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Jack the Ripper: Latest Theory


John Simkin
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Trevor Marriott, a former Bedfordshire police detective has used modern police procedural techniques, to come up with a new theory about the Jack the Ripper murders (Jack the Ripper: the 21st Century Investigation).

Marriott challenges the conventional wisdom that the murderer was a skilled surgeon. Moreover, Marriott says the location and timing of the killings - not far from London docks with gaps of several weeks in between - suggest the killer may have been a merchant seaman.

Marriott thinks he may have identified the ship he arrived on - the Sylph, a 600-tonne cargo vessel which arrived in Britain from Barbados in July 1888, before the killing of the Ripper's first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, and which returned to the Caribbean on November 22, two weeks after the Kelly slaying, from where the same killer could have committed several similar murders in Managua in January 1889 described in a report in the Times as "six of the most atrocious murders ever committed within the limits of this city".

According to the Times report, two of the victims were "butchered out of all recognition" with their faces "horribly slashed". Both the mutilation of prostitutes' bodies and face slashing were a hallmark of the Whitechapel murders and a feature which led detectives to believe the Ripper was a serial sex attacker. Marriott also argues that the Ripper may have been responsible for a later murder of a Whitechapel prostitute not included in the usual five canonical Ripper slayings.

Alice McKenzie was found mutilated in Castle Alley, north of Whitechapel Road, on July 17 1889. Like the other Ripper victims there were signs that she had been throttled before having her throat slit and her body mutilated. One of the police pathologists who conducted the postmortem on McKenzie concluded she should be counted as the sixth Ripper victim - a verdict with which the divisional surgeon disagreed at the time.

If Marriott is right and the Ripper was a merchant seaman it might also explain that the Washington Star, bearing the dateline, Hamburg, 18 October 1889, reported the discovery of "the mutilated body" of a woman in Flensburg, a seaport with frequent sailings to London.

The report was headlined, Jack the Ripper: has he left England to continue his crimes in Germany?

You can read a full account of this at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,...1475062,00.html

According to the article about 140 people have been accused of the Ripper's crimes over the years, including:

* George Chapman A Polish immigrant arrested in 1902 for poisoning several women, including his wife. Chapman's arrival in England coincided with the start of the Whitechapel murders and the killings ceased when he went to America.

* Prince Albert Victor According to one theory, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's grandson, committed the murders after being driven mad by syphilis. According to another, the murders were committed with the aid of Victoria's physician, Sir William Gull, as part of a cover-up to protect the royal family from Albert's affair with a Catholic commoner whose nanny was Mary Kelly.

* Walter Sickert German-born painter who supposedly trawled the East End for prostitutes to model for him. One of his paintings, The Camden Town Murder, is said to bear a striking resemblance to the Mary Kelly murder scene.

* James Maybrick Liverpool cotton merchant who frequented brothels and was addicted to arsenic and strychnine. In the early 1990s Michael Barrett, a former Liverpool scrap merchant, "discovered" a diary in which Maybrick confessed to the Whitechapel murders. Barrett later confessed to forging the diaries.

* Francis Tumblety An American quack doctor who was in London at the time of the murders. Named as a suspect in 1913 by former special branch chief JG Littlechild, Tumblety was a sadist and homosexual who kept female body parts in a cabinet in his home.

* Sir John Williams Queen Victoria's former obstetrician and founder of the National Library of Wales, Williams is the latest Ripper suspect. According to his great-great nephew, Swansea author Tony Williams, he was obsessed with female anatomy and infertility because of his wife's failure to conceive. He also worked at the Whitechapel workhouse infirmary, where he treated Mary Ann Nichols and three other Ripper victims.

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Guest Stephen Turner

John..

This is an interesting theory, but I have some problems with it.

Most serial killers operate from a base within their "killing grounds" The first murder is nearly always closest geographically to this base.The reason police at the time belived in a local "ripper" was the knowlege of the locality, the killer displayed when making his escape. This scenario does not bode well for a relative stranger to the area. The killer's cloths & hands must have been literally covered in blood, feaces etc. how therefore, in the cramped, overcrowded conditions of a galley did the killer clean,& hide his cloths without raising suspicion

Another problem arises with the addition of Mckenzie to the rippers cannon. Mckenzie's killer was by medical accounts, right handed, the ripper apparently was left handed & are we to belive that the man who eviserated Kelly, was responsible for the few, superficial scratches on Mckenzie's torso?

