John Pizer a Possible Jack the Ripper Suspect?

Posted by Jenny Phillips, Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Thursday, April 23, 2020 Under: Jack the Ripper

John Pizer a Possible Jack the Ripper Suspect?

After Polly Nichols was murdered by Jack the Ripper on 31 August 1888, followed by Annie Chapman a few days later on 8 September, the police questioned many members of the local community asking if they knew anybody locally who showed a hatred for prostitutes, someone who might attack them, rob them or rape them.

Many people were eager to help the police catch this terrible killer and came forward with a possible suspect - John Pizer, a Polish Jew working at a boot- finisher. Being in that trade he would have worn a leather apron, and indeed was known locally by the nick-name ‘Leather Apron’. He was also notorious for his hatred of prostitutes and often attacked them. The police eagerly rushed round to his lodgings and took him in for questioning. Unfortunately for them, if they thought they had their man they were very much mistaken.

He had two perfect alibis for the night of the murders! On the night of Polly Nichols’ murder, he was seen by two policemen outside Crossman’s lodging house known as ‘the Roundhouse’ in c. He had eaten supper at 11.00pm, then gone out for a walk. On his travels he noticed a red glow in the sky, and as he returned  two policemen were talking to the lodging-house keeper on the doorstep about 1.30 am. He asked them what the red glow was and they replied saying it was a huge fire on the docks. He intended to go to see it and walked as far as Highbury railway Station, but by this time viewing it had lost its appeal, so he went back to Holloway Road, arriving at 2.15 am. This account was confirmed by the police.

Annie Chapman was killed on a Saturday. The Sunday before her death he was chased by a mob, who shouted ‘Leather Apron you are the Whitechapel Murderer’ (as Jack was known then) and was arrested by Constables 43 and 173 of C  Division, who let him go as they had no reason to hold him. Terrified by this incident he went hid indoors at his sister’s house, arriving on Thursday 6, for the entire weekend of 7-9 September. This was confirmed by the next-door neighbour who saw him in the yard a number of times during that weekend.

In : Jack the Ripper 


Tags: jack the ripper  annie chapman  the roundhouse  highbury  holloway road n7  jenny 
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