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New Yorkers Feared Jack the Ripper Invaded the City in 1891 After a Prostitute Was Found Brutally Murdered

July 26, 2022
00:00 45:10
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Jack the Ripper’s serial killing spree of 1888 shocked the world, triggering panic from Paris to South America that he could strike anywhere, anytime. New Yorkers in particular were on high alert when local prostitute Carrie Brown, a.k.a. “Old Shakespeare,” was found brutally murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel on the waterfront. NYPD Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrnes accused an Algerian named Amir Ben Ali of the crime. He was convicted of second degree murder despite the evidence against him being doubtful, but pardoned eleven years later. Who was the real killer?
To explore one of the most notorious crimes of the Gilded Age is Luke Jerod Kummer, author of the Audible audiobook Takers Mad. In his research, questions about what really happened in the hotel on that monstrous night began to reveal themselves. Did the police scapegoat the man arrested for the crime? What about the blood that detectives found? Or did authorities actually let Jack the Ripper walk free?

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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