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.

You Might Also Like

Sandhogs
Sandhogs

Sandhogs

Since the 1870s, workers known as “sandhogs” have risked their lives digging under New York City’s streets and rivers, creating the tunnels for the city’s subway and water systems, as well as the footings for the Brooklyn Bridge. 960 1280

  

New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

At the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, a piece of early-1900s industrial machinery reminds visitors of a catastrophic disaster beneath the East River and the one sandhog who lived to tell the tale. 960 1280

  

Monroe Moosnick Museum

Monroe Moosnick Museum

At the Monroe Moosnick Museum at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, a glass jar containing a strange substance is the only evidence of a freak meteorological event. 960 1280

  

Jar of Meat

Jar of Meat

This glass jar contains a meat-like substance that fell from the sky on March 3, 1876, in Olympia Springs, KY. What made it rain meat on that clear day? 960 1280

  

LA Police Museum

LA Police Museum

On display at the Los Angeles Police Museum are a set of handwritten notes and a photo of a young man. 960 1280

  

Kidnapping Evidence

Kidnapping Evidence

These artifacts tell a bone-chilling story of a kidnapping gone wrong and the incredible lengths taken to bring the perpetrator to justice. 960 1280

  

Michigan Maritime Museum

Michigan Maritime Museum

At the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, MI, a tattered, old, salmon-colored dress shirt is a poignant reminder of a mysterious and otherworldly aviation anomaly that still remains unanswered to this day. 960 1280

  

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

A fisherman found the shirt in Lake Michigan when a suitcase -- from an airplane that had disappeared over the lake -- got caught in his net. The area where the plane went down is now known as the "Michigan Triangle” due to the number of ships and planes that have crashed there. 960 1280

  

Skeptiseum

Skeptiseum

At the Skeptiseum at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY, visitors to the collection can inspect a simple-looking tin trumpet which was once used in a chilling ritual that many believe proved the existence of life beyond the grave. 960 1280

  

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Magician Harry Houdini set out on a quest to prove that the trumpet -- and the medium who claimed to use it to communicate with the dead -- was a fraud. 960 1280

  

Salem County Historical Society

Salem County Historical Society

At the Salem Country Historical Society in Salem, NJ, is an antique wooden desk that was owned by a man embroiled in a centuries-old story of culinary daring. 960 1280

  

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

This man was the first to grow tomatoes in the state of New Jersey, and when locals claimed that they were poisonous, he set out to prove them wrong. 960 1280

  

Henry Ford Museum
Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum

Curator Matt Anderson examines President Reagan’s 1972 Lincoln continental limousine at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Curator of art and artifacts at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Bob Peck, discusses some of the mysterious specimens in John James Audubon’s landmark book “Birds of America.” 960 1280

  

John Heinz History Center

John Heinz History Center

These bullets at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA, are some of the only remaining artifacts from the Allegheny Arsenal, the site of a deadly disaster during the Civil War. But was the explosion at the arsenal an accident or an act of confederate sabotage? 960 1280

  

Schoening Ax

Schoening Ax

Peter Schoening's ax on display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO. Schoening used the axe to save the lives of 4 of his fellow climbers on a 1953 expedition on K2. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Bob Peck with John James Audubon’s impressive book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. A few of the birds in the extensive collection are still a mystery to scientists. 960 1280

  

Reagan's Limousine

Reagan's Limousine

On March 30, 1981 John Hinkley, Jr. fired 6 shots at President Reagan and his staff outside the Hilton hotel in Washington, DC. A special agent immediately ducked President Reagan behind the door of his armored limousine, now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. A sharp pain in Reagan’s chest lead him to believe that he had broken a rib during the incident, but doctors were shocked to discover that he had actually been shot. A close inspection of the limousine reveals that one of the bullets ricocheted off the limousine’s door and hit the president in the chest – stopping only an inch from his heart. 960 1280

  

American Mountaineering Museum

American Mountaineering Museum

The crew shoots Phil Powers at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO, where he discusses mountaineer Peter Schoening’s heroic act. 960 1280

  

International Space Station

International Space Station

A model of the International Space Station at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. 960 1280

  

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

An artifact on display at the Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum in West Palm Beach, FL. The museum is also home to a negative that is the only surviving evidence of John Keely’s elaborate hoax. In 1872 he claimed that he had invented a new motor that ran on the magical and mysterious power of “the force.” After he died it became clear that his motor was not the revolutionary machine he claimed it to be. 960 1280

