Isaac (known as Ike) , poppy Ike to us, he married Hanah Harris and one of the 7 daughters that they had was my Mum, I found great grandma Sarah’s grave a few years ago and on the headstone is written: Widow of Jacob, well did that put some tears in my eyes. Jacob died in Kent but as far as I know he is not burried in the asylum cemetery. . I have not given you my name (yet) as I don’t want to cause any problems for our (levy) clan, as one of my aunties is still living and to this day does not know about what Jacob may have done. I can prove 100% that I am a decendent of jacob levy. If DNA from that time was available, I would give a sample to see if it matched.

    On the funny side of all this is: my youngest Son (in his late 20’s) thinks that if we ever had proof that his great great grandpa was the ripper, he would never have to pay for a drink again.
    Take Care, R
    ps sorry about my spelling etc, me getting old and forgetful

    • Hi there,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post about your family history. Fascinating stuff!

      I would love to hear more about your family (if you don’t mind talking some more about it, and indeed have more to tell): did your mother/grandmother/grandfather tell you anything else about your great grandfather? Are there any photos of Jacob that you’re aware of? (I know that’s a long-shot, but I have to ask…). Did your grandfather/grandmother talk much about growing up in Victorian-era London? Was Jack the Ripper ever mentioned – not necessarily in reference to Jacob, but in general? And would you know whether Joseph Levy (the witness who saw Catherine Eddowes with a man the night of her murder) was in fact Jacob’s cousin?

      Sorry for all the questions. It’s not every day you meet a descendent of a Ripper suspect!

      Best wishes,

  7. Hi Brett, Ta! for your interest in the clan Levy, I will pass on some details for you but as I mentioned some members of the family don’t know of a possible link. The only thing that was said about G-G/pa Jacob was what I think was a little Porkie (kosher–NOT) everyone in my mums family, from my grandparents Ike (Isaac) and Hanah, said that grandpa Jacob was a Pork butcher in Ireland, we used to laugh about it in the same was as my mum and her 6 sisters used to say that they had a brother that ran away and went to sea and they never heard for him again. (more Porkies) .
    As for Joseph Levy, yes there was a cousin called Joseph who was about the same age as Jacob plus Jacobs eldest son was called Joseph who was age 11yrs when Jacob died
    Jacob and Sarah had eight (8) children, the youngest being less than a year old when Jacob passed a way.
    Now for some little facts that may be of some use. Most Jewish marriages at that time were arranged and the future spouses were from outside the UK. a lot from Holland and Germany and other eastern countries includind Russia and Poland etc. My mums family always said that they were of Dutch decent but some names on the Family Tree are not dutch. I am told that most of the Jews coming to the uk did not speak English so sometimes the imigration staff (?) used to make up names that sounded like they came from the country that the imigrant was from.
    I have in the last few months come upon surnames, in my maternal family tree, that I last heard when I was a child in the late 1940’s and 1950’s ,also a lot of inter marriages took place to keep the family lines going .
    Well I hope this little bit of infomation is of use but this is just a small tip of the iceberg.I don’t know of any photos of G-G/pa but I will ask around,
    I hope that you will understand that I can’t give names of any living clan members at this time.
    As for the old east end, It would take for ever and a day to tell the stories that we were told as children. My family were poor but rich in Love. Thats the way we were brought up, sometime hungry but never starving, people shared what little they had
    Take care and please feel free to contact me, if I can help I will do my best to give answeres
    Take Care.. R

    ps, again sorry bout me speeeeelin

    • Once again, thanks for sharing this information – fascinating insights. I find it curious that your family said that Jacob was a pork butcher in Ireland – a porkie indeed!

      All the best,

  8. Hi, great to see a descendant. I saw a post of a grand(grand daughter of Jaob Levy at the JTR forum that she only had a death certificate of Jacob. Well I’m interested about the siphilys desease in the family.If there wasn’t any after Jacob then his motive fails.

    Filip from Croatia.

    • Hi, it was passed on to some of the younger children of Jacob and Sarah, I don’t know which ones but even if I did I would not give out any information. I am so near to finding his Grave, just waiting for confirmation, that will take a few weeks as files have to be sent from a archive that is not in the UK. R

      • found anything?

  9. Great! Thanks for the information

  10. Hi all

    We have been researching Jacob Levy for a few year and have found information that shows he is a very good suspect for Jack The Ripper.
    We have recently revised and updated our research which has been explained in great detail and includes asylum records and newspaper reports. (Roy has been sent a copy, Hi Roy.)

    Just a few bullet points that may interest you all –

    We proved Jacob ad Joseph (the witness) are related they are cousins

    Jacob was a Jew

    Jacob had knife skills.

    Jacob was the right age and matched the height and weight of one of the witness statements.

    Jacob knew the area intimately living in the middle of all the murder sites. He had spent all his life in that area.

    He discovered his elder brother’s body hanging.

    He was jailed for stealing a piece of meat, thereby starting a downward spiral that led him to lose his business and home.

    Jacob feels he will do violence unless restrained.

    He complains of hearing voices.

    He wanders the streets for hours.

    While we know that his brother Abraham, committed suicide by hanging himself, In 1890 Jacob describes Abraham’s suicide as ‘cutting his own throat’ Easy mistake to make or something more?

    He feels someone will attack him.

    He was more than likely schizophrenic.

    He died from Syphilis, most likely Neurosyphilis.

    His mother died in 1888. – was this a stressor?

    If you are interested in the article please go to the website http://www.ripperologist.biz and go to the contact page, and request a copy of Ripperologist 124. There is a small fee but I am not sure how much.

    Hope you enjoy.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Many thanks for taking the time to post this information. I have been following your research into Levy, and think you and your fellow researchers are doing a wonderful job. I read the article in Ripperologist, and it was indeed fascinating and enlightening.

      All the best with your continued work.

      • Thanks Brett

        Jacob does seem to be an interesting person to us and we do have other aspects we would like to research, if we are right then things will get real interesting :0)

      • Hi Tracy,

        Sounds intriguing indeed! I’ll be following your research with great interest. The best of luck with it all,


  11. hello Brett,i just came to know about your site and it is absolutely fascinating.you have done a very thorough research on JTR which made an awesome read.
    one thing i wanna know is,has the person who claimed to be a descendant of levy made any recent contact with you?i was reading the comments and noticed that both you and another reader had asked him to provide some information about his family and particularly about j.levy.he had obliged but that is the very last comment he has posted and that too around three months ago.when i read your request for a photo of levy,i was excited to say the least and scrolled down only to find no more comments from the man.i am just curious,you see.

    my cousin who is also fascinated by the ripper case was once surfing the net one afternoon for information.she was a member of a site where people sometimes held discussions about jtk and other serial killers.she chatted with a guy who claimed that his great great grandfather was not only a ripper suspect but was actually the ripper himself and that he even had a confession letter written by him where he confessed to all the killings.my cousin was so excited that she immediately asked him if he could email her a picture of the letter and after the guy agreed they exchanged emails.the very next day she saw an email from that account with the title “real-reaper-letter”.she opened it,and inside,there was a picture of the guy’s *ahem*privates!!:-x

    i am not saying that Roy lg is lying,i just want to know if he has contacted you since February.have a great day,and thanks again for your wonderful site.

    • Hello Lucy,

      Thanks for your comments: I’m glad you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on the Ripper.

      As for Roy – unfortunately, I haven’t heard from him in a little while. I did email him, but he never responded.

      Thanks again and all the best,

    • To Other members of this site please accept my apologies for the following:

      Dear what-ever you call yourself. My proof is the number 123, which is a very personal number to the remaing decendents of the Clan Levy. if you knew the Levy’s then you would know that we never ever give to much away and some even change a few details about where they are from, this includes the one who likes to tell people that she is from Upper Shoreditch, which is actually: Hoxton. (London N1). I am from the City of London, the Square Mile, (London EC3) The Old Billingsgate Fish Market Area
      One thing, no one calls me is a LIAR or ever tries to say I’m LYING.
      I have a FULL family tree and copies of birth and death certificates going back much further than the details available in th UK, try Germany/Holland (from shul records) and most stations to the east of these countries.
      I have many very old photos of the Levy Clan which most of my cousins and 1 remaining Aunt, have, she is the last one of the Seven Daughters that Hannah and Ike (Isaac) Levy had (my mother was one of the seven) My brothers also have copies.
      I have not contacted this forum since Feb, as I am not going to give anymore information to anyone on this site as someone managed to get my details and contacted me direct.
      I must add that one of my cousins tried to cover up what happen to our Great Grandfather Jacob by saying that he died in Prison and was burried in a Paupers grave, well the last part of that is true as I and I alone now know where he wast laid to rest but out of respect to his memory I will NEVER say where. Now don’t call me a liar because I won’t let anyone know where and that includes my remaining Son,………………. R.I.P. my darling DIGA
      If I have offended you, well thats life and if you could be one of my cousins who lived in Hoxton then sham on you for changing things in the family tree so that it showes things that you wanted and not as they should be.
      I may not be a rich man but at least I can sleep well every night !
      Shalom to Planet

      • Hi Roy,

        I don’t think Lucy was calling you a liar; she was just curious as to whether I had heard any more from you about Jacob.

