New Evidence May Point to Jack the Ripper’s Identity

Nearly 130 years after Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, new evidence has emerged that might finally unmask the identity of history’s most famous serial killer.

The evidence, which first came to light in 1992, so it isn’t technically new. But the research that points to its authenticity is. It comes in the form of a diary which allegedly belonged to James Maybrick, a wealthy cotton merchant from Liverpool, England.

gq-images.condecdn.net

Nothing in Maybrick’s life would have connected him to the slayings were this diary not found. The journal does not explicitly state that it was written by Maybrick, but it contained enough detail about the life of the author to make it likely that it belonged to him. It also contained a chilling postscript that read: “I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentleman born. Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper.”

This would seem to be enough proof to close the case against Maybrick but for one problem. The authenticity of the diary has remained in doubt for the last 25 years. The man who claimed to have first found the diary died shortly after finding it, so no one knew exactly where it had been found. Many believed it was a sophisticated forgery. This view was strengthened when the man who presented the diary to the public, Michael Barrett, signed an affidavit saying he had faked the diary and made up the story.

After extensive research by several “Ripperologists,” there is new interest in the diary. First, Michael Barret later retracted his affidavit and began swearing that the diary was authentic. Second, the reason for Barrett’s wavering has recently come to light. It appears that he removed the diary illegally from the floorboards in Maybrick’s former home, where Barrett was performing some work. When it became clear that he might be prosecuted for this, he said he made the whole thing up.

Tests have been done on the diary to try to determine if the ink and paper were from the 19th century. While those tests were inconclusive, they also did not prove that it was a 20th-century forgery. In addition, a pocket watch was found in 1993, bearing an engraving which stated, “J. Maybrick” and “I am Jack.” It also had the initials of the five Ripper victims engraved inside. Tests showed that this was not a modern forgery.

Finally, circumstances in Maybrick’s life may show why the Ripper killings suddenly ended, a mystery that has boggled crime historians for over a century. The last acknowledged Ripper killing, that of Mary Kelly, took place in November 1888. It was a few months after this that Maybrick’s health declined suddenly. He died in April 1889, having been poisoned by his wife, Florence, who later went to prison for his murder. This would explain the sudden end to the Ripper’s killing spree.

Though this is not conclusive proof that Maybrick was the killer, it is certainly an interesting prospect. And if he was the killer, there may be some justice in the fact that he died as a murder victim himself. We may never know the true identity of Jack the Ripper, but for Ripperologists everywhere, this is certainly an exciting development.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • The unstoppable Iron Mike

    If you thought Iron Man was indestructible wait until you hear about Michael Malloy or Mike The Durable as his friends liked to call him. Malloy was a firefighter who lives in New York City during the 1920s but by 1933 he was homeless and had fallen deep into the clutches of alcoholism. You see...

    Read More
  • You Want To Live Forever? Start By Getting A Dog.

    Next time you find yourself screaming at your dog in anger because the young puppy chewed up your shoes, tore down your curtains or ruined your sofa, do keep this in mind: Buddy may actually be adding years on your life! In Sweden, researchers followed over 3 million people over the age of forty for...

    Read More
  • The Town That Respectfully Maintained The Grave Of A Toilet

    General George Smith Patton was a highly decorated senior officer of the United States Army, he is best known for commanding the U.S Third Army during the Allied liberation of Normandy in June 1944. His military exploits are well noted and documented, in fact, he is seen as one of the greatest war generals to...

    Read More
  • New Evidence Shows Menopause Treatment Not a Cancer Risk

    An exciting major new study has found that taking hormone replacement therapy to counter the symptoms of menopause does not increase a woman’s risk of early death. Researchers in the early 2000s discovered a link between women taking HRT for over five years and a higher risk of cancer. It even detailed how patients could...

    Read More
  • The Mysterious tale of Lucky Lord Lucan

    Some claim it to be one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th Century and when you dive into the story it really just begs the question - what in the world happened to Lucky Lord Lucan? On November 7, 1974, Lord Richard John Bingham the Seventh Earl of Lucan murdered his wife’s nanny by...

    Read More
  • A French Noblewoman Who Became a Ferocious Pirate Legend

    During the height of the Hundred Years War between England and France, one French noblewoman became feared throughout France for her ferocious never-ending appetite for revenge. Jeanne de Clisson with the help of the English outfitted three warships and caused havoc to any French ships crossing the English channel. Some may say privateer but at...

    Read More
  • The Native American Who Saved the Pilgrims

    Many of us are familiar with the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, but have you heard of Squanto, the Patuxet Native American from Cape Cod Bay that saved the Pilgrims from disease and disaster? Squanto was a young man when, in 1614, he was abducted by Spanish conquistadors. He was forcefully taken by ship back...

    Read More