  

Photos

Roanoke

Roanoke

An artifact at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, may provide clues about what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. 960 1280

  

Roanoke

Roanoke

A newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that announces the discovery of the artifact. 960 1280

  

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. 960 1280

  

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Deep Blue

Deep Blue

The museum is home to Deep Blue, a computer created by IBM to play against one of the best chess players in the world. 960 1280

  

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, where Don Wildman investigates the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe. 960 1280

Enoch Pratt Free Library   

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

The exterior entrance to the formerly top-secret underground bunker at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. 960 1280

  

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

An interior shot of the Greenbrier Resort, which housed an incredible secret for 3 decades. 960 1280

  

Harbor History Museum

Harbor History Museum

A display at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, which is home to a strange medial book that advocated starvation as a cure for disease. 960 1280

  

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7 on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS. 960 1280

  

SR71 Blackbird

SR71 Blackbird

SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. 960 1280

  

Kansas Museum of History

Kansas Museum of History

At the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka is a well-worn nautical uniform that once belonged to a local doctor famous for performing goat gland transplants on his patients. 960 1280

  

Fox Sisters

Fox Sisters

On display at the Lily Dale Museum in Lily Dale, NY, is a large tin chest that is linked to the Fox sisters – a famous clan of psychics who claimed to be able to speak with the dead. So whose trunk was this? And what did it prove about a sinister tale of murder, intrigue and the afterlife? 960 1280

  

Easter Island

Easter Island

A statue from Easter Island at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Custer's last stand

Custer's last stand

Actors reenact Custer’s last stand. 960 1280

  

US Army Quartermaster Museum

US Army Quartermaster Museum

Military uniforms on display at the US Army Quartermaster Museum in Fort Lee, VA. 960 1280

  

Washington newspaper

Washington newspaper

Reporter Casey McNerthney inspects a Washington newspaper from 1935. It holds evidence of an infamous kidnapping. 960 1280

  

Red Ghost legend

Red Ghost legend

The US Army Quartermaster Museum in Fort Lee, VA, displays a brass bell that was linked to a legendary beast known as the Red Ghost. What was this terrifying creature? And how did it come to stalk the Arizona desert? 960 1280

  

Kansas Museum of History

Kansas Museum of History

The Kansas Museum of History’s museum registrar, Nikaela Zimmerman, tells the story of John R. Brinkley, a doctor who was hailed as a Kansas hero. 960 1280

  

John R. Brinkley

John R. Brinkley

After losing his medical license for his controversial goat gland transplants, John R. Brinkley launched a campaign for governor. These artifacts were given out to voters. 960 1280

  

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

Custer on horseback at the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. On display at the museum is an unassuming array of bent and rusty cartridge casings that came from the blood-soaked site of one of the most famous battles in American history. 960 1280

  

Edison's electric pen

Edison's electric pen

At the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, NJ, is one of the celebrated inventor’s biggest disappointments: the electric pen. 960 1280

The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University  

Edison Historical Park

Edison Historical Park

Though this device failed to transform the world of business, it went on to make a surprising and lasting impression when one man modified Edison’s invention into the first electric tattoo gun. 960 1280

  

Bishopville, SC

Bishopville, SC

At the South Carolina Cotton Museum in Bishopville, SC, there is a cryptic cast of what appears to be a footprint. 960 1280

  

Bishopville, SC

Bishopville, SC

Many are convinced that the mark was left by a half man, half lizard mutant creature that once lurked in the swamps of this South Carolina community. 960 1280

  

Hair tonic bottles

Hair tonic bottles

In Lockport, NY, at the Niagara County Historical Society is a set of murky glass bottles that tell a hair-raising tale. 960 1280

  

7 Sutherland sisters

7 Sutherland sisters

The glass bottles housed here once contained a hair growth tonic that catapulted 7 impoverished and eccentric sisters to an improbable life of fame and fortune. 960 1280

  

Statue of Diana

Statue of Diana

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a bronze statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. This work of art bore witness to a scandalous, turn of the century crime that rocked high society and the nation, when famous architect Stanford White was murdered by a vengeful millionaire. 960 1280

  

Carroll Deering's bell

Carroll Deering's bell

At the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum on Hatteras Island in North Carolina is the bell of the Carroll Deering, a shipping vessel whose entire crew mysteriously vanished in one of the most confounding cases in seafaring history. 960 1280

  

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.