        I don’t know where this anger is coming from: you were the one who first posted on this site, sharing your information about your relative. And we’re all thankful for that. But I don’t think anyone has been discourteous to you.

        As for someone contacting you direct – that was me, the owner and manager of this site. Your email is viewable to the public when you sign in to WordPress. And you did extend the offer to contact you: which is what I did.

        All the best,

      • Hi Roy

        I think we can all understand you need to keep things private, at the end of the day it is your family we are digging into. If I may just ask that if the next time you go to Jacob’s grave you could perhaps lay a flower and gave mine and Neil’s respects. Jacob, and indeed a lot of your ancestors did become more than a name on a census page for us.

  12. thank you for responding…keep up the excellent work.and who knows,maybe i one day we will finally get to learn who jtr really was…….

    PS-do you think jack the ripper was responsible for the “pinchin street torso”murder as well?that murder was committed on 10 September 1889,almost a year after mjk’s murder(that is,if you do not consider Alice McKenzie and rose mylett,who were also thought to be ripper victims by the police).if he was indeed responsible for it,it goes to show just how much his blood lust had increased in a year’s time as he had actually taken the head and limbs apart and the victim was quite possibly not even dead when he started doing so!i doubt such a man would be able to hold on to any sort stability much longer and was probably institutionalized soon after.maybe that was the reason why the murders finally stopped.

    anyway,thanks for taking the time to read my long banter…:-D
    God bless you always.take care.


    • Hi Lucy,

      I don’t believe that the Pinchin St. torso was the work of the Ripper. That murder seems to me to be a practical solution, a way of making the body unable to be identified: a far cry from the brutal murder/overkill and then leave the body where it lay, style of the Ripper. I just don’t think Jack would have gone to the trouble of disposing the body in such a way, not when you compare his previous murders.

      All the best,

  13. Thank you Brett for clarifying that and understanding what i had meant.i truly wasn’t trying to cause problems for you in any manner nor was i trying to insult Roy or anyone else.i was just curious to know if you had gotten anymore details regarding Jacob levy.i loved your writing and had always felt that levy was a good ripper suspect,that’s all.

    and Roy,please do understand that Brett was not giving away your contact info or anything private.he didn’t even say a single negative thing about you or your credibility.i was the one who asked him if you had contacted him or sent a photo or anything,and he politely just told me that you hadn’t yet.if you were offended,then it was my fault (even thought i did mention that i wasn’t calling you a liar).

    i wasn’t trolling and i certainly am not stupid or arrogant enough to call someone i know nothing about a liar or a fraud.i respect your family as well and know that i do not have the right to pry into their private lives.

    but,since my comment’s were the source of the problems,I apologize to both Brett and Roy.sorry for any misunderstandings i might have caused.i’m just a curious kid,and Brett was nice enough to reply to my comments, that’s all.

    once again,i am really sorry for all of this.


    • Thanks for your response, Lucy.

      I’m sure that if Roy reads it, he’ll appreciate your apology and, hopefully, understand that it was all just a misunderstanding.

      Best wishes,

  14. and Brett,i see what you meant and totally agree with you about the pst case,jack never did try to make the victims unrecognizable.he never seemed to care too much about getting caught,all that mattered to him were the kills.

    thank you and take care.

  15. There are simply too main “coincidences” for things not to add up.

    Jacob Levy, out of all the suspects I have read and researched about, seems to fit the description like a glove! A man with a violent and turbulent mind, and with a disease known to attack the nervous system and alter people’s mind.

    A pig butcher (a pig’s anatomy is very, very similar to a human’s), who worked most of his life cutting up meat. Needless to say he was quite handy with the blade and had minimal knowledge of the human body.

    Lived in the area of the murders. The bloodied leather apron and the graffiti were discovered in the street parallel to where he lived.

    He was also related to Joseph Levy, according to our friend Roy. Roy, if you ever read this, know that no one doubts your words, you are a good person, but be careful on the amount of information you share on the Internet.

    I don’t believe we will ever find out who the Ripper was, but I’m fine with it, since his anonimisity is what makes this story that much more interesting. However, if we are to find likely suspects that can satisfy our unquenchable thirsty for the identity of Saucy Jack, then Jacob Levy may indeed be history’s arguably most infamous serial killer.

    • Many thanks for your thoughts.

      You’re right: while we all wonder who the Ripper was, deep down we don’t ever want to know, as then the mystery would end.


  16. I dont know if you have seen that?
    In the documentary, they said that Jacob Levy can be in the socialist club. If he was Holland jewish and butcher, I think no. Socialist or anarchist jewish in London were more polish or russian. IBut I think J.Levy can be JTR, because its logic and not fanstasm as doctor,conspirations etc… am french, so its difficult for me to write and to learn english, but I try!
    Thanks fot this interessing page.

    • No, I haven’t seen this particular documentary (and unfortunately I can’t watch it, as it appears it’s only the French version on Youtube).

      I’m glad you enjoy the site, and thanks for posting.

  17. In the documentary, she said, Mary Jane Kelly is not a victim of JTR because its not the same MO (for her…) But all pople in this documentary are agree that JTR is Jacob Levy ( They talk about connexion with joseph Levy, a butcher etc…)

    • I don’t agree with their conclusions regarding Kelly, but it’s interesting to hear they all think it was Levy. I wish I could watch this doco.

      Thanks for stopping by, Olivier.


  18. Before I cant read english books abour JTR, now yes. Not many books in french exist about JTR.
    A new french book by Paul Roland (Jack l’Eventreur, Editions Encore, 2012) speak about Jacob Levy as the “new” and the best suspect…


  19. Hi great site. I have followed the thread but have to say that i do not buy it. Jack might have been a local but i think that more people would have recogised him if he had lived so close. Imagine if you were to kill 5 people within a mile radius of where you live. People notice more than you think and you do not shit in your own backyard. I think the Kosminsky theory is too thin. My thought is that Jack must have had money. The women in the street all knew the score and i think that he might have been older than the standard coy of 25-40 years of age. There is one factor that i think is important. I think he had a hunter mentality. He was close to the prey but not to close. He kept throphies and was very quick. To me this appear to be planned. There is the drive and take off but it is under control.He is close to capture because he chooses to be just as he chose the hunting ground, He was a cold fish , i think he was out hunting utures. The best candidate still is Tumblety i gather.
    Have a good one .

    • Hi Jan,

      Thanks, glad you like the site. I of course still maintain that Jack was most likely a local; to escape after each murder without getting caught, through the labyrinthine alleys and streets of Whitechapel…I think he knew his way around. And with the severe overcrowding of the area, the grime and poverty choking the streets, I think Jack could have easily blended with the masses. I do agree with you that he had a hunter’s mentality, but I don’t think there was a great deal of planning involved. These smack to me of opportunistic killings: sure he wanted to kill, but only did so when the moment was ‘right’. I also don’t see why he had to have money. A small amount of change would be all he needed to posses in order to entice these desperate women to an out-of-the-way location.


    • Hi Jan ,
      Think you may have a point about living too close , however he would have had to travel somehow , either by coach or public transport . He would have had blood on him so even if he walked he would have risked people seeing him. It’s possible he wore a dark coat which he took off , did his deed , then covered himself again but that is all supposition. Today we have much smaller communities. People don’t realise the huge population in London at that time. It was possible to go about and not be known at all , even by neighbours , because people drifted from one rented place to another every few weeks or less ,especially if one was single.
      I think Tumblety was too old to be JtR. But that’s just my opinion.

  20. Just been reading all the posts. Jacob does sound a very likely suspect , and the syphilis could have been the motive behind the killings. There is very little said about ( or anything ) about Jacobs own father. If his own father had been the cause of the disease in the family I can see that being a reason for the vengeful attacks on women who potentially spread the disease. I think it highly unlikely that JtR would have used the services of these women. He only attacks prostitutes , his hatred of them is reflected in the savage attacks.
    I was interested in Roy’s claims that he is a descendant of Levy. I am curious why he mentions it at all if he is being so secretive about it. Nothing has been proved that Levy was JtR , the only ‘shameful’ thing that’s been established is that he was mad. People of that era did think it shameful , but so was contracting a venereal disease ( still is ). I don’t necessary doubt his claim but see no point in contributing to a forum like this unless you want to share.
    Of all the suspects listed here I think Levy is the most likely candidate. However , JtR may not be any of them. There were hundreds of thousands of people in London. Many of them diseased and some mad. It could have been anybody.
    We will never know now.

    • Hi Amanda,

      Although I lean towards Levy as being the most likely of all the suspects, ultimately I think the Ripper was an unknown person, someone we don’t know the name of and was, as you say, just one of the hundreds of thousands living in the East End at the time.


  21. Further, to my earlier post , I was just wondering about Joseph Levy and his description of the man he saw with one of the victims. It seems to me that had that man been his cousin he would have recognised him instantly and if he had wanted to protect him and his family he would have been vague about what he saw or given a false description,. Wouldn’t you agree ?

