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Ada Wilson

On the belief that the Ripper must not have begun his "career" with a full-fledged mutilation-murder, or even a murder at all, it has been put forth that Ada Wilson, a sempstress living at 19 Maidman Street, Mile End, might have been a victim of one of the Ripper's early attacks.

On March 28, 1888, while home alone at 19 Maidman Street, Wilson answered a knock at the door to find a man of about 30 years of age, 5ft 6ins in height, with a sunburnt face and a fair moustache. He was wearing a dark coat, light trousers and a wideawake hat. The man forced his way into the room and demanded money, and when she refused he stabbed her twice in the throat and ran, leaving her for dead. It is reported that nearby neighbours almost captured the man, but he found his escape.

Luckily for her, Ada Wilson survived the attack and lived to relate the story to the authorities.

There are four main reasons why this murder could be attributed to the Ripper. First is the description of the attacker, which fits many witness accounts of the Ripper. Next is the use of a knife as a weapon, as well as the throat being the target of his fury. Finally, the term "seamstress", as Mrs. Wilson described herself, was a common term used by prostitutes for matters of self-description.

Of course, the fact that money was demanded and robbery seems the motive weighs heavily on this theory, as the Ripper is not known primarily as a robbery-motivated murderer.

Still, the description of the man as well as his relative MO works well with behaviorists who claim the Ripper must have begun his atrocities on a small scale before "graduating" up to full-fledged mutilation. It must be remembered, however, that her inclusion as a possible Ripper victim is recent, and authorities at the time of the murders made no link between her attack and those of the Ripper.

Related pages:
  Ada Wilson
       Message Boards: Ada Wilson 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 31 March 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Observer - 31 March 1888 
       Press Reports: Eastern Post - 31 March 1888 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Cast of Thousands - Ada Wilson 
       Witnesses: Rose Bierman