Jack the Ripper—Part Three

Jack the Ripper—Part Three

By Michael James Cook


jack the ripper

In Part One, we looked at the traits of a psychopath, now I want to examine what makes an everyday psychopath turn into a person that commits murders. Their childhood upbringing usually comes to mind, but Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Dennis Rader grew up in healthy households with supportive families.

A University of Wisconsin, Madison study on psychopathy in criminals showed a decreased connectivity between the amygdala, which processes negative stimuli, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which interprets responses from the amygdala. If connectivity is low between these two parts of the brain then negative emotions do not surface, as seen when psychopaths are caught showing no sense of guilt or emotional pain. This study was on criminal psychopaths and not everyday psychopaths living amongst us undetected. It does, however, give credence that these tendencies may be grounded in their DNA.

Ted Bundy’s words show a psychopath’s main traits–callous, exploitative, impulsive inclinations, and an inability to feel remorse: “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt. I’m as cold as a mothef…… as you’ve put your f..king eyes on. I don’t give a sh.t about these people.”

Let’s speculate that Jack the Ripper was not a psychopath but a psychotic. Many traits are similar between the two. The main difference is that a psychotic does not have a complete sense of reality, and can be kept under control with medication. Some of the most heinous crimes are committed by psychotics. I personally lean toward Jack the Ripper as a psychopath because the murders were calculated. The victims may have been watched before the murders took place. Voyeurism is part of the psychopath’s power.

A psychotic Jack the Ripper, I believe, would have been caught because the brain chemistry is different. In this hypothesis the glutamate system is deregulated, which in bipolar or schizophrenics causes manic phases that can manifest as hallucinations or delusions. Psychopaths do not hear voices in their heads nor hold fast to elaborate theories about the world. A case which defines psychosis is that of Richard Trenton Chase who drank and bathed in the victim’s blood. He believed he had to prevent Nazis from turning his blood into powder with a poison they had hidden under his soap dish.

The X factor, as I call it, which leads to a person becoming a serial killer can start at an early age. These signs can foreshadow a person committing violent crimes in later life. Psychopaths feed on power. They may love to set fires indicating the potential to become an arsonist. They see it as having the power to destroy things. Young people often have a tendency toward voyeurism, another early indication. They feel they have control, especially in a private setting, as the person they are looking at doesn’t know. It gives them a sense of dominance. What stands out for me is their lack of remorse for killing and torturing animals, and their disconnection to it being wrong. It’s all about the power over and dominance of their victim. When they’re young it’s easier to show it with a defenseless animal. This kind of behavior shows an extreme risk of becoming a serial killer.

As mentioned in Part Two, Aaron Kosminski is the most credible Jack the Ripper suspect. He carried a lot of emotional and psychological baggage when he came to London. The pogroms, introduced by Tzar Alexander III after the assassination of his father by a Jew, led to anti-Semitic violence. The Pale were Jewish ghettos outside the cities. Jews were banned from rural areas and entering most cities. They were prohibited from building synagogues and using Hebrew in official documents. Russian peasants would loot, rape, and murder within The Pale.

Aaron was around 17 when he lived there and probably witnessed a lot of violence. His two sisters Matilda and Betsy were in their early 20’s, and he may have seen them being raped. Oppression, violence, and rape would have left deep mental scars on one so young. Could Aaron have been duped by a prostitute in the Whitechapel area and robbed by an organized street gang? It’s highly likely given that the area was like The Pale he left in Poland. It’s possible that he murdered before and that he liked that power over life and death. Like most serial killers, he evolved to feed his ego and notoriety because of the modus operandi of the murders. Was Aaron Kosminski Jack the Ripper?


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Ojo Del Lago
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