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The origin of JtR's self-designation is murky. Your explanation could be the right one. Or he could have been making a play on words - "rip her."


He was called the 'Suffolk Strangler' for about ten minutes, but the British press are in love with the word 'ripper'. It's a shame, because the first name is precise, but no, they have to drag out the over-used 'Ripper' yet again. There was one in London at the end of the 60's and he was much more imaginatively and accurately called 'Jack the Stripper' - no arrest but a suicide of one of the top three suspects and they were going to arrest him, plus importantly, no more murders.

kriselda jarnsaxa

While I agree that using the term "ripper" is wrongheaded in these cases, I have to give the Times UK credit for some of their coverage on the Ipswich case, though - they seem to be making a point of treating the victims in this case like real people, rather than just bodies, the way the media so often does when the victims are prostitutes. The articles I've read mention the names of the victims, and they've talked to relatives and/or loved ones of the women to get some background on who they were during their life, usually highlighting the more positive aspects of their lives before they got caught up in drugs and prostitution.

It's really quite sad that I find that to be refreshing change, but I'm glad to see it happening. I think it's really true that in the past, some killers were able to get away with killing for much longer because people didn't care as much when the victims were prostitutes. By reporting on the victims in a way that really humanizes them, the Times UK may be helping to change that trend. It'd be nice to see women on the fringes of society stop being "easy prey" because people don't care as much about them as they do the suburban housewives.

I've not been reading as much about the killings in Atlantic City, so I don't know how the coverage there compares.


I have to say, for once the media seem to have been sensitive to the fact that these girls - they are a bit young to be called women - are somebody's daughter or girlfriend. It is refreshingly rare over here - the so-called 'Yorkshire Ripper's victims were divided into prostitutes and 'good girls' - I was 17 at the time he started killing and it made me spit then!

Bob Cerra

At one time the FBI estimated that the number of serial killers that may be operating in the United at any given time might be 70.
I don't know how they arrive at that figure, but it doesn't matter the point is that there are numerous individuals engaged in that activity.

An excellent book regarding some of these killers is "Whoever fights monsters" by Ressler. This book is particluarly interesting because Ressler, an FBI agent, interviews some of the killers in prison and parts of these interviews became the foundation for profiling

Some of the letters written by the David Berkowitz to his psychiatrist - Dr David Abrahamsen are posted on line (Google "the letters of the Son of Sam) and make interesting reading. These letters appear in Steve Fishman's "The Devil in David Berkowitz"

Profiling has always caught my attention and regarding some of these killers there are four things that the writers seem to emphasis - bedwetting - setting fires and killing animals at an early age. And the most chilling aspects are they are in our midst and when they murder, they live in the vicinity.

Bob Cerra


Laura, I thought you might like to know that the Bishop of Norwich prayed for the victims of the Suffolk Strangler (I'm sticking with that!) before a soccer match between Ipswich City and another club and the crowd joined in! That has to be a first, and well done him - he's a real Christian. Fiz. xxx


Laura, look! From AOL breaking news:-
Man arrested over prostitute murders

A police cordon at the suspect's home in Suffolk
- Suspect: I have no alibis
- Search: Ipswich murders

Detectives investigating the alleged murders of five prostitutes are questioning a 37-year-old man.

Police said the man was arrested at his home near Felixstowe, Suffolk, shortly before 7.30am.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said the man had been arrested on suspicion of the murder of five prostitutes whose bodies had been found near villages south of Ipswich, Suffolk, during the past three weeks.

Police refused to name the man, but sources close to the investigation said he was Tom Stephens, of Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe.

Detectives announced the news of the arrest at a media conference at Suffolk Police Headquarters, near Ipswich.

They said the arrested man was being questioned at a police station in the county but did not say where the station was.

Police launched a major inquiry after Tania Nicol, 19, disappeared on October 30.

On November 15 a second woman, Gemma Adams, 25, also disappeared. Miss Adams' body was found in a stream at Hintlesham on December 2.

Miss Nicol's body was found in the same stream at Copdock on December 8.

On December 10 the body of Anneli Alderton, 24, was found in woods at Nacton and on December 12 the bodies of Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were found in woods at Levington.

Detectives said all the dead women worked as prostitutes in Ipswich and they were all found naked .

Police said Miss Alderton had been strangled and Miss Clennell died as a result of "compression to the neck".

They said it was not clear how Miss Adams, Miss Nicol and Miss Nicholls died.

Officers said toxicology tests will be carried out on the bodies of all five women to establish whether any unusual substances were present.

An inquest into the death of Miss Adams was opened and adjourned earlier this month.

More than 500 officers from more than 30 police forces are working on the investigation.

Police say they have received more than 10,000 calls from the public offering information and are analysing around 10,000 hours of CCTV footage seized in and around Ipswich during the past week.

And :- Suspect: I don't have alibis

A police cordon at the suspect's home in Suffolk
- Man arrested over murders
- Search: Ipswich murders

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, suspect Tom Stephens said he was a friend of the Ipswich murder victims - but strenuously denied any involvement in the killings.

The Tesco worker said: "I'm a friend of all the girls. I was closest to Tania. And Gemma as well. I was close to the others as well."

Stephens reportedly turned to prostitutes in Ipswich 18 months ago after his eight-year marriage collapsed.

He claimed he was the "nearest thing to a boyfriend" that Tania Nichol had.

During the interview, he said he became the women's "protector" and conceded it was possible he could be arrested.

He said: "I don't have alibis for some of the times - actually I'm not entirely sure I have tight alibis for any of the times. But I'm not worried about being charged - I'm innocent."

And when asked why he didn't get a girlfriend instead of going to prostitutes, he said: "On paper I should be attractive, but there is something about me women do not like." How very interesting!


This gets worse:- AOL UK news this morning

A second man has been arrested over the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich in a move police described as "significant".

The 48-year-old was arrested at his home in the Suffolk town at around 5am on suspicion of murdering all five women.

Detectives are still questioning a 37-year-old man arrested at his home in nearby Trimley St Martin early on Monday.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said at a news conference: "The 48-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Ipswich at approximately 5am this morning. He has been arrested on suspicion of murdering all five women.

A police source described the latest arrest as "significant".

The naked bodies of the five prostitutes were found near villages south of Ipswich during a 10-day period earlier this month.

Gemma Adams, 25, was found in a stream at Hintlesham on December 2, Tania Nicol, 19, was discovered in the same stream at Copdock on December 8, Anneli Alderton, 24, was found in woods at Nacton on December 10, and Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were found in woods at Levington on December 12.

As the arrest was announced on Tuesday, police were beginning to search a house in the red light area of Ipswich. A long stretch of London Road was cordoned off where a large white tent had been erected outside No 79.Police loaded a dark blue Ford Mondeo on to a transporter as officers dressed in white forensic suits began the search for evidence.

Beni Patel, who owns a B&B opposite the property the police have been searching on Tuesday, said she did not know the man who had been arrested.

She said: "They have cordoned the place off. It is house number 79 they have been searching.

"His car has been searched thoroughly and towed. They've taken the car, and one lane is closed, cordoned off." Fiz. xxx

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