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 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.

Street Gang

After the murder of Mary Ann Nichols the police briefly suspected that, she, like the previous killings of Emma Elizabeth Smith and Martha Tabram, had been perpetrated by one of the local street gangs operating in the area at that time. They noted that the murders had all occurred within three hundred yards of each other. Inspector Abberline quickly ruled out the theory of any connection between the deaths of Smith, Tabram and Nichols, and perceptively concluded that the Nichols murder was the work of a lone killer. A woman named Margaret Hayes, who like Smith, lodged at 18 George Street, also stated that she was assaulted on the same night as Emma Smith was murdered. Hayes was struck in the mouth by two men, who then ran away. Hayes claimed there had been some rough work that night. Emma Elizabeth Smith claimed that she was assaulted and robbed by three men, one of them a youth of about nineteen.

Several gangs were known to the police and believed to be operating in the area at that time, robbing and blackmailing honest tradesmen, fleecing drunken sailors and threatening prostitutes. The Blind Beggar Mob, a title derived from a public house in the Mile End Road where they used to meet, usually confined their criminal activities to the West End. The Hoxton Mob, or Hoxton High Rips, who were actually suspected of committing the Ripper murders. The Green Gate Gang and the immigrant gangs, the Bessarabians and the Odessians, as well as the gang which was suspected of killing Emma Smith, the Old Nichol Gang, who operated around Old Nichol Street, at the top of Brick Lane, close to where Smith was murdered.

While the possibility remains that a gang may have been responsible for the murder of Emma Elizabeth Smith, there is no evidence to suggest they committed the Whitechapel murders. There has been some speculation that the Ripper may have originally been a member of one of these street gangs, possibly the same one responsible for the murder of Emma Smith. Unfortunately little accurate information on any members of these street gangs is known to us.







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