• George Young

The Google Earth Murders - Chapter 1

1888 - Victim #1 Mary Anne "Polly" Nichols, 8/31/1888

The Official Autopsy Report on Jack the Ripper’s First Victim, Polly Nichols:

Cause of Death – An incision, made by a long-bladed knife, sharp and used with great violence, ran four inches from the Left Side of the Neck to the Right Side. The cut began an inch below the Jaw and one inch from below the Left Ear. 

An inch below and before this cut is an additional circular incision about eight inches in length, which terminated at a point three inches below the Right Jaw. This cut severed all tissue back to the Vertebra. This also completely severed both large Vessels of the Neck.

Five Teeth are missing, and there is a slight laceration of the Tongue. A large bruise runs along the right side of the Face and terminates at the Jaw, a result of a severe blow to the Head. 

No blood was found on the Breast, or of the body or the clothes. There were no injuries about the body until just about the lower part of the Abdomen, where several incisions were made, which ran across the abdomen. Two or three inches from the Left side of the Abdomen is a deep and jagged wound, very deep and cutting through all the tissue.

There are several additional incisions across the Abdomen. Three or four deep cuts run downward, on the right side, all caused by a knife used with extreme violence. These injuries are from Left to Right and might have been done by a left-handed person. All injuries inflicted by the same long-bladed and sharp instrument.

Today - Victim #1 Riley Singleton, Memorial Day

Ruben crouched behind the barricades at the intersection of Ann Street and Theater Alley. Scaffolding surrounded by plastic sheeting covered both sidewalks of the alley and ran from Ann Street back north to Beekman. 

Construction trailers, backhoes, and bulldozers crammed the stretch of Theater Alley. The street closed off to vehicular traffic. The only way through would be by foot on the sidewalks and under the suffocating scaffolding.

Riley Singleton, an off-Broadway theater manager, exited the Number 2 subway train she'd taken from the Upper West Side at Park Place, a stop across City Hall Park and west of the intersection of Beekman and Theater Alley. She trotted up the steps, her posture forward, her stride athletic. Riley gained the street and looked straight ahead.

Southern Manhattan used to have all the charm of a tuberculosis ward on weekends before the re-building after 9/11. Apartment high-rises and condos replaced a lot of empty spaces and shuttered businesses. 

Nightlife activity increased in recent years and the area had streetlamps that actually worked. The exit from the subway station had plenty of light, and Riley stepped along Park Place and towards City Hall Park.

She hustled down Park Place, but found the gates locked, which forced her to circumvent City Hall Park to get to Beekman. Riley's apartment, a five block walk from the Park Place subway station, sat on Fulton Street, one of the newly construction buildings.

As she headed down Beekman, the crowd of people on the street diminished with every step. 

Riley stopped when she got to the intersection of Theater Alley and Beekman. The street lamp did not shine any of its light through the plastic scaffolding cover, and the night sky had a thick cloud cover which obscured the moon and stars. It would, however, save her a minute or two if she cut through Theater Alley, and her latest unsuccessful on-line hook-up had exhausted her.

She increased her pace and ran down the western side of Theater Alley. Her long legs covered the distance quickly, and since no one seemed to be around to see it, she hiked up her skirt to allow for greater speed. 

Riley approached the end of Theater Alley in a sprint. Ann Street lay just in front of her. She exited the last of the scaffolding. 

A fist shot out and smashed her on the right side of her face. The blow broke her cheekbone and knocked her to the ground unconsciousness.

Ruben pulled her back into the alley. He spotted a passerby on Ann Street who stopped and looked down the street, but then hurried away. Ruben pulled his dark-colored windbreaker around him.

He pulled a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket. It started with:

An incision, made by a long-bladed knife, sharp and used with great violence, ran four inches from the Left Side of the Neck to the Right Side. The cut began an inch below the Jaw and one inch from below the Left Ear. 

Followed by three more paragraphs of instructions.

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© 2018 by George W Young