George Chapman (4/5)

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George Chapman, also known by his Polish name Severin Klosowski, was a serial killer operating in Whitechapel during the time of the Jack the Ripper killings. Having qualified as a surgeon in Poland, George migrated to the United Kingdom where he took up the trade of haircutting at a barber shop. Known by police to be a promiscuous man, George had four mistresses: three of whom would die at his hands, and whom’s deaths he would be convicted and executed for in 1903. His crimes made him a favoured Jack the Ripper suspect for quite a few high-ranking police officers of the time, as circumstantial evidence lined up to point towards his guilt. For example, the murders themselves began around the time Chapman had emigrated to the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the brutal disfiguration of many of the Ripper’s victims seemed to point towards some use or knowledge of surgical tools. 

However, this does not account for the fact that of Chapman’s confirmed murders, he was known to have poisoned all of them. In fact, it raises the question: why would a man like Jack the Ripper, known for extraordinarily brutal killings, resort to poisoning his wife? Ripperologists propose this as the main line of argument against Chapman’s guilt, and although he was a serial killer, the claim that he could be Jack the Ripper is dubious at best for many.

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