|Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide|
|This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.|
Jacob Levy was born in Aldgate in 1856 to Joseph and Caroline Levy, his father, being a butcher at 111 Middlesex Street, Spitalfields, it was a trade his son would subsequently follow him into. In 1881 Jacob Levy was listed as living at 11 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, with his wife Sarah, and their two children. In 1886 he was committed to the Essex County asylum after complaining of hearing strange noises and saying that he felt compelled to do acts that his conscience could not stand, he also felt that if he was not restrained, he will do acts of violence to someone.
In 1888 Levy was listed as living at 36 Middlesex Street, with his wife and children. On 15 August 1890 he was taken to the City of London lunatic asylum Stone in Kent, and admitted as an insane person, his occupation was noted as butcher and the cause of his illness was listed as mania. He was described as in good health, his height was given as 5ft 3"tall and his weight as 9 stone 3 pounds. Levy died of paralysis brought on by the disease syphilis on 29 July 1891.
Originally there were no effective treatments for syphilis, the commonest treatment in use being mercury, this use of mercury gave rise to the saying, a night in the arms of venus leads to a lifetime on mercury.
Jacob Levy is rarely mentioned as a serious Ripper suspect, yet fitted the eyewitness descriptions of the young short stout suspect. As a butcher he was skilled with a knife, and having contracted syphilis was undoubtedly familiar with the local prostitutes. He was familiar with the local area and may have been the city police suspect Detective Constable Robert Sagar referred to when he said, 'We had 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'.
There is the possibility that the man seen by Joseph Hyam Levy with Catherine Eddowes shortly before she was murdered, which caused him to become alarmed, was Jacob Levy.
Joseph Hyam Levy was a butcher who worked at 1Hutchinson Street. Jacob Levy was a butcher at 111 Middlesex Street, a mere 60 yards away, so it is quite possible that Joseph Hyam Levy knew Jacob Levy and may have recognized him that night with Catherine Eddowes.
Was Joseph Hyam Levy, Anderson's witness, who would not testify against fellow Jew, Jacob Levy.
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