    • Hi Amanda,

      It’s certainly an issue when dealing with the Levy/Levy connection. Joseph was vague about what he saw that night – the police appeared to favour Lawende’s description – but if he did recognise his cousin, you would think he would have told the police. But who knows? What meant more to him – protecting his family, or stopping the brutal series of murders? Maybe his description at the inquest of the man he saw was his attempt at telling the truth without directly implicating his cousin.
      Or maybe it wasn’t Jacob and Joseph simply didn’t get much of a look at the man…

      So many questions, so little answers.


  22. Yes Tumblety was too old, too big and and too excantric to be JTR; I continue to tjink Jacob Levy coulb be JTR, juste because he was a simple man,

  23. Hi we know Joseph Levy – Jacob’s father didn’t have syphilis – he would likely have passed it on to Caroline and she onto her children, as we have followed through their family trees we can say that none of the descendants seemed to have congenital syphilis, in fact Jacob must have gotten it in adult hood as none of his children or his wife (Sarah) seemed to suffer from it.

    Joseph Hyam Levy – the witness – they were definitely cousins we have proved this through the family tree, he lived all his life in Middelsex Street and Hutchinson ave which was only the end of Middlesex street yet within 3 year (don’t know when exactly but in the 1891 census) he has sold his business and moved away, seems a little odd.

    Me personally – I don’t think Tumbelty makes a great suspect, like Brent I htink he needed to be local and opportunistic.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for this information regarding the Levy family.


  24. Sorry – Brett not Brent – can remember names from 120 years ago but not from 2 minutes ago apparently!

  25. Hi Brett,

    Just wondering if this site is still active as I am also of the belief that Jacob Levy was JTR and I have a further theory that supports this that I have yet to find on any JTR site.

    Kind Regards,

  26. Hi John,

    Yes, this site is still active. I’m interested in hearing your theory about Levy, if you’re happy to share.


  27. I am interested in hearing your theory too. For me JTR could be Jacob Levy.
    From France


  28. Thanks Brett, (& Olivier)

    I won’t reiterate what has already been stated in your excellent article Brett, just perhaps support it with a motive for Jacob Levy. My theory focuses only on the night of the double event and perhaps (only perhaps) supports the fact that there was more than one homicidal maniac stalking the streets of Whitechapel / Spitalfields. Certainly given the amount of suspects that both the police and subsequent Ripperologists have named, this supposition is feasible.

    In 1886, Jacob Levy was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for stealing meat from a fellow butcher, a Mr Hyman Sampson of 58 Goulston Street. (He was actually confined in Essex County asylum which supports the notion that already he was not of sound mind.)

    My theory is based on one of revenge. Jacob Levy, in his unbalanced state of mind must have hated Mr Sampson and what better way of satisfying his revenge but to frame Mr Sampson with those murders that had already (By Jacob Levys hand or otherwise) been committed. Revenge on the prostitue class that gave him syphillis would be ‘killing two birds with one stone’ so to speak

    I will begin (almost) at the end. For after the two murders, the words; The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing” were chalked in the doorway of 108 – 115 Wentworth Model Dwellings, in Goulston Street. This doorway is 2 doors away from 38 Goulston Street. Records show that Hyman Sampsons shop was at 58 Goulston Street, BUT, Goulston Street stops at NUMBER 50. There is not, nor ever was a 58. Perhaps, as has often happens in handwritten records 38 has been mistaken for 58!. In which case did Jacob Levy deliberately write the graffitti and leave the bloodstained apron piece adjacent to his accuser’s business to direct the police towards him.

    And to the word ‘Juwes’ which has baffled us all. Well this isnt the strongest part of my theory but if we look at the Jewish alphabet we find that the letter for B could be mistaken for an English J. The letter for the sound T looks like an English U. The single Jewish letter for the sound CH looks like an English W. The E & S in ‘Juwes’ I cannot account for but could the word JUWes be a deliberately cryptic English/Jewish reference which sounds like B(u)TCH(es) in Yiddish deliberately aimed at the nearest butcher, Hyman Sampson.

    This MAY have been the case but given that no photograph was taken of the graffiti before it was washed off we will never know whether the letters JUW read in poor light and written down by the Constable were actually Jewish letters mistaken for English by a policeman unfamiliar with Jewish text.

    And so to the murders themselves, having been disturbed in Berner Street perhaps Jacob Levy believed that his plan to frame Hyman Sampson would not work when no mutilation had taken place and the murder may not be linked to the other 2 (or more) previous victims. Therefore having made his escape through the streets Westwards past the bottom of Leman Street (to avoid the police station), he proceeded up Minories to Aldgate where he and Catherine Eddowes had their fatal meeting.

    Following her murder, and leaving Mitre Square he crossed Hounsditch, and proceeded the short distance along Stoney Lane to Middlesex St. Taking the bloody piece of apron (The only time ‘Jack’ took and left a clue perhaps suggesting a different culprit) he walked round the corner to Goulston Street and left his framing evidence and message. It was then a one minute retrack half way along New Goulston St to the back alley to the rear of Middlesex St and to his home at number 36.

    Two more miscellaneous facts relating to the case against Jacob Levy. The first is that one of the detectives at the scene of Catherine Eddowes murder DC Halse stated at the Eddowes inquest that he proceeded to Middlesex Street. Why specifically Middlesex Street?

    And finally we have the evasiveness of Joseph Levy (Formerly also of 36 Middlesex St) who I believe was Jacob Levy’s cousin. It has always been believed that this man, one of the few who alledgedly saw ‘Jack’ wouldn’t identify him as he was a fellow Jew or because of family ties. Well family ties may certainly have been the case because the meaning of the Jewish word Levy is ‘joining’ i.e. togetherness.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see what other readers think of this additional theory to the case against Jacob Levy.

    Kind Regards

  29. Hi John – great theory – I had a similar one myself (although not half as in-depth as yourself.) It did cross my mind the apron (and graffiti if you believe jtr left it) were left there because of Hyman. This is round the area his butcher shop may have been before he moved to Middlesex Street (It was demolished to make way for Wentworth Buildings. Also in 1888 Jacob’s brother was living ……In Wentworth buildings (albeit the flats next door but not too much of a stretch.)

    Also one point that would work against your theory is that Hyman dies 2nd April 1887 – but still some great work there :0)

  30. Thanks Tracy. I didnt know that Hyman had died n 87 so I guess that blows that one out of the water. But hitting a dead end can be part of the intrigue.

    Im not a particularly big believer in the supernatural but I was working in London before Xmas and made a late night visit to Whitechapel. Following a pint in the Ten Bells I went to Mitre Square and sat on the seats that mark the spot where Catherine Eddowes was murdered and in the silence in the dark square I swear I heard a woman sigh behind me. At the same time I felt extremely dizzy. Imagination? Most probably, but still a weird experience.

    I’m back in London in a fortnight so no doubt I’ll be paying another night visit to Spitalfields!

  31. I am french, so I read books in english (about JTR, zulu war, ACW etc ) but its difficult for me to write english..so excuse me.
    For me the graffiti was just by an unfortunate fate. I think nevertheless that Joseph LevY recognized a member of his family with Eddowes. However I do not think that JTR / Jacob Levy have killed Stride; she was assaulted by her ancient bf (I think).
    I do not think either than Jacob Levy if he had been JTR acted out of revenge. The strongest reason which persuades me that it is him, it is that there is neither vengeance, neither plot, nor frenzy, just a man unbalanced in one city or reigned the poverty and the daily madness.

    • Well my revenge theory hit a dead end with the 1887 death of Hyman Sampson. In the words of Fred Aberline; “Back to square one, Godley” 🙂

  32. Hi John

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ;0) however even though your idea hit a dead end, I thought your research into it was well thought out. It is also sometimes a good idea to look out of the box, otherwise we all just go over the same information all the time.

  33. I had the good fortune of working in London yesterday and decided to walk the distances between 36 Middlesex St (as was) and various points of interest. The pace I followed was brisk but not so to raise suspicion as you would imagine the murderer would have employed.

    Just thought these may be of interest to those leaning towards Jacob Levy.

    From 36 Middlesex Street:

    To Bucks Row (Durward Street) <18 mins
    To Hanbury Street < 9mins
    To Millers Court / Dorset St (as was)< 5 mins
    To Berner St (Henriques St) < 9 mins

    Berner St to Mitre Square (westwards then up Minories to Aldgate)
    <14 mins

    Mitre Square to Wentworth Dwellings, Goulston Street <5 mins

    Wentworth Dwellings back to 36 Middlesex Street <2 mins.

    Also at a more leisurely pace, the route of Catherine Eddowes from Bishopsgate police station down Houndsditch to Mitre square took <8 mins.

    While my initial theory of revenge by Jacob Levy on his former employer, Hyman Sampson was dead ended by the death of Sampson in 1887, may I resurrect it with the possibility that Levy was trying to perhaps frame Sampsons son(s) (if he had any) or a former colleague depending on who gave the damning evidence at his theft trial.

