He wasn’t the first serial killer, but he was one of the earliest of what we now recognise as the modern urban serial killers. And even today, he’s certainly the best known – which is doubly odd since the identity of the killer dubbed Jack the Ripper is still unknown (and likely to remain that way).
Although there are those who attribute two earlier murders – those of Martha Tabram and Emma Smith – to him, Mary Ann Nichols was the first murder to be agreed by all Ripperologists to be his doing. Nichols was an occasional prostitute and a heavy drinker, who was found dead after being savagely mutilated and left to bleed out outside a house on Buck’s Row, in Whitechapel. She was 43 years old.
By Ordnance Survey; modified by User:ΑΩ – 1894 Ordnance Survey Map of Whitechapel downloaded from http://www.casebook.org/official_documents/map/images/ord_map_full.jpg
Cropped and annotated with seven red dots to show the location of seven murders attributed to Jack the Ripper, Public Domain, Link
As mentioned in:
Jack the Knife — Falconer
Nice Man Jack — John Miles
Whitechapel — Manilla Road
Ramble on Rose — The Grateful Dead
Anthology of Death — Infernäl Mäjesty
Jack the Ripper — Screaming Lord Sutch
The Curse of Whitechapel — Vernian Process