Saucy Jacky postcard

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The "Saucy Jacky" postcard is the name of a message received in 1888, which claims to have been written by the serial killer now known as Jack the Ripper. Because so many hoax letters were received by Scotland Yard, the press and others, it is not known definitively if this was an authentic letter written by the Whitechapel killer. It did contain information that was compelling enough to lead investigators to publish a facsimile of the communication in hopes that someone might recognise the handwriting.[1]


Facsimile of the front of the "Saucy Jacky" postcard

The text of the postcard reads:

I was not codding dear old Boss when I gave you the tip, you'll hear about Saucy Jacky's work tomorrow double event this time number one squealed a bit couldn't finish straight off. Had not time to get ears off for police thanks for keeping last letter back till I got to work again.

Jack the Ripper[2]

Postmarked and received on 1 October 1888, the postcard mentions that two victims were killed very close to one another: "double event this time". Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were both killed in the early morning of 30 September, and part of Eddowes' ear was found detached at the crime scene as a result of facial mutilations that the killer performed. Some authors have argued that the letter was sent before the murders were publicised, making it unlikely that a hoaxer would have such knowledge of the crime, but the letter was postmarked more than 24 hours after the killings took place, long after many details were known by journalists and residents of the area.[3] Police officials later claimed to have identified a specific journalist as the author of this message and the earlier "Dear Boss" letter.[1]

In the years after the Ripper murders, the Saucy Jacky postcard disappeared from the police files. Although the "Dear Boss" letter was recovered in 1987, the "Saucy Jacky" postcard is still missing.

In 1931, journalist Fred Best of The Star claimed he and a colleague at the newspaper had written all the letters signed "Jack the Ripper" in order to "keep the business alive".[4]

In 2018 a forensic linguistic analysis found strong linguistic evidence suggesting that this postcard and the Dear Boss letter were written by the same person[5].

In popular culture[edit]

In the comedy film This is Spinal Tap, the band members discuss writing a musical based on the life of Jack the Ripper, titled Saucy Jack.

In the video game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the protagonist is occasionally referred to as "Jack the Ripper", which is a reference to Raiden's proper name and a traumatic incident in his past. One antagonist, however, briefly calls him "Saucy Jack".

In the Hellraiser comic Clive Barker's Hellraiser #7 - "Under the Knife" Jack the Ripper appears, turned into a Cenobite named Saucy Jack.


  1. ^ a b Sugden, Philip (2002). The Complete History of Jack the Ripper. New York: Carroll & Graf. pp. 262–268. ISBN 978-0-7867-0932-8.
  2. ^ Casebook: Jack the Ripper article on the Ripper letters
  3. ^ Sugden p 269
  4. ^ Sugden, p.273
  5. ^ Nini, Andrea (September 2018). "An authorship analysis of the Jack the Ripper letters". Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. 33 (3): 621–636. doi:10.1093/llc/fqx065.