I’ve heard theories before about HH Holmes being Jack the Ripper. I have mostly ignored them. So when American Ripper started, I went into it with a formed opinion.
My husband and I watched every episode and after each, I found my opinion unswayed. It wasn’t the different killing styles, it wasn’t the probability that Jack jumped the ocean (I knew about the Brown murder in New York before the show), it wasn’t even the idea that Holmes was unavailable to kill… it just always seemed to convenient to blame Holmes for the Ripper murders.
I haven’t checked with my husband to get his opinion. He isn’t the true crime buff that I am and I’m not sure he had ever heard of HH Holmes before we started watching American Ripper.
I’m still not convinced that Holmes and Jack are one in the same… but I’m a lot less doubtful. There was a single thing that seriously caught my attention and gave me a little bit of doubt about my devotion to them not being linked.
Among a trove of pictures that once belonged to Holmes, there was a tin type photograph. And it came back as a 64% March to the single known photo of Elizabeth Stride – one of the Ripper’s canonical victims.
That is a really high percentage match for two antique photos of varying styles. Having the composite sketch from the 13 eyewitnesses to the Ripper murders also look very very much like Holmes helped, but that photograph astounded me.
Why on Earth would Holmes have a tin type photograph of Elizabeth Stride if he wasn’t Jack the Ripper? How would he even have gotten it if he hadn’t stolen it off her body upon her death? In Victorian times, it wasn’t unusual for a lady to carry a photograph of herself and tin type fits with the era and social status of Ms. Stride.
It definitely opened my mind a little to the possibility.