    Interestingly while 36 Middlesex was demolished and only numbers 38 to 50 on this block still exist, the number 36 is now bizarrely applied to the 16 flats that are situated above numbers 38 to 44.

    Hope this info may help.

    • Thanks for posting this information, John. Most fascinating and helpful. It’s always surprising how close all the murders were to one another (and particularly how quick the walk from Wentworth to Middlesex would have been).

    • Hi, Bit of a long reply, sorry !
      Wentworth Street runs off of Middlesex Street, if you look on an old picture you will see that Barnet’s (butchers) was directly opposite W/street and either side of the shop were Stoney Lane and Gravel Lane with short cuts between them. The side of Wentworth Street, to the East of Commercial Street was known as IRISH Wentworth Street and still is by us Old(ish) ones. If you were to walk, say from Bishopsgate to Mitre Square today and you were able to remember the short cuts that were around in the 1940’s/50’s. and still exist, I am pretty sure it could be done in 4 mins (give of take a little). One of the short cuts that still exists and a great one is almost beside Dirty Dicks in Bishopsgate it’s Catherine-Wheel-Alley it runs to Middlesex street and come out almost opposite Frying Pan Alley. From Bishopsgate police station if you turned left into New Street and went straight ahead (under the arch) to Cutlers Gardens you, if you knew the short cuts hit Houndsditch in 2-3 mins at my pace even with my *^”-: hips. My brothers and I plus some remaining Clan members may on a good day be able to cut some seconds off the time taken.
      I, having been BRUNG up in the area and going to school in Dukes Place, Sir John Cass Foundation School for Girls and Boys, Cass’s for short, which backs onto Mitre Square I remember the years after WW2 when a lot of the square mile had been destroyed and if you were local you would have known how to save time going from A to B. My point is that a Local person in the late 19th century would take a lot less time as there were so many alleyways etc. to use which no longer exist.
      As a foot note my Mum and Dad were married in the Great Synagogue in Duke Place (Backs on to M/Sq.) a few years before WW2, it was destroyed by a bombing raid in war but as kids we used to play in the remains of the Synagogue and we could not get into trouble playing in that or any other bomb-sites.

      Please feel free to ask about the area from the 1940’s until today. .
      Regards, Roy.
      ps. in my words, Fings aint wot they was like in da good ol days….

      • Thanks Roy, I would agree that old existing short cuts would cut down the time from Bishopsgate to Mitre Square. Also I think my timing from Bucks Row to Middlesex Street could probably be cut down to less than quarter of an hour.

  34. Thanks Brett – The convenience to Levy of the short walk from Wentworth Dwellings back to 36 Middllesex St is that half of it would have been in the pitch darkness of the alley from New Goulston to the rear of his home. Unfortunately this alley no longer exists as it is the modern entrance to flats.

    Yes I was surprised that even the furthest murder was as near timewise as it was and given the alley ways that existed then that no longer exist today was probably shorter and would have provided more cover of darkness than nowadays.

    And of course if we include the murder of Martha Tabram into the list of victims, like Mitre Square and Milers Court this location would be less than 5 minutes from his home.

    Definitely Jacob Levy for me.

  35. Also I was puzzled as to why the number 36 had been applied to the flats above the shop numbers 38 to 44 and wondered whether the number had been preserved for some hidden reason. Therefore I performed a land registry search to determine the owning company of the property freehold and in turn a company directors search to determine whether (an extreme longshot) the name Levy would come up but unfortunately this drew a blank.

    Kind Regards

    • Hi, in the old days surnames were changed to avoid the anti-Semitism and still are today. The funny thing is a have a great friend who changed his name to Cohen. he is from the west indies, we have bee best mates for nearly 40 years

      • I thought it was a long shot, just tried to look at things from a different angle. A great shame that family names should be changed because of Anti Semitism. We have a large Jewish community here in the north east, and thankfully we have no such problems to my knowledge. Indeed, my elderly mother always says that that the Jewish family that she worked for back in the 1950s were the nicest employers she ever had.

  36. A compelling and convincing case Brett & had it not been for the Diary, I’d have sided on Levy bring the strongest of suspects.

    • Thank you. Levy’s certainly an interesting chap, that’s for sure.

      Take care,

  37. First off i think this site is really interesting and i find all the facts on Levy intriguing and compelling. I watch videos and read articles on the JTR case all the time…and now beleve that Levy is the most likely of all suspects. I used to always find suspects who thanks to litriture or videos cause them to stand out until you hear new facts that disprove their case. There is a video for example on you tube that make FrancisTumblety seem likely..

    1.Tumblety fits many requirements of what we now know as the ‘serial killer profile.’ He had a supposed hatred of women and prostitutes (the abortion with the prostitute Dumas, his alleged failed marriage to an ex-prostitute, his collection of uteri, etc.)

    2.Tumblety was in London at the time and may indeed have been the infamous ‘Batty Street Lodger’ — he therefore may have had fair knowledge of the East End environs.

    3.Tumblety may have had some anatomical knowledge, as inferred by his collection of wombs, his ‘medical’ practice, and his short-term work with Dr. Lispenard in Rochester.

    4.There were no more murders after he fled England on the 24th November, if one counts only the canonical five murders.

    5.Tumblety had the wealth necessary for frequent travel and could afford to change his clothes frequently should they have become bloodstained.

    6.according to the video I watched he was named by a top handwriting expert as the 1 who wrote the “FROM HELL” letter…according to her…GUARENTEED. And she also beleved that the from hell letter was from the killer due to the way he writes ect…

    So yeah..for a while i thought after watching…surely that could be him…

    …but i cant get past the great big mistache and tall (5ft 9/5ft 10) lanky frame, as well as his american accent.

    All that would make him stick out like a sore thumb. So…no..i dont think its him now, plus hies to old….maybe he hoaxed the “from hell” letter..part of him felt happy that these women he hated were being killed and decided to write a letter as 1 of the hoaxers to somehow be apart of it..the 1 with the kidney..he collected organs..im sure he had a kidney somewhere…maybe 1 with brights desease possibly…i dont know.

    Personally i dont think any of the letters were from the killer…and with all the hoax letters he wouldnt be getting the attention he wanted…so he would or could have easily left the letters in pockets of the victims and that way ensure to the police it was really from him.

    Ok back to Jacob Levy…he seems to me the obvious candidate. The only things against his case are small and possibly explainable unlike others..the fact he was local made it easier for him to escape, possibly he knew the victims all as i beleve he could have been seeing prostites regularly, until he caught syphilis, passed it on to kids ect then when the illness set in he started to go deranged, and of course wanted revenge, angry, probably thought about it a while…the victims however knew him and would trust him enough to say..be a good client….not anymore…i always wondered.He hated prostitutes all together and wanted to get rid of them…destroy them like they destroyed him and his kids..

    i always wondered which prositite he caught it off? He was never fully able to act out what he wanted to do, little time ect..until he saw his chance with his possibly last victim…mary Jane Kelly when he got to fully exact it.

    Also what would he have been wearing? A butchers Apron? long coat? the way he killed would have probably minimized the blood he got on him..but not all of it..so i was thinking he had an apron to put over his coat while he did each kill..then remove it.

    Also i was thinking of Israel Schwartz’ statment where he witnessed a man attacking stride pushing her down. she screamed 3 times and Schwartz crossed over and saw the other man smoking a pipe. The man that pushed down stride called out lipski only to then have the other man follow him so he ran.

    Was this man assaulting stride Levy?..Lipski is jewish i beleve giving weight that the killer was possibly a jew. Was the other man another relative that was involved? Schwartz described the 1st man who threw her down as being about 30,about 5ft 5…so not far off 5ft 3, full face, broad shouldered, dress, dark jacket & trousers black cap with peak, had nothing in his hands.
    Second man age 35 ht. 5 ft 11in. comp. fresh, hair light brown, moustache brown, dress dark overcoat, old black hard felt hat wide brim, had a clay pipe in his hand. Schwartz was found to be a credible witness by police.

    Maybe the 2 men were not together at all but for some reason he THOUGHT they were when he follwed him. If the other man wasnt with the guy assaulting her…why did he not come forward with a testimony?
    Possibly another theory is that stride was killed by someone else…an ex possibly. and Levy killed the rest? Or whoever it was assaulted her…left..then she was killed by the lurking killer in the shadows seconds minutes later. Maybe the killer came to her defence and then she trusted the man to walk her home…and she was killed. hmm

    Im no major history buff unfortunatly..but i do have a really keen interest on the jack the ripper case…its part of history and its a mystery that still teases people now. But with everything you have said on here Brett i do feel that Levy has so much potential to be jack the ripper…of course theres always questions hanging somewhere.

    After watching tv shows such as bones i always wondered if the bones of any of the victims could tell us things like bones that it couldnt a long time ago. But anyway, i am finding this website very interesting and will continue reading.

    • Hello, David,

      Many thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to share your thoughts on my site.

