No one really knows if Jacqueline Archer really is a doctor as she claims. She does, however, have an excellent background in surgery and general medicine. She frequently treated sailors from all over the world that managed to dock in the port of Tampa. The city of Tampa also used her skills as an assistant to some of the earliest coroners of the entire Tampa Bay area.
No one knows where she studied surgery, but it is known that she studied with Montague Druitt, a Jack the Ripper suspect, in London and Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. H. H. Holmes, in Michigan. Reports of Doctor Archer go back even further than the 1890s, but it is impossible to tell if these are just stories or misidentification of a some other female doctors that were so uncommon before the 20th Century. There are even early reports of a plague doctor named Ascher that may have influenced Countessa Elizabeth Bathory to bathe in the blood of her victims. It is highly unlikely that these stories are the same Doctor Archer, but they can not be truly ruled out.
The modern stories of Doc Archer are morbid enough. Rumor has it that the good doctor made a wager with H. H. Holmes and Montague Druitt as to who would be the greatest serial killer of them all. It is believed that this Doctor Jacqueline “Jack” Archer might have been responsible for the first two Ripper slayings in White chapel. It is assumed that Montague Druitt did the latter slayings after Archer sailed for America.
Once Holmes opened up his “castle” and started his murders in Chicago, Doc Archer decided to up the stakes. She set up shop in St. Petersburg as a Pharmacy as well as a local Surgery Theater for students to study and observe the art of medicine. No one found it odd that she also owned a butcher shop next door.
No one truly knows how many victims she had as she sold their skeletons to medical schools all over the world, thanks to Tampa’s port. It is believed she gave this idea to H. H. Holmes and not the other way around. The rest of the victims were either dumped in the bay or chopped up in the butcher shop. She might have continued for ages longer except her experiments grew bolder in the Surgery Theater,
She had experimented with reanimating dead tissue and combining steam power to the fledgling science of prosthetics. One of her “experiments” named Elliot Two escaped and terrified most of downtown St. Petersburg. The poor victim was put down by the local police. When they came to her building the police found mountains of evidence, dozens of bodies and no sign of the good doctor. The story was swept under the rug by local officials to keep the burgeoning tourist market from collapsing.
Since most of her victims were sailors or other transient members of the population, no one can ever really be sure of her body count. If she escaped and reinvented herself again could she still be practicing today? it’s highly unlikely, but if the old stories are true, then just how many victims does Doctor Archer truly have?