10 Famous and Fascinating Sealed Boxes Part 3

About 10 famous and fascinating sealed boxes in history including boxes of Pandora and Henry the Fifth.



England was terror-stricken in the autumn of 1888. A mysterious killer, self-styled as "Jack the Ripper," roamed the East End of London, murdering women and mutilating their bodies in a hideous fashion. Indignant at the failure of the police to apprehend the murderer, citizens of London's East End took the law into their own hands and formed themselves into vigilance committees responsible for patrolling the streets after dark. On Oct. 16, 1888, Mr. George Lusk, chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, received a sealed cardboard box through the post. When he opened it, he found to his horror that it contained a portion of a human kidney and a letter that read as follows: "From hell, Mr. Lusk, sir, I send you half the kidney I took from one woman, preserved it for you, t'other piece I fried and ate it; was very nice. I may send you the bloody knife that took it out if you only wait a while longer. Catch me when you can, Mr. Lusk." The identity of the fiendish murderer who sent this grisly package remains unknown to this day.


In 1888 the gifted artist Vincent van Gogh was living at Arles, in Provence, France, where he became friends with fellow artist Paul Gauguin and invited him to share his house. However, the plan was ill fated from the start, and their companionship lasted just six weeks. Two days before Christmas, Van Gogh became enraged at Gauguin, and while at a cafe that evening, he threw a glass of absinthe in Gauguin's face. In the village square the next day, he attacked Gauguin with an open razor in his hand. When Gauguin spoke to him sharply, Van Gogh ran back into the house they shared and, standing before the mirror, hacked off part of his left ear. After winding a scarf around his head to stem the flow of blood, he wrapped the piece of ear in a package and took it to the local brothel, where he handed it to a girl who had preferred Gauguin to himself. The girl opened the package eagerly, expecting it to be a present. When she discovered the blood-covered object inside, she fainted. From that moment on, Van Gogh's mental health deteriorated rapidly, and two years later he committed suicide.

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