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How did forensics experts create a modern profile of Jack the Ripper?


Electronic Facial Identification Technique

Using all of the matching witness statements from the period (eye-witness accounts are notoriously contradictory -- the investigators ignored statements that contradicted the majority) and a piece of computer software called EFIT, or Electronic Facial Identification Technique, detectives have developed what they believe to be an accurate facial depiction of Jack the Ripper. Most of the witness accounts agreed on several traits, including:

  • He was between 5'5" and 5'7" (165-170 cm) tall.
  • He was stocky, with a full face.
  • He had dark hair and a dark moustache.
  • He was between 25 and 35 years old.
  • He had a fair complexion.

One of the more interesting features of the EFIT software is that it takes into account the myriad psychological shifts that eye-witnesses make when they're reporting on a person's appearance, and it makes adjustments for them. To see the final image the EFIT software produced, check out BBC News: Jack the Ripper's face 'revealed'. You can compare the image to a selection of photos and drawings of suspects in the case located at Casebook: Jack the Ripper Suspects.

After the string of five gruesome deaths attributed to Jack the Ripper, the last of which was that of 24-year-old Mary Kelly, the serial killer apparently stopped killing. No other murders came up that matched his MO. Some believe Jack the Ripper Killed himself some time after the death of Mary Kelly. Others believe he was incarcerated for an unrelated crime.

To learn more about Jack the Ripper, criminal profiling and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

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