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A kidney from hell? A nephrological view of the Whitechapel murders in 1888

Overview of attention for article published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, June 2008
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (92nd percentile)

Mentioned by

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9 tweeters
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3 Google+ users

Readers on

mendeley
15 Mendeley
Title
A kidney from hell? A nephrological view of the Whitechapel murders in 1888
Published in
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, June 2008
DOI 10.1093/ndt/gfn198
Pubmed ID
Authors

G. Wolf

Abstract

In the poor Whitechapel district of the East End of London in the fall of 1888, at least five prostitutes were brutally murdered, and in all but one case, also mutilated. The murderer was never caught and became known by his nickname 'Jack the Ripper'. The left kidney and the uterus were cut out and taken away from one of the victims named Catherine Eddowes. A kidney was also cut out of the body from another victim, but not taken away. Two weeks later, George Lusk, president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, received a small cardboard box with half of a longitudinally divided kidney and a letter entitled 'From hell' claiming that the kidney inside the box was taken from the victim. The kidney was brought to Dr Thomas Horrocks Openshaw, the Curator of the London Pathological Museum, where the kidney could be microscopically examined. The press jumped on the topic and made a circumstantial case that this kidney had been indeed torn from the body of Catherine Eddowes. According to the later memoirs of Major Henry Smith of the City Police published more than 20 years after the incident, the kidney left in the corpse of Catherine Eddowes was in an advanced stage of Bright's disease and the kidney sent to George Lusk was in exactly a similar stage. Today, the majority of criminologists believe that the kidney sent to Mr Lusk was a hoax as were other letters signed with Jack the Ripper. However, the murderer took organs from his victims, and in the case of Catherine Eddowes, the kidney. Serial killers often mutilate their victims and abscond with the removed body parts as trophies. By removing the kidney from Catherine Eddowes, Jack the Ripper may have tried to take possession of the conscience, emotions and desires of one of his victims, attributes residing in the kidney as described in the Bible. Jack the Ripper was never caught; many suspects have been suggested, and the murder series ended as suddenly as it had begun. We will never know who this mentally disturbed 'nephrophilic' was. Today, the story of Jack the Ripper is part of contemporary culture.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 9 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 15 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Canada 1 7%
Unknown 14 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 4 27%
Student > Master 3 20%
Other 2 13%
Student > Bachelor 2 13%
Student > Postgraduate 1 7%
Other 3 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 5 33%
Arts and Humanities 3 20%
Medicine and Dentistry 3 20%
Unspecified 2 13%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1 7%
Other 1 7%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 May 2017.
All research outputs
#1,208,715
of 11,596,105 outputs
Outputs from Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
#284
of 3,670 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#10,027
of 100,049 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
#3
of 38 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,596,105 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,670 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 100,049 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 38 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.