Mysteries: Jack the Ripper and the Penman Pictures

Don Wildman examines evidence that London’s infamous Jack the Ripper may have committed a gruesome crime in New York City in 1891.
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This aged dossier may contain critical information linking a gruesome turn-of-the-century murder to one of the world’s most notorious serial killers.

Now housed at New York City’s Municipal Archives, the tattered journal is tied to a brutal murder at New York City’s East River Hotel in 1891. Could the woman, a well-known prostitute by the name of Carrie Brown, have been murdered by London’s infamous Jack the Ripper?

At the Vicksburg Depot Museum in Vicksburg, MI, 2 medieval-looking implements hearken back to a time in American history when a brave group of industrious men teamed up with a visionary businessman to change dinner tables across America.

The ice picks housed here tell the story of the invention of chilled train cars -- allowing raw meat to be transported across the country without spoiling.

At the Secret Service Museum in Washington, DC, select visitors can view a weathered $20 bill, which was once wielded by a brilliant and elusive master-criminal whose forgeries triggered a decade-long manhunt.

Few may realize that the US Secret Service was created by President Lincoln to stop counterfeiting, which had become rampant during the Civil War. One man, who became known as “Jim the Penman,” spent weeks on each of the bills he created.

At the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity in Fort Collins, CO, a now-extinct insect specimen tells of a devastating swarm of biblical proportions that laid waste to much of the country.

At the Salon de Magie in Loveland, OH, amidst the many artifacts chronicling the history of magic, one well-polished antique chest tells a shocking tale of deception and international intrigue.

This wooden chest was used by famous French magician Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin to help Emperor Napoleon quell a revolution in Algeria. The box was used in a trick to prove that French magic was more powerful than the magic of the tribal chiefs who were threatening revolution.

At the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA, visitors come from far and wide to marvel at one massive steam engine which played a critical role in one of the most outlandish heists in American history.

During the Civil War, Union spies hijacked and attempted to steal the Confederate army train, known as The General.