      With regards to Tumblety and suspects in general: I don’t consider him a likely candidate (as you can see by my page on the man), but you definitely need to be careful when reading/watching anything that puts forth one particular suspect as being the Ripper. Most of the time the author/s will omit pertinent details regarding the case, or skim over certain facts while highlighting others that better help their case. As a result, you come away certain that the particular suspect is the Ripper, only to be convinced once again next time you read/watch another work. I always treat suspect-based books/docos with a healthy dose of scepticism and know going in that the author/s will be trying their hardest to convince me that their conclusions are correct, when in truth there’s no answer to this Victorian riddle and everything after the basic facts of the case is just assumption.

      I agree with you about the letters: I don’t believe any were written by the killer, either. As a long-shot, maybe the From Hell letter, but that’s certainly open to doubt.

      However, not sure I agree with you with regards to Levy’s motives (if he was the Ripper, of course). I tend to believe that the Ripper chose prostitutes simply because they were easy targets; they were lonely, lost women who would willingly go with a stranger to a dark corner, and not because of any great need for vengeance. Generally speaking, I don’t think you can ascribe any ‘normal’ motives to serial killers: they have mental problems, and while their reasons may seem normal or justified in their own minds, to the outside world, these motivations would appear nonsensical. I think the Ripper had a great need to commit murder, had a fascination/fear of women, and the easiest way to fulfil these sick fantasies was to pick victims that proved easy prey. Perhaps he did contract syphilis from a street-walker, and maybe that was a part of his anger/madness, but I personally don’t see it as his driving factor in cutting up innocent females.

      As for his clothes. Naturally, it’s hard to say for certain. I think your suggestions are sensible: either a butcher’s apron (that way, if stopped on the streets, he could say he was just heading home from work, as it would be fairly common to see butchers/slaughtermen on the streets bloodied from work), or a long coat, which would help in concealing any blood. Remember, the area was ill-lit during the Ripper’s reign, and so spotting blood on clothing (especially if the person was wearing dark clothes) would have been difficult, and then with a long dark coat…

      With regards to Stride’s murder, I wrote at length about it under the ‘Victims’ section here on the site, and so if you’re inclined, you can read about my thoughts there.

      All the best,

    • .Ok back to Jacob Levy…he seems to me the obvious candidate. The only things against his case are small and possibly explainable unlike others..the fact he was local made it easier for him to escape, possibly he knew the victims all as i beleve he could have been seeing prostites regularly, until he caught syphilis, passed it on to kids ect then when the illness set in he started to go deranged, and of course wanted revenge, angry, probably thought about it a while…the victims however knew him and would trust him enough to say..be a good client….not anymore…i always wondered.He hated prostitutes all together and wanted to get rid of them…destroy them like they destroyed him and his kids..

      In Reply.
      Hi, G/G J. did frequent the areas of Ladies of the Night and he did use the services on offer. He did have a transmitted disease but as far as I know the one that killed him was not passed on, however it’s not a subject that would be discussed now-days, so the clan members would , in my words, Keep Very Shtoom.

      • Appreciate your comments, Roy. Some very interesting information.


  38. Thanks for the reply Brett, its always nice to talk about things with someone who clearly knows their stuff. As i said your site is great and has good facts and knoledge and of course very intresting 😉

    ok soo..

    I think it could be possible then Jacob Levy always had a sick fantasy about these acts, but could control it enough not to act on it and simply used his butchery job to vent out these fantasies…he MAY have still visited prostitutes and knew them well, was a good client say ect and so they trusted him and felt comfortable.He probably always seemed completly normal.

    Even though he was married they may have had problems in the relationship. when he contracted his condition things could have changed at that point, as it really affected him. Thats when he possibly couldnt control his urges any longer. Some of his anger towards prostitues giving him the conditon(if they did) could have simply made it alot easier for him to act out his fantasies which potentially were always there…maybe voices he apparently heard(if he really did)could have been telling him they deserved it, and so made it easier to let down the walls and finally act out what he had thought of for so long.

    They were easy targets as you say and he knew they would trust him if he knew them before hand.

    Even though risks were involved the desire outweighed them and did what he did regardless. Apprently a few sightings from witnesses stated they saw a man with a package, maybe for the organs to go in,,,or he had his apron in there possibly.

    with Stride i read on another site it said that there were mints in a tissue in her hand but some were spilled upon the floor. Also her 1 hand was bloodied and was against her chest, possibly indicating that she used her hand against her slit throat..which would also mean she was conscious when attacked. (So different from what you have said, not that i beleve your statment of the facts is wrong) I personally am unsure anymore of the exact facts when i find different even the crime scenes facts slightly different on different sites.

    However..i dont beleve i read anything about defence wounds on theirs as you stated on yours and feel compelled to beleve the account that you say. i beleve its possible that people add their own facts or missread or misinterpret things like with chinese whispers.

    1 explination(not 100% sure but an idea) was that she was getting assauted by someone who wasnt the ripper…the guy seen by scwartz. and the real killer came to her defence scaring away the attacker. At this point she could trust him to walk her home, of course she offered him her services and they went in the quiet corner..completly unaware of an attack from her rescuer. Thats just 1 possibly theory.

    I agree with everything you say about stride pretty much too, he diddnt finish and was disturbed or scared away so moved onto another victim where he could do more of what he wanted..an area not to near to where he killed stride, he probably saw that as to much of a risk.

    Also would Jacob Levy be able to convince his victims he was sane when he wasnt? Also was he well enough to possibly plan or plot how to kill the victims evading blood splatter. Just wondered

    You mentioned the killer could have been right handed too in the stride segment…was Jacob Levy right handed or is that unknown?
    Also i heards that jack the ripper stole a ring or something from 1 of the victims…possibly as a trophy. if it was true was that ring ever found or mentioned? If that was a true fact then the ring being found at someones place or a box in a particular household would probably give away jack the rippers identity.

    Another idea is that the killer had multiple personalities, So if it say was Levy…those 2 years after the last killing where he diddnt…possibly could have meant the other personality wasnt taking over…but hey..thats a total longshot i thought id just mention :p

    I actually live in Birmingham in the UK…yet have never been to the killing parts of London…i think its time…1 of the days i go visit…have a look..maybe do 1 of the tours.

    • Levy was poor if he took the ring he would sell it. Even the ring didint have much value.

    • Hi David,

      Yes, always good to talk with another Ripper-enthusiast 🙂

      With respect to the motives of the Ripper (Levy???), it’s impossible to know, and of course it’s all just conjecture, but I essentially agree with you: I think that the need to murder and mutilate was deep inside him, he needed to commit these atrocious acts, and if he happened to contract a venereal disease from a prostitute, then yes, I agree, that may have added fuel to the blood-fire, but I don’t think it’s the sole reason for him committing the murders.

      As for Stride – I’ve never read any official reports about any cachous spilled on the ground, they only ever mention the packet clenched in her hand. From what I remember, any mention of them on the ground is generally considered a result of a policeman ripping the pack open when taking it from Stride’s hand, causing some mints to fall on the ground. What site did you read about the cachous?
      As for her bloodied hand – yes, one interpretation is that she raised her hand to her throat whilst her life slipped away, but that doesn’t contradict my conclusions (of course she was conscious when attacked…unless she was passed out drunk in the yard…;-)); if anything, it supports my theory of a sudden, unprovoked attack. She’s holding the packet of cachous in her hand, presumably about to pop one in her mouth, and then her attacker grabs her scarf, pulls it tight around her neck and runs the knife along her throat as he lowers her to the ground (or cuts her throat once he has her on the ground). She’s bleeding but still conscious and, naturally, she touches a hand to her injury, but soon after passes away…
      And yes, it’s possible that the Ripper came to her rescue, posing as a good Samaritan after her assault, and once they were in a dark place, he struck.

      I don’t think the Ripper would have appeared insane; that is, a drooling maniac brandishing a knife. I’m sure he came across fairly normal and ordinary. And remember, these were desperate women in hard times, dealing with a lot of rough, criminal class, and so I doubt they would have been too picky with who they accompanied to a dark corner to engage in nefarious activities.

      No, as far as I’m aware, there’s been no mention of whether Levy was right or left handed.

      Yes, some cheap brass rings were taken from Chapman, probably as trophies, but as far as I know they were never found and I doubt they would be identifiable today as Chapman’s rings – they were probably the kind you could buy at any barrow or pawn shop for next to nothing, just generic rings that were as common as mud.

      I would dearly love to one day travel to London and visit Whitechapel. One day, one day…

      Good talking with you.


  39. Also do you think that Tabram could possibly have been the rippers 1st victim? She was a prostitute, was killed in a poorly lit area with no witnesses like the others, and was found on her back in a sexual postion with her lower body exposed. She was killed between 2am and 3am, which is around the same kind of times the rippers victims, also her killer was never caught…which could cause someone to ask…whats to stop this killer not killing again?

    Also its pretty near to middlesex street where jacob Levy, (potentially a dangerous and insane man) lived who walked about regularly. If Levy was the ripper he may want to start more locally…knowing he can get back to safety.

