No, I'm not talking about ghost Jack the Ripper, or superpowered Jack the Ripper, or even space Jack the Ripper -- those have all been done before. I'm talking about merchant seaman Jack the Ripper: a global menace that has women in every harbor. And a number of very confused detectives. Because those women are dead.
According to former murder squad detective and expert Ripperologist Trevor Marriott, it seems likely that Jack the Ripper's true identity was Carl Feigenbaum, a German sailor and convicted killer who was in London during the Whitechapel murders. His boat left soon after Mary Kelly, the final "official" Ripper victim, was murdered, which in itself wouldn't be much in the way of proof if it wasn't for the fact that extremely similar murders kept happening in countries as diverse as Nicaragua, Germany, and, as it happens, right back in Whitechapel. Many of those murders matched Jack the Ripper's modus operandi, and an awful lot of them seem to have occurred while Feigenbaum's boat was in the harbor. The Nicaraguan murders -- six women in Managua, the capital city -- were even labeled "some of the most horrible crimes the city has ever seen," in a similar fashion to the Ripper-London dynamic.
Oh, and there's also the fact that Feigenbaum was caught and eventually executed for a distinctly "Ripper-like" murder in New York, a few years after the Whitechapel killings.
"Uh ... Parlay?"
Although he does seem like an awfully suitable candidate, I'm not outright claiming that Feigenbaum is the true Jack the Ripper. Neither is Marriott, actually; he fully admits he's just analyzing old evidence and determining the most likely suspect from his point of view. Still, think of the potential of the story -- Jack the Ripper, sailing from harbor to harbor, creating a horrifying reputation in each and moving on like it ain't no thing. Every new city would see new challenges, new police officers foolishly attempting to hunt him down. One of them would be played by Sean Bean, complete with all the inevitable hilarity that ensues. They'd try to stop Feigenbaum from following his true calling, but he'd show them. He'd show them all!
Wait, shit. I'm making Jack the Ripper a protagonist here, aren't I?
Pauli Poisuo will not be selling film rights to his story until the statute of limitations expires. Follow him on Twitter.