|A Ripper Notes Article|
|This article originally appeared in Ripper Notes. Ripper Notes is the only American Ripper periodical available on the market, and has quickly grown into one of the more substantial offerings in the genre. For more information, view our Ripper Notes page. Our thanks to the editor of Ripper Notes for permission to reprint this article.|
Another Look at the Lusk Kidney
by Christopher-Michael DiGrazia
PERHAPS NO object associated with the Whitechapel Murders has been a catalyst for more myth-making than the gruesome piece of extracted viscera known to posterity as the Lusk Kidney. Whether considered for the ghastliness of its presumed origin or for the questions inherent in its authenticity or falsity, few other artefacts connected with Jack the Ripper incite more dispute; and few provide such an arena for opposing points of view, each armed with seemingly incontrovertible evidence.
The basic facts surrounding the kidney are well known, but in light of the following discussion, they bear a brief recapitulation. At about 5.00 pm on Tuesday, 16 October 1888, a small package was delivered to the home of George Akin Lusk, a builder who resided at 1 Alderney Road, Mile End. Since his appointment as head of the Whitechapel (or Mile End) Vigilance Committee, Lusk had been the target for suspicious visitors and crank letters, and at first sight the small, paper-wrapped cardboard box with a London postmark ( the incomplete cancellation read "OND" --an obvious remnant of "LONDON") appeared to be one more. However, after opening the box, Lusk was shocked to discover a small piece of rancid flesh enclosed with the following note: