Could Jack the Ripper — Britain’s most notorious, still unidentified serial killer — have been American?
That’s the question at the heart of American Ripper, a new eight-part limited series premiering on HISTORY. The show sees Jeff Mudgett, the great-great-grandson of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes (or Herman Mudgett), attempt to prove that his ancestor is none other than the 19th-century murderer who terrorized the streets of London. The retired attorney believes that Holmes was able to escape his execution and make his way to Whitechapel, London, where he essentially lived a second life, committing as many as 200 murders and remaining uncaught.
As you can see in the exclusive clip (above), Mudgett — who learned that he was related to Holmes 20 years ago and has since been extensively researching him — and his team of investigators (including CIA criminologist Amaryllis Fox) have obtained permission to exhume Holmes’ grave so they can procure a sample of his DNA to test it and see if he was indeed able to pull off this elaborate con. And what they find — or rather, don’t find — might be another huge clue.
American Ripper premieres July 11 at 10 p.m. ET on HISTORY.