    The only thing is she wasnt actually opened up…just stabbed 39 times…but if this was the rippers first kill he may have been finding his feet/confidence building even and finding out that just stabbing her wasnt enough. Anyway just more theories.

    • Yes, I do strongly suspect that Tabram was a Ripper victim. Sure there are differences in the signature (stabbing rather than ripping), but the M.O. is the same, and, as you say, she was a prostitute viciously killed in the early hours, in a dark place, with no/very little noise and no evidence left behind. I tend to see it as an early and possibly abortive Ripper murder: that is, he had it in his mind to kill and mutilate her, but something spooked/surprised him and he panicked, stabbing her over and over again with a mixture of fear (of getting caught) and anger (over whatever it was that surprised him, and of the murder not going to plan).

      I could go into much greater detail about Tabram’s murder and why I lean towards her being a Ripper victim, but there’s far too much to write about. Maybe one day, I’ll write up a page for poor Martha here on my site.


  40. oh and diddnt have her throat cut which is the rippers primary M.O in the others. But it could have been his learning curve possibly.

    • She didn’t have her throat cut, but there were, from memory, nine stabs to her throat, which do indicate a definite interest/concentration to that area: perhaps she made a sound, cried out after the initial blitz attack (the Ripper thinking she was dead or at the very least unconscious), which caused the Ripper to panic as I mentioned above, and stabbed at her throat in an attempt to silence her. Just a theory, and, as you say, perhaps a learning curve: the next time, to make sure the victim didn’t make any noise, he cut her throat…


  41. jacob Levy must have had a client list or even stock list ect possibly in a book or something at his place of work which would have had his writing in. Would be great to find something like that to get analysed, and possibly even find out if he was right or left handed. I suppose they were lost when his place of work was demolished. 😦

    cant remember which information site it was that read that about the cachous but if i come across it again ill send the link. I look at a lot of sites…just for….jollys :p there seems to different or more information on 1 site that say isnt on others.

    apparently When Catharine Eddowes was taken to Bishopsgate Police Station, she gave her name as “Nothing”? If thats correct then could there be a chance that the juwes message was a cryptic message? How did she afford all the drink to get drunk?

    The site i got that from was from


    this person also assumes that flowers were left with pinned to her dress.

    He seems to indicate that the ripper was buying her drinks…then agreeing to meet up with her later. It doesnt seem like the creeping about jack we know but if as you say if he was most likly considered normal..then he would or could have been in the pub socializing as normal people would, blending in. Buying her drinks would be another good way to buy trust and a rapport with her. Shame pepper spray was invented in the 1800’s though.

    have you seen the doccumentary called jack the ripper the definitive story?
    Its 1 of the better doccumentarys and doesnt have someone dictating who he thinks or knows is jack the ripper at you using a case built with wafer thin facts.
    It just seems to focus on the facts as they are and what happened combined with comuter reconstructions of whitechapel and how it was then..poorly lit ect its really good if you havent seen it.

    this 2nd link is to a 23 minute doccumentary backing up the claim that Jacob Levy was in fact possibly he ripper..though the end i dont agree with…as it says that the ripper diddnt do the last act (mary jane Kelly)

    Im currently looking at a message board with an apparent face reconstruction of MJK..what she would have looked like ect. Always interesting.

    • Yes, I have seen The Definitive Story, and as far as Ripper docos are concerned, it’s one of the better ones out there.

      I hadn’t seen the second doco, though, so thanks for the link. Some inaccuracies, and like you, I don’t agree with Pat Brown’s conclusions regarding Kelly.


  42. thats part 2 of jack the ripper the difinitive story so you can watch both on here if you havent seen it.

  43. Hope when you get my messages you dont think..ugh not him again haha… just wondered though, what with you being a writer, have you ever written or thought about writing your own jack the rippr novel…as to what happened and who it was ect? If you ever did id most certainly read it. I have a friend i talk to all the time who wrote a novel on jack the ripper called pierce ackles and the leather apron, D.B Harrop…i often talk to her about ideas who jtr really was too.

    • Hi David,

      No, not at all! I’m thankful people like the site and like discussing all things Ripper 🙂

      Yes, I hope to one day write a Ripper novel (or two…). I’ve written a few Ripper-related short stories, but there are some ideas for longer works that are itching to be written.


  44. I am a descendant of Jacob (grt grandson) grandson of Lewis levy his son. As far as I am aware there was no indication of any congenital disease in our family. The proof for Jacob is rather circumstantial but I will need so more time to look at the medical reports concerning syphillis.

    • Hello Mark,

      Welcome and thanks for your post. Of course, there’s no disrespect meant towards you and your family. Jacob is merely a person of interest with regards to this whole Ripper saga. I welcome your thoughts and feel free to continue to post here if desired.


  45. Of course, i didn’t assume any disrespect as far as I can see this is an academic discussion only, after all most of the “proof” of any of the candidates is supposition. I will follow all of this with interest in future. It certainly is a good story to tell my children.

  46. Mark i was wondering if you know if “Roy” the guy above who also claims to be a desendant is known to you?

    Also i did find this very interesting blog with details regarding Jacob and his asylum records.




    • Well if it is the Mark that I know then he will know who I am (Hi “W”) For many years the subject of MY GREAT GRANDFATHER Jacob was, in my words, changed in details to suit different members of the family including the storey that he passed away in Prison. I know what I know. I know where his remains are but I have not even told my closest family (including my remaining Son) where he is.
      A sprinkling of earth from G/G’ma S grave has be spread where he is resting and vice-versa (so Sue me) I have no regrets about this.
      G/G Jacob was Blood Family and he must be allowed to Rest In Peace. I will never reveal any of the details that I have about him, no matter who wants to know
      I have not posted on this site for some time as I sometimes wondered why outsiders think they know all the answers.
      Call me very Rude, well yes I am, I came across the truth about my G/G J, by chance about eight years ago and although I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, I know that it could have been G/G J, but we will never know or will we.
      Being Fick, my spelling aint wot it should be, apologieeeees. <{:o)
      Roy. (son of P)
      ps. I will not accept any Ranting from my so called blood family (excluding, RB. RM. AI.) if the rest don't like it TOUGH. If you don't like the truth then go bury you head in sand and carry on believing what you want.
      pps tomorrow will soon be yesterday, its only then that we will know what happened tomorrow. rg(i)

  47. Since I left London in 1977 I have lost contact with much of my extended family. There may be a clue in there that this person is related but who knows, maybe if they contact me directly. I have no idea about this far back on my Levy side. I will be looking into this next time I visit asking around my surviving relatives etc. but as I stated earlier, I really do see all this as an academic exercise (how could it be anything but?) as an academic myself I do find it interesting but I certainly do not take it as personally as Roy above.

    • I only know of One living member of the Family who still lives in Central London, . If you are who you say you are you would know that. my Own Family (3) no longer live in London.. If you are an Academic then you should know that it is a subject that still hurts some of the Clan, No one knows who killed these unfortunate women all those years ago. but it’s over and if you are who you say you are, the BIG clue is in my last reply, only blood family would know that. I take it 100% personally due to the fact that some members of the Clan have known for may years about the circumstances of G/G J’s illness and subsequent passing but they still lied to me about his problems, that’s why I am not a happy R (x) G.. (formally I)
      To those non (L) family members of this forum who find my remarks offensive I say sorry, to blood family especially one small branch, I say thanks for bending the truth to some other branches.
      I will now go back to my own little world knowing what I know is 100% Kosher.
      ps. if life after death does exist, then “DIGA” give my LUV to everyone and a special hug to G/G J.


      the ranting of one very sincere clan member are now over.
      OK nurse, just one more tablet then.

  48. If you dont wish to disclose any of your family information that is completely your decision and your right. I assure you you dont need to keep comfirming that, you made it clear..and thats fine. However this site that Brett has created is for enthusiasts alike is to simply talk and discuss anything relating to the jack the ripper case. Even 125 years later and the case still enthrawls many people from over the world.
    May i ask Roy what made you decide to comment on the site if you diddnt want to share any imformation?

    Also you have mentioned about peoples scepticism of whether your telling the truth. tbh i dont know 100% if you are or are not…but i think its only natural to do especially since the entire jack the ripper case has been drenched in scepticism for a long time, from the mass of apparent hoax letters to the jack the ripper diary, to suspects and theories that have been concocted over the past 125 years. So without any genuine evidence, (just like with the letters, the diary and many suspects) we can only go on words, and from you unnecessary angry ones at that.



    • (May i ask Roy what made you decide to comment on the site if you diddnt want to share any imformation.)

      Hi Dexter, I made my comments to try and put to others how I felt about finding out about my G/G J’s life and passing. I know that many people claim to be who they are just to get attention, well I am ME and if any true clam members visit this site they will see things written that mean nothing to anyone outside the Family and I have succeeded in getting the attention of some Levy Clan members.
      I am angry but not with you or anyone from outside the clan, I have the knowledge that I know the truth about — My Great Grand-Poppy, Jacob Levy, he did not pass away in a prison, he was unwell when he passed and my hope is that one day we will all be together.
      One more Question, Who Was the murderer of these poor women. only they and the murderer know or has it been hushed up to keep the Peace.
      . Shalom…… there is but one God, we just pronounce his name is different ways.

  49. Mark: I appreciate your understanding. Putting aside Jacob’s place in Ripper history, your ancestors still lived in a most fascinating time and place. I love reading about Victorian England generally almost as much as I do the Ripper specifically.

    Dexter: appreciate the support, and I echo your sentiments.

    Roy: hello again.


    • Hello Brett, no offence meant mate, just angry with some who still don’t know what happened with Jacob Levy ( My blood).
      Something has happened in the past few months that has opened a very big can of worms and even I have had to apologise to one clan member for what this person found out about JL.
      In my words the Fan is still being cleared of something that hit it
      My Very Best Regards, Roy.
      ps. Clue to the Clan: PUB

  50. hi
    the suspect probably had fair hair. Do Juwes, Levys have fair hair?? I dont know any.

  51. Fair hair, could be Grey Hair. In the darkness of those days, fair/grey hair looked about the same especially as the street lights were the Gas type..
    No offence meant but it’s spelt: Jews as in ME.
    We still have some GAS lamps in a certain part of central London and it’s O-so-nice to walk around the area at night.

    • You’re right, hard to be certain of hair colour in the dim lighting of the area, and then with the added distortion from the gas lamps…and Levy did only say fair complexion, he didn’t mention the hair colour, so the gent might have had red hair.

      I would dearly love to walk around the gas-lit areas of London at night, soak up the atmosphere.

    • no offence, JTR taught me how to spell 😀
      What about the 3rd victim (Stride) that the attacker shouted “Lipski” to the man that was passing by during the attack. Jacob totally going against his society?? I guess that’s possible considering the frantic state he must be in. +the writings on the wall. Idont get it if he shouted that he is either in rage with the Jewish communitiy or it was tactical so that the witness surely woudn’t think a Jew would say that, or it was another man.Then again the writing on the wall is also against the blame of the Jews or isn’t it?
      thanks for reading 🙂

      • I know this might not be a very credible source, but from the game ‘Sherlock Holmes vs JTR’, Sherlock claims that Jacob must have had something against his fellow Jews since he was shunned upon by the community for being involved with prostitutes and for stealing meat. I think the community was very close knit and strongly frowned upon such things.The writing on the wall can be interpreted as the Jews are to be blamed for everything. The game actually makes a very plausible case against him, it even makes a connection between where Jacob lived and the locations of the double event.

      • It’s certainly possible; the game probably makes a more compelling and logical case than many of the published Ripper books. I don’t personally believe, however, that the Ripper wrote the graffiti in Goulston St.

  52. Hi The walk from the Old Bucks Row (long gone) to Middlesex Street via the old road lay-outs would take no more than 8-9 min’s walking briskly, as it could be done in a straight line, if a sort of slow running (jogging) it would be a minimum of about 6-7mins min’s.
    There are still many short cuts known only to the local residents and if I walked it now ( with my old hips) it would take no longer than 10-12mins.
    By the way, we are talking about my old play areas in the 1940’s and 50’s

    • I agree Roy, the timings I took were based on current street layout and certainly weren’t done on a jog with these old knees either!. There was a contemporary police report / statement I read somewhere that matched my 8 minute timing on the route from Bishopsgate to Church Passage. walking left outside the station directly down to Houndsditch which was the direction the station officer observed Catherine Eddowes take. But the police timing would have been based on the leisurely ‘plod’ pace of the patrolling officer or unsteady stumbling of a tipsy woman.

  53. We know that he died from complicación of syphilis, so he might not be able to “operante” for health reasons. That could be a reason for the eighten months gap

    Another interesting point is that the murderer cut the neck of the victims and then starts the evisceration; just as an slaughtermen does.

    The cut to remove the intestines of the victims was performed alongside. That is the normal procedure to eviscerate a carcasa.

  54. I recently watched a doccumentary called “the missing evidence” which to me has given the most compelling and convicing theory yet pointing the finger at apparent witness “Charles Allen Lechmere” who was left with polly nicholls body longer than he says and its seems to prove he lied about his name and the time he spent with the body. Then theres facts about the blood pooling. Just wondered what you thought about it all?

    • Hi David I don’t believe this is a great find as presented without a lot more evidence. The he lied about and gave the Police was Charles Allen Cross. Cross was his step fathers name, who had lived with him since the age of 9. He also gave his place of work, Pickford’s so it isn’t like the Police would have had a hard time finding him given he used his own first and middle names, his stepfathers last name and his place of work. Also as to the murders he can only be tied to Polly – as a witness – there is no connection in any way to any other Jtr murders. Also he apparently went on from the mutilation of Mary Kelly to live a normal if not successful life for another 30 odd year?! So for me personally I don’t see him as a likely suspect.

  55. Well I agree fully, I think having been a butcher and already had a criminal past, he is most definitely a very very very very good suspect, and I’m in a butcher family myself so I know a butcher when I see one

  56. Great forum.
    I actually came to find out about Jacob Levy from the Sherlock Holmes game and to me, he seems to be the most likely suspect. I was just surprised because his candidacy as JTR doesn’t seem to be taken too seriously, even in light of all the facts that go against him.
    Previously, I had always suspected a meat carter by the name of Charles Lechmere after watching a very riveting BBC documentary about him but he seemed to have too normal a life to commit such atrocities.

    • Hi Kin,

      Yes, Levy remains a strong candidate, one of the strongest, imo. I think the reason he’s not not as well-known is because he’s too ‘normal’; there’s no scandal or romance attached to him: he wasn’t a royal, or a prominent doctor, a murdered businessman. He was just a ‘nobody’, which is exactly the kind of person I believe Jack was.

  57. Hi people, I have done a lot of research on Jack and i have looked at all the suspects.i will say that Jacob Levy make’s a good suspect but there is only one man who fits in all ways to being Jack,he is overlooked by most people because the police talked to him and believed his story,before i say his name i want you all to remember something the Yorkshire ripper was talked to nine time’s before he was caught.also back then the police did not know this kind of crime and would not know how to go about catching this kind of killer with that said the man i believe to be Jack the ripper is George Hutchinson.this man came forward three days after mary kelly’s inquest to give his statement WHY?,in that statement he say’s she asked him to lend her money then followed her and another man to her place,then he waits there 45 min in the cold light rain WHY?then he say’s he saw the man so well he saw the color of his eyelashes in the dark by gas light!then he thinks he see’s the man again the next day yet tells nobody.we know Jack never had sex with his victims in the street because he had no time,there is a chance he did with Mary before or after he killed her so people who say they have DNA don’t know the case history.the kind of killer jack was is a lust sex killer and that kind of killer almost always kills strangers.if they do kill somebody they know they will always cover there face or destroy it George knew the two victims who’s face’s were cut up.he lived across the street on flower in the middle of all the killings,he matched the description.he did not come forward until he read in the paper that he had been seen outside of Mary’s home so he had to give a reason why he was there.now think about this if you knew there was a killer out there and you lived in the middle of the killings knowing the cops would be out there, why would you lurk in the dark watching a hookers home for the time he did taking a chance on being picked up by police.he was out there because he was stalking his next victim!Mary was pretty much safe until she asked him for money,not seeing any other victims she was chosen. being indoors he knew he could take his time with her.there are other clue’s that point to him that i have not said here but there is a way to prove George Hutchinson is Jack the ripper by finding out where he went when he left London in 1891 as he would not stop killing.Jack was smart but also lucky i do believe he sent two letters to police the from hell letter and a letter that lots of people don’t know about,it was sent on 17th September 1888.like i said i have done a lot of research on this for my own reason and after watching all the documentaries and doing research on killers and forensic’s i find it very sad that the cops and profilers who have done documentaries are not giving the families the respect to say who the real killer is because of greed.you will never see the real killer in the news until the ripper story has run all it can.but if you people reading this will do the work i have you will see there is no other man that fits like George Hutchinson.i mean no disrespect to the Levy family,some may think it cool to have a family member like Jack and others hope they do not have family like that i just hope that the families of the victims know who killed there loved ones.thanks for reading this.

    • Hi Joey,

      Thanks for your comments. George Hutchinson is certainly a most fascinating character – as well as infuriating, as not a lot is known about him, and questions remain about why he was there that night outside Mary’s and why he came forward with such an elaborate story to the police. The fact he was a local man, apparently was familiar with prostitutes, and by his own admission put himself there the night of Mary’s murder, makes him a stronger candidate than many other suspects. A person of interest, definitely.


  58. Levy was a very strong candidate and honestly can’t believe they let him get away with it,he fits the description,he had a strong motive to hate prostitutes contracting syphilis and passing it on to his children,he was a butcher,he lived in the area,he was seen with victims before,I also believe he got inturapted in case of first 4 victims,if he had time fate of those other girls would be similar to Kelly’s.

