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NOTE: Most of this spoiler was written and sent in by brentage2000
The movie starts out with Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) being threatened by her pimp. Seems that every week, she and her friends have to give him 4 pounds. He has threatened them to do it or get their throats cut. Mary meets her friends in a bar, and they basically agree that they don't have much choice about it. They then go out to do their jobs, and one of them meets Jack and is killed.
One of their friends tells them that when her husband gets back from France, he will give them the money they need. When he returns he is kidnapped (or so it seems) and he and his wife are sent away. Mary had been baby-sitting her daughter for her so the baby is in safe custody. We then see the friend having a lobotomy performed on her (pretty ugly in 1888) and is put in a mental ward.
The next day, we see Sergeant Peter Godley (Robbie Coltrane) retrieving Inspector Abberline (Johnny Depp) from an opium den. Godley tells Abberline about the Ripper case and brings him in on it. Abberline has this reputation for having visions of the victims in cases like this. Godley shows Abberline the body, and Abberline tells him that the man they want would have to be someone with money.
The next day, Abberline meets Mary Kelly and her friends and asks for their help. They refuse, and Abberline tells the commissioner that he thinks the killer is someone with a working knowledge of dissection. Later, Abberline goes to a party where he meets Sir William Gull (Ian Holm), a former surgeon who confirms his suspicions about Jack the Ripper.
By now, another prostitute has been killed.
Abberline is slowly developing an affection for Mary Kelly. He takes Mary Kelly to a museum with paintings of the royal family, and she recognizes one of them as the husband of her friend that was kidnapped. The husband turns out to be the son of Queen Victoria who had secretly married and impregnated the hooker friend of Mary Kelly.
They go to visit the friend (now in a sanitarium) and Abberline realizes that the Ripper is killing all of the people who saw the friend and her husband get married.
That night, Abberline tells Mary Kelly that he wants her and her remaining friends off the streets until everything is over. She and her friends rent a room and one of them, who happens to be gay gets pissed off at a French girl she met (note: the girl is important later). She goes out and meets the Ripper, who is interrupted before he can finish her off the way he likes (disemboweling her) . One of the other prostitutes goes out looking for her and is also killed. Abberline, who has a vision of this while walking, tries to stop it but is intercepted by the pimp from the beginning of the movie and knocked out. When he comes to, he rushes to the latest crime scene and is dismissed from the case.
Before he goes back to the police station to collect his things, he goes home, falls asleep, and has a vision of someone killing Mary Kelly. He then goes to the bar where Mary Kelly and her friends hang out and drops off a package of money for her. Meanwhile, Mary Kelly and the French girl are sitting in Mary Kelly's room and talking about how Mary Kelly will soon be leaving town.
After this has all happened, Abberline goes and gets his stuff from the station and goes to a library, where he takes out a book on the Freemasons. Something in it strikes a chord, and he goes to see Gull (a Freemason), who, after a long explanation, turns out to be the Ripper.
Gull is the head physician for the royal family and had cared for the Queen's son since he was born. Turns out that not only did the prince impregnate the hooker, he also has syphilis and is dying. The Queen demanded that Gull take care of the situation so Gull has been killing everyone with knowedge of the wedding. They didn't know about the baby who would be the heir to the throne.
He is about to shoot Gull when someone knocks him unconscious. Gull leaves to kill Mary Kelly, the last person with this knowledge. gull breaks into Mary's room and begins the process of killing her. He is pretty delusional now and in fact, while killing her he fantasizes about lecturing on anatomy amidst the praise of his pupils and peers while mutilating her.
Abberline wakes up in a carriage about to be injected with morphine but he breaks out and races to stop Gull from killing Mary Kelly. When he gets to her room, he finds that she has already been killed.
The commisioner puts him back on the case, and he goes inside. The coroner starts telling a notetaker the details of the scene, and Abberline picks up a hair. He looks at the hair for a second, but when the coroner asks him if anything is wrong, he says "Nothing." and puts it down. He realizes that it isn't Mary Kelly but instead, the French girl.
He goes to the bar and gets a letter that Mary Kelly had left for him, and has a vision of Mary Kelly living in the not-too-distant future with the nine year old daughter of her friend that married the member of the royal family.
He decides that he will not pursue Mary Kelly, even though he desperately wants to be with her. He knows he would be followed and then Mary would be killed.
We then see that Queen Victoria made sure her secret is kept that way by having Gull lobotomized and we see him the same way we saw Mary's friend; Head shaved and zombie like in a barren cell.
Later, we see Godley (who through most of the film was simply following Abberline around) trying to awaken Abberline, who has gone back to the opium den from the beginning of the film. He fails to do so, and Godley realizes that Abberline has overdosed and died. It was an apparent suicide since Abberline had in his hand, two coins to be placed on his eyelids.
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