A CAST OF THOUSANDS
BY CHRISTOPHER SCOTT
Although the general view appears to be that the Whitechapel murderer had five victims (the already mentioned "canonical" victims), both contemporary press reports and later theorists have added to this number. The whole period during which murders occurred which have been attributed to Jack the Ripper runs from 3rd April 1888, the murder of Emma Smith to 13th February 1891, the death of Frances Coles.
I am discounting the earlier alleged death of "Fairy Fay" which supposedly took place on 26th December 1887. This alleged murder was, in my opinion, entirely fictitious. It arose from an early confusion with the date of Emma Smith's murder. I have found various lists in contemporary press reports, which allege that the first murder was that of an unknown woman which took place in December 1887 at the corn of Osborn and Wentworth Streets. This was the exact spot where Emma Smith was murdered. No press mention of the "Fairy Fay" murder has been found and the first account using this alleged nickname of the victim dates from as late as 1950.
During this period which encompasses the various murders attributed at one time or another to the Whitechapel murderers, it appears that another killer may well have been at work. Variously known as the "Torso killer" or the "Embankment murderer," the victims were found dismembered, mostly in various places in the River Thames. However, some body parts, such as the torso found in the "Whitehall Mystery" case, were found secreted on dry ground. Body parts found in the Thames in May and June 1889 were identified as belonging to one Elizabeth Jackson. Some contemporary press reports identified Jackson as a victim of the Whitechapel killer, but if the Torso Killer was reality, Jackson must surely be identified as his handiwork rather than that of the Ripper.
Elizabeth Jackson's birth was registered in the St. Luke's district in the last quarter of 1865. Thus, she would have been 23 years old at the time of her death. She was the daughter of William Jackson, a shipwright, and his wife, Hannah. In 1871 they were living at 5 Edinburgh Terrace, Mile End. Their details are given as follows:
William H Jackson aged 31 born London- Shipwright
Hannah Jackson aged 31 born Suffolk
Elizabeth aged 6 born Shadwell
William Henry aged 4 months born Stepney
By 1881 the family had moved to 11 St. Dunstan's Road, London:
William H Jackson aged 40 born Aldgate - Shipwright
Hannah Jackson aged 32 born Shatford, Suffolk
Elizabeth aged 16 born Shadwell - Domestic servant
Alice Hannah aged 4 born Mile End
Charlotte aged 1 born Mile End.
The only other information we have is that at the time of her death Elizabeth was working as a prostitute and was living in or near Sloane Square.