    • Yes, I think Levy is the strongest known candidate yet put forward. Was Jacob Jack? Possibly. Maybe not. Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Thanks for stopping by.

    • I talked to some of those people who consider themselves ,,leading experts” apparently their reason Levy was never taken seriously was because he was never mentioned in any documents (Which is strange reason considering main reason we can’t solve the puzzle is because WE DON’T HAVE all the documents )and if you believe that relevant documents were destroyed on purpose this in my opinion helps Levy’s case.

  59. Hi Everyone, I am new to this sight so if I ask some silly questions I apologize in advance. First, has anyone ever researched Caroline Levy’s life? She was the youngest daughter of Sarah and Jacob and was 2 years old in the 1891 census. She no longer appears in the 1901 census when she would have been 12. Also, I believe Joseph Hyam Levy gave Catherine Eddowes the money, she spent in the pubs, to get her to leave Aldgate and to stop asking around about Jacob. Has this been suggested before?

  60. Just wondering if this site is still active?

    • Hi Elizabeth. Yes, the site is still active. I haven’t updated it much, have been very busy, but I still keep an eye on it. As for your earlier question regarding Caroline Levy – I’m not sure, to be honest. I know I haven’t conducted any research, but possibly others who are actively researching Jacob Levy and his kin know more? And regarding Joseph giving Catherine hush money? I don’t recall it ever being put forward, but I don’t think Catherine knew the identity of the Ripper, nor did Joseph before the night of the double event (if you believe the theory Jacob was the Ripper and Joseph saw his cousin in the company of Catherine; which means he would have suspected his cousin only AFTER the murder at Mitre Sq.). All of this identifying of the Ripper would have to have been done before the 30th of Sept, and I can’t see that having happened. Thanks for stopping by, and no need to apologise – not silly questions at all!

  61. Hi Brett, Thanks so much for answering my questions. I do believe that Levy was the Ripper, but not the killer of Stride. However, she may have been a target originally. I think the man teased by Best and Gardner may have been Levy who then fled shortly after leaving the pub with Stride. They would have had a good look at him so he decided to leave well enough alone. Perhaps, Stride had seen someone enter or exit the club that did not want to be identified as an anarchist or possibly a police informant. Thanks Again

  62. Hi all

    Pedrag you will find a lot of people with their own suspects will use the ‘no documentation’ as their confirmation that Jacob could have been Jtr, forgetting that the majority of suspects also have this problem.

    However on saying that we’re all a little guilty of casting shadows on other suspects when we have our own 🙂

    Jacob is by fair the best suspect around, I believe – although I admittedly could be biased……..the research me and my dad have done only strengthening the case at each new find.
    Hopefully you’ll all be interested in reading our book when it comes out.
    For those of you who’ve read the article we wrote a few year back or have been on the research site where we’ve recorded our finds there’s updates on that info as well as some new ‘nuggets’ we’ve found.

    • Hi Tj –

      Any chance of linking to the article you and your dad wrote, as well as the site? I’m sure there are a number of people here who would be interested in your research. And looking forward to your book!


    • Looking forward to it ,when is book going to be released roughly?

  63. Hi Brett, I have been wondering if anyone has attempted to write a book on Jacob Levy? You have obviously done a great deal of research and so has Tracey Ianson so maybe it is time. I have tried to find out more about her research but have hit a dead end. It amazes me how Jacob could have gone unnoticed while so much effort has been put into Aaron Kozminski. Personally, I believe they were involved as a team and perhaps may have been related through marriage. We know that Sarah Levy had the maiden name of Abrahams and the Kozminski family adopted this name upon arriving in London. Could it have been a way of being associated with a more established London family. If you keep in touch with Tracey you may give her my e-mail address. Thanks so much. Liz

    • Hi Liz,

      Apparently Tj has written/is writing a book on Levy (see above). I’m not sure if anyone else is currently working on a book. Hopefully there will be a well-researched book on Levy in the future, as it would sure make for interesting reading.

      Take care,

  64. Hi Brett and Tj, I am looking forward to this book so much! It is about time that Jacob Levy is given serious consideration as the Ripper. I have wondered if his mental problems may have caused him to seek revenge against Isaac Kozminski, through his brother Aaron. I have witnessed enough neighborhood feuds, growing up, to know the outcomes are not always pretty. Since both men lived on Fieldgate St. in 1881, they may have had problems involving the police. Just my thoughts. Liz

  65. Hi All,
    Has anyone located a photo of Jacob Levy or any of his immediate family as of yet? It would be nice to know if he really was 5ft.3in. or 5ft. 7inches tall and if his hair was dark and wavy.
    Thanks, Liz

    • Yeah from his asylum records 5ft3 was confirmed height I believe.

  66. Hi Predrag, Thanks so much for the information. I did read that also. What bothers me is Sarah’s readiness to say she was a widow and then change the census information to married. We know that apparently there were at least 4 other Jacob Levy’s in London at that time So, could there have been another one committed to Stone asylum who may have been mistaken for our Jacob in the paperwork ? Lady Anderson mentioned a cobbler in Stone asylum and it seems two of these other men were in fact involved in the shoe trade. Thanks, Liz

  67. Hi Brett

    Thank you, hopefully people will enjoy it!

    Yes i’d be more than happy to. the link to the article is http://www.mangodesign.biz/rip124.pdf

    Our article is around pg 68 I believe but the full magazine is worth a read.

    It explains indepth his family history and his connection to Joseph as well as his life in general.

    Hi Pedrag

    We’re in the process of writing a book which looks further into his life and shows new information that has come to light from our research on him and his family. I’m hoping it will be finished this year.

    Hi Liz

    The Jacob Levy who entered Stone asylum is without the Jacob Levy of 36 Middlesex Street.


  68. Hi Tracy, Thanks, for answering my question. I am so looking forward to your book. I have believed it was Jacob ever since I read years ago, that he had chased an irate customer with a meat cleaver. Liz

  69. Hi Brett, Is there any truth to the rumor that a well-known man was seen near Mitre Square on the night of the double event? In this case does well-known mean famous or notorious to the City police? I would like your opinion? Thanks Liz

  70. Greetings one and all, I am tony levy, son of moss levy, son of lewis levy, My Father moss, was one of 11, 3 died in infancy, they lived at No 1 graces alley, off cable street. The seven sisters were mentioned to me by my father, and I met two of them in the early sixties at a family wedding in the synagogue in lea bridge road. My grandfather’s father was Jacob levy. I have been told that there is a Dutch connection in the family, as grandfather Lewis was a cigar maker by trade, he also had a stall down the lane,( Middlesex street,) and borough market, His wife, Dinah, played the piano in the old mahogany bar ( Wiltons music hall.)

    My father moss, had 3 brothers, jack, Phil, and ben, and 4 sisters, sally, carol, Hannah, and rose. My father is the only, as of date, still alive, he is 91. After the war, they moved to Evering road, E5. Rose and sally, with their husbands, Jack larner, and Chester Laurence shared a 3 story house at Stamford hill, where grandmother Dinah eventually moved into when grandfather Lewis died in the late fifties.

    Many years ago my father, moss, had a book published, chronicling the family history. His life as a boy in the old east end, and the many characters, and extended family and life in pre war Britian, in it he mentions his mothers links to south Africa, and her fathers connection to king George V.
    I now live in the black country, not far from where Catharine endows originates. The whole JTR saga, for that is what it has become some 130 years later, is all rather intriguing, the many and vary theories postulated as who is the culprit will never be conclusively proved, and if nothing else, it will undoubtly link up many of the long lost levy clan.

    I do hope that all of the above information I have given on my side of the family, fills in some gaps in the family tree. Be Lucky. Tony Levy.

    • Hello Tony,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for providing invaluable information about your family. I’m sure it will be of help to researchers.

      Take care,

  71. Afternoon! I’m another Jacob Levy descendant. (Jacob’s son Lewis was my great-grandfather. Mark, who posted above a few years ago, I believe must be my mum’s cousin.)

    I’m grateful to the authors of this article and the one found on p68 of http://www.mangodesign.biz/rip124.pdf. Of course, we’ll never know whether Jacob Levy was Jack the Ripper, but whether he was or not it’s a terribly sad story. I feel for how much he must have suffered, and certainly for Sarah, left with eight children. I only recently found out about all this, so thank you all for telling the story in a considered way.

    I thought you’d be interested to know I can corroborate the conclusion that Jacob and Joseph Levy were cousins. Out of curiosity I recently had my DNA tested on ancestry.com, and I match with someone (‘A’) who’s shown as a descendant of Joseph Levy’s brother Elias – son of Hyam Levy and Frances Napthali. The DNA results suggest ‘A’ and I are fourth or fifth cousins, which would fit.

    • Hello, and welcome!

      Always a treat to hear from descendants of Ripper suspects – along with the wonderful information, it also helps researchers to remember there are real families involved, that these suspects are people’s ancestors, their blood, and not just names for amateur sleuths to fuss over.

      So I thank you for coming forward and sharing some of your family history, and for confirming the Jacob/Joseph connection.

      Take care,

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