Jack the Ripper is the name given to the perpetrator(s) of several violent murders that terrorised Whitechapel from about 1888 to (allegedly) 1891. The identity of the killer is one of the legendary unsolved mysteries in history. This article mainly deals in the more fictional legacy inspired by this series of events.
Jack the Ripper vs. Sherlock Holmes
Due to the very nature of this case, it has proven to be very popular to pit the Master Detective against one of history's most infamous killers. The sheer amount of times these two have clashed through various media rivals that of Sherlock and Moriarty.
Unlike many of the non-canon characters Sherlock has had encounters with, Jack the Ripper isn't regulated entirely to the world of literature and comics. As can be imagined, each clash ends with a variety of Ripper identities put forth.
Film and Television
- "A Study in Terror" (1965) a British film directed by James Hill featuring Holmes (John Neville) on the trail of Jack the Ripper that takes him through downtrodden Whitechapel to the very halls of aristocracy before he's able to solve the case. Author Ellery Queen later did a novelization based on the movie.
- "Murder by Decree" (1979) a British-Canadian thriller directed by Bob Clark, starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason as Sherlock and Watson (respectively). Holmes gets drawn into the infamous murder mystery, which pulls him deep into a conspiracy that goes to some of the highest halls of British authority. Based on the novel Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution by Stephen Knight.
- "Time After Time" (1979), an American film directed by Nicholas Meyer which has H.G. Welles (known to police under pseudonym Sherlock Holmes and similar to him in many things) chasing after Jack the Ripper who used a Time Machine invented by him to time-travel into 1979. Meyer is a long time fan of Conan Doyle's work and the film is full of Sherlock Holmes references.
- "Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street", 2002 Japanese anime feature film based on the popular 'Detective Conan' character, where the main character (and his friends) get trapped in a virtual reality simulation of 19th Century London, finding themselves having to solve the case of Jack the Ripper with help from a simulation of Sherlock Holmes himself.
- Even the MTV comedy show 'Celebrity Deathmatch' got in on this, with a Season Three episode dealing with time travel that arrives just in time to witness these two (more or less) fight.
- "The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel" a 1992 adventure game developed by Electronic Arts and Mythos Software that has Holmes investigating the brutal murder of a young actress that Scotland Yard believes is the handiwork of Jack the Ripper, a conclusion that Holmes himself disagrees with.
- "Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper" the 2009 adventure mystery game by Frogwares, the fifth installment of their Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series that has Sherlock tackling the crimes in his own (parallel) investigation opposite of the police. The issues facing Whitechapel of that time play a bigger role in this than most other adaptations.
Literature (short list)
- "Jack El Destripador" a Spanish-language pastiche published shortly after the murders that apparently has Sherlock involved somehow.
- The infamous novel by Michael Dibdin, "The Last Sherlock Holmes Story" published in 1978, that has Sherlock attempts to solve the Ripper reveal a most surprising (and controversial for its time) perpetrator.
- "Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Doctor John H. Watson" a 2009 mystery novel by Lyndsey Faye that has Holmes attempt to solve the Ripper Murders.
- "The Singular Habits of Wasps" short story by Geoffrey Landis for the "Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" anthology book proposes a much more fantastical and sinister explanation for the Ripper murders, as solved (and dealt with) by the Great Detective himself.
- "Sherlock Holmes And The Autumn Of Terror" a 2016 novel by Randy Williams. The story opens in the year 2017 with the sealed box of Holmes’ most controversial cases being opened by Watson’s great grandson Jacob, and among those cases is that of London’s Ripper murders that took place in what was then and has forever after been known as the “Autumn of Terror.” Jacob is shocked to learn the true story, as well as the reasons Holmes deemed the case’s explosive resolution too shocking and incendiary to have been revealed to the public in Victorian England .
- The Italian comic series "Martin Mystere" posits that the Ripper is in fact a series of demoniacally possessed cutlery that forces its owner to murder, and the one that caused the Whitechapel slayings was destroyed by Sherlock Holmes.
- Jack the Ripper on Wikipedia.