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In the 1880's, three prostitutes are brutally murdered in the Whitechapel section of London. After the press has dubbed the unknown killer "Jack the Ripper," Sherlock Holmes receives a package containing a box of surgical instruments from which a scalpel is missing. Aided by his friend Dr. Watson, Holmes traces the instruments to the home of the Duke of Shires and learns that they were once the property of the duke's elder son, Michael, who was disowned for marrying a prostitute, Angela. Holmes also learns that the duke's younger son, Lord Carfax, has been paying blackmail to Max Steiner, the local pub owner, to conceal Michael's marriage and preserve the family honor. Also implicated in the killings is Dr. Murray, the owner of a Whitechapel clinic, who confesses that his assistant is Michael, who went berserk when he spilled acid on his wife's face upon discovering her with a lover. When Holmes learns that Steiner is Angela's lover and that she is the blackmailer, he takes Michael home to his father and sets a trap for the killer in Angela's room. "The Ripper" is revealed to be Lord Carfax; he killed the other prostitutes only to obscure his intention of murdering Angela. As Holmes struggles with Lord Carfax, a lamp is knocked over and flames sweep the room. Lord Carfax, Angela, and Steiner perish in the fire; and Holmes decides to spare the feelings of the Duke of Shires by allowing the identity of "Jack the Ripper" to remain a mystery.