Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Weirdness Wednesday: Was Jack the Ripper a Royal Prince?

Via Wikipedia.
Jack the Ripper is easily one of the most infamous serial killers in history and his true identity is also one of the greatest mysteries. One of my favorite podcasts, Red Web, did an episode about Jack a couple of weeks ago and as they were ticking off all the people suspected of being the Ripper, one stood out: Prince Albert Victor, member of the British Royal Family and second (at the time) in line to the throne of the British Empire. Now, I had heard before that a royal prince was floated as a suspect, but I didn't know much more beyond that because the Ripper killings has never held that much interest to me. But a prince close to becoming to king of the one of the biggest empires in history? Now, you have my attention.

Now to be clear, Albert Victor isn't given any serious consideration as a suspect by Ripperologists, the community dedicated to all things Jack the Ripper. Indeed, he wasn't even proposed as a suspect until 1962, 70 years after his death! In 1976 some guy named Stephen Knight wrote a book called Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution in which he claims that the murders were committed to cover up that the prince had had an illegitimate child with a prostitute. The also claims that the murders were either committed by others on his behalf or by the prince himself. Another theory presented elsewhere is that Albert Victor had contracted syphilis from a prostitute and that it drove him insane, thus the killings.

Via Goodreads.

As I said above, Ripperologists have rejected the prince as a possible suspect because there's more evidence that he wasn't than any that he was. Case in point, he was literally 500 miles away from London, surrounded by family and friends when two of the victims were murdered. There's also no evidence that he had any sexually transmitted diseases.

I actually feel sorry for the poor guy. Imagine dying at the age 28 of pneumonia, then being maligned unfairly seven decades later as one of the worst serial killers in history with no evidence to back up those claims.

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