A Killer Day

On April 3, 1888, the first of the Whitechapel Murders, a series of killings in the East End of London, was committed. By the time the spree was over, eleven women, all of them prostitutes, were dead. Several of the killings have been attributed to one of the most famous serial killers of all time, Jack the Ripper. None of the crimes were ever solved.

The first victim was Emma Elizabeth Smith. On April 3, Smith was sexually assaulted and robbed at the corner of Osborn Street and Brick Lane. She survived the attack and returned to the boarding house where she lived. Her landlady took her to the hospital, where she fell into a coma and died the following day of an infection related to her injuries.

Later, Smith’s murder was linked to the Ripper, who probably began his killing spree in August of that year. It’s unlikely, however, that Smith was attacked by the Ripper. She told police she was set upon by three men, one of whom was a teenager. She was unable or unwilling to describe her attackers, so they were never found. Brutal attacks and murders in Whitechapel continued until February 1891, when they abruptly stopped.

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