|“||I can't stop, Elena. I'm a Ripper! A Ripper doesn't stop! I listen to the words that come out of your mouth and all I hear is the sound of your heart pumping blood through your body.||”|
A Ripper is an infamous nickname given to sadistic vampires who enjoy abusing, dispatching, and/or mutilating their victims. They usually have turned off their humanity, therefore simply not caring about their actions. Not to be considered a sub-species of vampires but rather a category of humanity-less/emotion-less vampires, though they don't necessarily have to have their emotions off.
Rippers are extremely feral, predatory vampires, and far more savage and beast-like than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back, baring their fangs as signs of aggression when provoked. Unlike the average vampire, the enjoyment of hunting and terrorizing humans are far more entertaining to rippers, as they destroy the lives and sever the limbs of humans without hesitation or remorse.
Despite their nature and reputation, some rippers are also capable of human emotions, such as compassion, love, protection, respect, and self-control. Not all rippers are evil killers with no conscience, there are some who are just tragically consumed by their bloodlust to the point that their morality is irrelevant, such as the case with Stefan Salvatore, who when in his true state of mind is a very heroic and moral person. They are the type of vampire that is so consumed by their bloodlust that they are completely unaware of what they're doing and often black out. Stefan and those who know him often refer to his bloodlust as a kind of addiction, such as alcoholism. When he drinks human blood in large amounts, he has a difficult time feeding in moderation afterward, and deals with this much of the time by abstaining from human blood completely and drinking animal blood.
Dr. Wes Maxfield of the Augustine Society has developed a compound that would turn vampires into Rippers. The compound would make the said vampire salivate at the smell of vampire blood. Once they started feeding, they wouldn't stop feeding. He recently injected Damon Salvatore with the compound causing him to become a Ripper and feed on other vampires, Dr. Wes Maxfield had originally intended to do this to Elena. Elena still became a ripper when Katherine injected Elena's body with a werewolf venom enhanced ripper virus developed by Wes as a last act of revenge against her doppelgänger before her death.
- Stefan Salvatore: Stefan was a Ripper when he had first been turned in the year 1864 until meeting Lexi, then during Miss Mystic Falls, he almost became a Ripper again but was saved by Elena and Damon. As of As I Lay Dying, he had started to become a ripper once again, to save his brother Damon. Stefan has been said to be one of the worst rippers ever as Klaus was very impressed by what he had done in his past. Curiously, Stefan is a very moral person with a strong conscience yet due to his addiction to blood, he became one of the worst rippers as he is infamously called the Ripper of Monterey after falling victim to his bloodlust due to Damon's influence in 1912. This shows how strong a Ripper's bloodlust is, to be able to overtake their morality. Stefan is also known, on a world wide basis, by most vampires for slaughtering an entire village of immigrants. Stefan is known to rip his victims to pieces when killing them and then trying to put them back together again out of guilt. Stefan seems to share this same trait of Ripperdom with his mother, Lily. Both Lily and Stefan have very similar personalities, especially with the fact that they are blood addicts who cannot control their blood lust and become sadistic when consumed with blood lust or when they have their humanity shut off.
- Lily Salvatore: Similar to her youngest son Stefan, Lily was also a Ripper, a vampire who killed and slaughtered numbers of humans in gruesome ways. In 1858, Lily had faked her death (made it appear as though she had died from consumption), was turned into a vampire by an unknown vampire and abandoned her family, including her husband and her sons. Lily then fled to Europe, where she ended up being responsible for the killing and slaughtering of over 3,000 people. According to Kai, Lily was a Ripper who had a severe blood addiction where she fell off the wagon and would lose control to the point of being unable to control her killer instincts as a vampire. Lily had left a trail of dead corpses/bodies all across Europe for many decades. Her killings became so infamous that she was eventually caught and discovered by the Gemini Coven. As a punishment for her crimes, the Gemini Coven trapped her in a Prison World in the year 1903. Before Lily was turned, it could be assumed that she had a similar personality and temperament to that of her youngest son Stefan; both Lily and Stefan were generally kind, gentle humans who became immoral and blood thirsty killers after they were both turned into vampires. While in the prison world, she apparently learned to control her blood lust by drinking only two drops of blood a week, enough to avoid desiccation.
- Jesse: Jesse was a student at Whitmore college and friend to Caroline, Elena, and Aaron turned into a vampire by Caroline's blood who was experimented on by Dr. Wes Maxfield and used to create the Ripper Virus. He fed upon other vampires, making him an Augustine Vampire.
- Damon Salvatore: Damon was a Ripper, and was turned into a ripper by Dr. Wes Maxfield's compound, he then kills a vampire named Joey. Stefan along with Katherine (as Elena) tries to find Damon and help him because he's feeding on vampire blood in No Exit. Damon feeds on Joey so hard and violently that within a matter of seconds he rips his head clean off and shows no remorse or concern about what he's done. He is cured of the Ripper Virus in While You Were Sleeping after being a ripper for 3 weeks since Total Eclipse of the Heart. Damon fed on Vampires making him an Augustine Vampire.
- Elena Gilbert: Elena was a Ripper thanks to Katherine injecting her body with a enhanced Ripper Virus created by Wes Maxfield using werewolf venom taken from Nadia's blood. Katherine did this to get revenge on Elena for having the life that she should've had. In While You Were Sleeping, Stefan tried to help her with the urge to feed on other vampires. When Stefan opened a vein so Elena can smell his blood, she instantly goes on the attack after she gets the scent of Stefan's blood. Bonnie has Elena sealed in their dorm by Liv so she won't harm anyone. Her urge to feed on vampire blood is strong enough that she almost turns Luke Parker into a vampire just so that she can feed off him. But stops herself when she realizes Katherine was feeding off him and "compelling" him, she later forces Liv to release the seal or die. Like Damon, she is cured of her version of the Ripper Virus as well.
- Rebekah Mikaelson: After being subdued with the cursed stake developed by the Strix, Rebekah was put into a magical slumber much like that of a white oak dagger. However, when Rebekah was revived by Elijah, it was revealed that the stake was cursed not only with the ability of extreme torment while subdued but to transform it's victims into Rippers too. Although many attempts to remove the cursed mark by Freya, she was unable to cure Rebekah, who was daggered soon after on her own accord.
- Milton Greasley: A young vampire and student at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted who is found to be a Ripper in Death Keeps Knocking On My Door. Due to the school feeding the vampires animal blood as opposed to human blood, his Ripper side is usually in check.
- Stefan Salvatore is a very well known ripper, often called by the nickname, 'The Ripper of Monterey' due to him wiping out a village there.