yard letters


Jack The Ripper is the best known name given to an unidentified serial killer or killers active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district in the East End of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by journalists in an attempt to heighten interest in the story and increase their newspaper’s circulation.

Attacks ascribed to Jack the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of London and whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. This modus opperandi, the removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. The “From Hell” letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, purportedly taken from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as “Jack the Ripper”.

Jack The Ripper is said to have had five victims, known as the canonical five: Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, all murdered between 31 August and 9 November 1888. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory.

The term “ripperology” was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper’s identity, including, widely believed (at the time) that Queen Victoria’s grandson, Prince Albert was infact the Ripper. Although recently anouced was that Aaron Kominsky, a Polish Jew whose name appears in many historical registers of lunatics and in multiple asylums, was Jack The Ripper, this is yet to be approved by everyone.

Perhaps most interesting is a fairly recent suspect that has come to light, James Maybrick, a factory owner from Liverpool, who’s wife was said to have poisoned him. He is said to have had a dairy, writing in detail the murders that “Jack” carried out, however the is disregarded by many historians as there are erroneous statements(about where he placed the organs etc) that render this diary a fake. However, in 1993 a man was said to have purchased a golden pocket watch with the five vicitims initials carved into it, along with “J. Maybrick” and the words “I am Jack.

Jack The Ripper is to this day, one of the most infamous serial killers in history.

i needed our love to die out slowly.

and i know that sounds crazy, because who wants to watch something they love shrivel up like leaves do in the fall? nobody does, nobody wants to see anything die.

but i needed to, i needed to watch the trees turn brown in the yard. i needed to pour salt on our love and i needed to watch it burn.

i needed to see it– i needed to see that we could die out. i needed to know we couldn’t last forever.

and i think that’s why i always kept coming back, like even though we cut our veins, the blood still flowed and i kept watching it pool up on my skin and stain my sheets and god i still kept loving you. i kept loving you under burnt bridges and broken ties.

and loving you was not good for me, it never was, but i couldn’t stop because i didn’t know how to let you go if i couldn’t figure out if we were really bulletproof or if we’d just die on impact.

so i watched us die.

i had to watch our love get shot in the chest a couple times and i had to sit down and give myself time to realize that soon it would be over– soon everything would be gone. i had to see you begin to get tired of me, i had to feel myself letting you go, i had to look at you everyday and just feel what i once had a little bit less every time.

and i’m sorry for dragging it on for so long– but i just had to know i could stop loving you before i could ever truly recognize that the person i once loved so much was gone.


and now we’re just dead leaves in the yard


 letters i’ll never send

I feel like a fool so I’m going to stop troubling you
Buried in my yard, a letter to send to you
And if I forget, or god forbid die too soon
Hope that you’ll hear me, know that I wrote to you

― Tegan and Sara - “Soil, Soil”