George Chapman

George Chapman

Among the dozens of potential Jack the Ripper suspects exists a serial killer, George Chapman. He was born Severin Antoniovich Klosowski in 1865, though he changed his name after immigrating to England from his native Poland. We can learn a substantial amount about him based on records of police investigations and legal proceedings against him.

George arrived in England in 1887 or 1888 - there is no official record of his travels. Though he was trained in a medical field in Poland, he took a job as a hairdresser's assistant when he arrived in London. During the period of the Whitechapel murders, more commonly remembered as the Jack the Ripper murders, is it possible that George was running his own barber shop on Cable Street, St. George's-in-the-East.

Legally married in Poland, George appears to have been a prolific philanderer and took several mistresses. Three of his mistresses died mysteriously, leading the family of his final mistress to suspect that she had been murdered. Despite the fact that the prosecutors exhumed the bodies of his two previous mistresses, an indictment for murder could only contain one count. On the 7th of April, 1903, George was executed for the murder of Maud Marsh.

The primary reason that George is considered a suspect in the Jack the Ripper killings is based on his prior experience as a serial killer. His mode of operandi is strikingly different than the author of the Whitechapel murders, however, as George chose to poison his victims with tartar-emetic. Jack the Ripper was more violent, deciding to grotesquely mutilate his victims after killing them.

The London media speculated about his possible connection with the Whitechapel murders after his execution, but most experts find it unlikely. George did live in the Whitechapel area during the time of the murder, but so did many other more likely suspects.