Could H.H. Holmes And Jack The Ripper Be The Same Person?

The enigmatic nature of the Jack the Ripper case has confounded the minds of amateur and professional detectives alike. As History reports, there are many compelling suspects, from lawyer Montague John Druitt (who was found drowned in the River Thames shortly after the final murder) to infamous U.S. serial killer H.H. Holmes. While it's now all but impossible to prove the murderer's identity, the possibility that Holmes was the Ripper is a very interesting angle to explore.

According to Britannica, Holmes (or Herman Mudgett) was born in New Hampshire in 1861. When he moved to Chicago in 1886, Holmes seems to have cemented his reputation as one of the world's first, most devious, and prolific serial killers. His "Murder Castle," outfitted with secret passages, soundproof rooms and kilns for burning bodies, is a concept almost too horrifying to believe.

Jack the Ripper and Holmes' deeds were committed in London and Chicago, respectively, but the geographical discrepancy can be explained by the fact that Holmes was a well-traveled businessman. "I roamed about the world seeking whom I can destroy," Holmes is reported to have confessed (via Sky's History).

Holmes The Ripper?

As Jeff Mudgett stated on "American Ripper In London," Holmes was a graduate of the University of Michigan medical school and could have had in-depth knowledge of anatomy, which the Ripper's precise cutting may have demanded.

What of their respective modus operandi? Well, Holmes' execution took place in Philadelphia in 1896, after several people who had dealings with him during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago went missing. The Ripper's murder spree seemingly ended on November 9, 1888, with the killing of Mary Jane Kelly, the final victim (the timing checks out).

As she had been killed in her home, the killer had more time to viciously slash her body to pieces (her organs were strewn around the room, as All That's Interesting reports). Per History, this final, horrific killing may have been the work of a Holmes who was "honing his style, inspiring him to... create his own killing environment: the Chicago Murder Castle."

As Crime And Investigation reports, Holmes' travel documents vanished around the time of the Whitechapel killings, and shortly after Kelly's death, a passenger named "H. Holmes" was recorded on a ship's log that left the U.K. for America. There's no definitive proof that Holmes was the Ripper, but he's certainly one of the prime suspects.