by ear and eyes

karyo magellan


What the expert reviewers say

In an era fraught with disposable Ripper books read by few and quickly forgotten by most, By Ear and Eyes is a fresh breath of East End air. If there’s any justice at all in our little square-mile corner of historical study, Magellan’s work will emerge as the most controversial, if not most important, Ripper book of 2005. The book abounds with discoveries and fresh interpretations of the evidence, but I will leave it to the enjoyment of the reader to find these little nuggets for themselves. Magellan’s work has more to recommend it than any other book this year, and at least as much going for it as any work of original research published in recent memory. Put simply, By Ear and Eyes is required reading for anyone who considers himself a Ripperphile. Very strongly recommended.

Ripperologist, No 62 December 2005

I strongly recommend By Ear and Eyes as a way of rethinking the case from scratch which is something all of us need to do from time to time.’

Ripper Notes, No 24 October 2005

Although some of his conclusions may be difficult for modern-day students of the case to accept, it is nevertheless refreshing to read such a thorough re-examination of the case. Recommended.



When Joseph Barnett gave evidence at the inquest into the murder of Mary Jane Kelly he told the coroner that he had seen the body of his common law wife and he identified her ‘by the ear and eyes’. Such was the extent to which Mary Jane Kelly’s body had been mutilated that the man with whom she had lived for twenty months described her only recognisable features. Mary Jane Kelly was murdered in 13 Miller’s Court, Whitechapel on the morning of 9 November 1888 and the police photographs of the crime scene have come to epitomise the ferocity of several murders committed in the same area during the autumn of that year. The series was regarded as the work of a serial killer known as Jack the Ripper and popular belief suggests that five prostitutes died by the knife of the same killer, Mary Jane Kelly being the final victim. This book is a meticulous and objective examination of each of these murders and of several others that formed the Whitechapel series and comes to rather different conclusions.

Using contemporaneous information from only the most reliable sources the author reconstructs the likely circumstances of each murder and examines each of the popular suspects for the role of serial killer. This critical examination of each of the Whitechapel murders marginalises much of the witness testimony as irrelevant, and is not influenced by attempting to prove the guilt of a suspect. There is clear evidence to show that Mary Jane Kelly was not a victim of Jack the Ripper and a well reasoned argument as to why she was murdered. The book contains illustrations that won't be found anywhere else including detailed visualisations of the neck and body wounds to each victim as well as contemporaneous maps of each of the murder sites. There are also updated and extended tabulations of wounds, crime scene details and other factors relating to the death of each victim. This is an essential reference against which to judge all suspects.



 1: Conclusions Are Only as Good as the Data Upon Which They Are Based         

1.1 The Quantity of Information  
1.2 The Quality of Information and Approaches to Investigation                 

2: The Whitechapel Murders              

                2.1 Analysing the Data                             
                                2.1.1 Comments on the tabulated details of the murders
                                2.1.2 How many women were victims of the same serial killer?   

                2.2 Whitechapel Murder Victims Not Killed by Jack the Ripper                  
                                2.2.1 Emma Elizabeth Smith 
                                2.2.2 Martha Tabram 
                                2.2.3 Rose Mylett 
                                2.2.4 The unidentified female torso                                                  

                 2.3 Whitechapel Murder Victims of Jack the Ripper 
                                2.3.1 Mary Nichols
                                2.3.2 Annie Chapman
                                2.3.3 Elizabeth Stride 
                                2.3.4 Catharine Eddowes
                                2.3.5 Alice McKenzie
                                2.3.6 Frances Coles                                                                                             

2.4 The Murder of Mary Jane Kelly                                                                 

3: The Characterisation  of the Whitechapel Serial Killer                                                                

                3.1 The modus operandi             
                                3.1.1 The approach and attack of the Killer
                                3.1.2 An analysis of the neck wounds 
                                3.1.3 Strangulation, scratches and marks
                                3.1.4 What type of knife did the killer use?                                     

                 3.2 Was the killer skilled in anatomy and dissection?                                   

                 3.3 Geographical distribution of the murders                                                 

                 3.4 What kind of a man was Jack the Ripper?                                                 

                 3.5 Witness sightings and descriptions                                                                             

 4: The Suspects                                                                                                                                   

                 4.1 The Macnaghten report                                                                                

                 4.2 Montague John Druitt                                                                                         

                4.3 Aaron Kosminski                                                                                                          

                 4.4 Michael Ostrog                                                                                                              

                 4.5 Francis Tumblety                                                                                                          

                 4.6 Severin Klosowski (George Chapman)                                                                      

                 4.7 Walter Sickert                                                                                                                            

5: Who Killed Mary Jane Kelly?                                                                                                      

6: In Conclusion                                                                                                                                  

Tables, Diagrams, and Illustrations 

Table 1: Detail of the injuries and circumstances of death for each of the five canonical Ripper murder victims

Table 2: Detail of the injuries and circumstances of death for each of the remaining Whitechapel murder victims

Diagrams 1-7: Details of wounds and mutilations to each of the Ripper victims and to Mary Jane Kelly

Diagram 8: Details of neck anatomy

Maps 1-7: Murder location maps for each of the Ripper victims and for Mary Jane Kelly

Illustration: The crime scene photograph of Mary Jane Kelly

Notes and Bibliography

  • A particularisation of each murder with scrutiny of witness statements and how these related to the facts

  • Updated tabulations of the circumstances of each of the Whitechapel murders with emphasis on pathology and crime scene details

  • An examination of each of the popular suspects against the established circumstances of the murder series

  • A detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mary Jane Kelly and support for the assertion that she was a victim of mistaken identity

  • 1889 Ordnance Survey maps of each murder scene

  • Diagrams of the neck and torso wounds to each of the murder victims attributable to Jack the Ripper


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