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Then in May of 1887, another gruesome scene was discovered on the banks of the Thames river — a bundle of body parts. According to Casebook, for weeks after, more limbs washed up on the river, allowing police to slowly piece together the third victims’ body. In 1888 in Whitehall, two right arms and shoulders were found in the river, and a construction worker found a torso in an unfinished vault. Remains showed up at the future site of Scotland Yards, the police headquarters.
The next year, a group of young boys found a woman’s arm floating in the river. It was the partial remains of 24-year-old Elizabeth Jackson, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death (per My London News). Exacerbating matters, the killer threw body parts onto the estate of Mary Shelley, the author of “Frankenstein.”
The final suspected Thames torso murder victim was discovered under a bridge in 1889. Police Constable William Pennett was shocked to find a torso with arms located under a railway arch on Pinchin Street in Whitechapel, according to Casebook.
Was the Thames torso murderer one killer, or several different people? Experts disagree, and the uncertainty surrounding the victims and evidence makes it hard to be sure. Investigators thought that the killer had a medical background, and suspected he was either a surgeon or a butcher, according to Casebook. The Thames river murderer targeted English women for over a decade and was never caught.
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