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 recognize the handwriting.
The text of the postcard reads:
I was not codding
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 mailed before the murders were publicised, making it unlikely that a hoaxer would have such knowledge of the crime; however, 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. Police officials later claimed to have identified a specific journalist as the author of this message and the earlier "Dear Boss" letter.
Sometime during the years after the Ripper murders, the Saucy Jacky postcard disappeared from the police files. It is generally believed that, like many other items related to the case, someone removed it to keep as a souvenir of this famous series of crimes. Only a facsimile version remains in the files. Although the "Dear Boss" letter was recovered in 1988, the "Saucy Jacky" postcard is still missing.
"Saucy Jacky" in popular cultureIn the film This is Spinal Tap, the band members discuss their plans to write a musical based on the life of Jack the Ripper, entitled "Saucy Jack."
- Casebook: Jack the Ripper article on the Ripper letters
- Evans, Stewart; Keith Skinner (2001). Jack the Ripper: Letters From Hell. Stroud: Sutton Publishing.
- Sugden, Philip (2002). The Complete History of Jack the Ripper. New York: Carroll & Graf.