Edited by Stephen Turner
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John and Steve,

Marriot's theory is interesting. The ship's timetable and the murders in Managua are curious but I agree with Steve's observations about the killer needing familiarity with the crime scene localities. Also, I can't recall witness sightings of a colored man (assuming he be of Carribean background), although one witness did describe a man who was seen talking with one of the victims as looking like a sailor. IMO the killer was well dressed and must have had access to discreet lodgings in order to "clean up" as you point out, Steve. This doesn't rule out a family man, however. It only indicates he was a man of some means. Couple of things, 1. Dishevelled, babbling hoboes rummaging through trash cans (Aaron Kosminski) are no chance and 2. The royals or any of their extended family are as much chance as LHO pulling off the JFK, MLK and RFK trifecta.

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Guest Stephen Turner
Couple of things, 1. Dishevelled, babbling hoboes rummaging through trash cans (Aaron Kosminski) are no chance and 2. The royals or any of their extended family are as much chance as LHO pulling off the JFK, MLK and RFK trifecta.

Mark...

LOL Spot on. as we JFKR types say," That dog dont hunt."........

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Guest Stephen Turner
Have you folks ever thought about or have, looking into the Zodiac killer?

Ryan.

The zodiac killer is indeed a strange case. when time permits I will start a

thread on him/her. Some strange coincidences with an Italian serial killer

nick-named, Il Monstro.

Steve..

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have two problems with the bum or common laborer or sailor theories:

1. The detailed anatomical knowledge and skill with which the victims were cut. Yes, a butcher might have this sort of info, but he will fail on #2.

2. Many of the mutilations and victim positions are suggestive of the very specific acts detailed in various Masonic oaths. How would some immigrant sailor or butcher have knowledge of these rites and oaths?

There is an amazing book (that I can no longer remember the title of) about Dr. Tumbletee, who does satisfy these concerns.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Hi Norman.

I belive the book your refering to is "The Lodger"by Stuart Evans. Care to expand

your theory, I am starting a Seminar section and would welcome a contribution

from you on DR Tumblety. Send me an Email if this is O K, and I will reserve a place for you.

Regards Steve...

P S, Not that I buy the Maasonic connection for a minute, but many small business

traders in the 19th Century, would have belonged to a lodge.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Hi Norman.

I belive the book your refering to is "The Lodger"by Stuart Evans. Care to expand

your theory, I am starting a Seminar section and would welcome a contribution

from you on DR Tumblety. Send me an Email if this is O K, and I will reserve a place for you.

  Regards Steve...

P S, Not that I buy the Maasonic connection for a minute, but many small business

traders in the 19th Century, would have belonged to a lodge.

I read the book years ago, not sure if I still have it, but I will look. A real interesting character who apparently fit the Ripper profile.

Regarding small business traders as Masons, yes that seems possible, I don't know how restricted by class was Masonic membership in England at that time. But, how is the small business man to aquire the medical knowledge to cut these gals so precisely?

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Guest Stephen Turner

Norman. Except at the highest levels,33rd Degree, Rose croix, etc, The Masons are

a fairly Democratic institution. Even in the 19th Century it was not uncommon for

a man of lesser social status, to become Master of his lodge. & therefor be aware

of all Masonic ritual, Apprentice, Entered, Brother Mason. As I said though, I dont

belive these murders had a Masonic overtone.

Also the supposed "Surgical skill" of the wounds is a myth, as old as the murders themselves. If we leave Stride, & Kelly out of our considerations ( Both are

unrepresentative of the profile) Then very little skill is demonstrated,if you check

out "The media myth of Jack." I have posted all the Post Mortem results. Jack was

no Doctor, or Freemason,overseas sailor, or Black Magician.

Steve.

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Guest Stephen Turner
Re Jack the Ripper, prime suspect in my book is Joseph Barnett.

Just an opinion of course.

James

Hi James, Do you have a photo.. :D:D

Mr Barnett was as you,know the recent ex of Mary Kelly, last of the excepted

canonical victims. I shall say no more, but ask you to explain your thinking

if you feel so inclined..

Steve.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

In fact I will say some more about Mr Barnett. My Wife had a theory that old Joe

had murdred Mary Kelly, but only Mary, And had used the Ripper murders for

cover. She belived that he returned to Millers Court, later that night, and caught

Mary "In flagrenti delecto" with a client, possibly the one Hutchinson see's her

with, The client leaves, and an almighty row ensues,To cut a long story short

Joe, in a rage, Kills Mary, and realising what he has done butchers her, to make it

look like another ripper murder. He then burns his bloodstained cloths in the grate

and changes into a fresh set, which he had left, when he moved out.

Three further points, 1 Solves the riddle of the locked door, Joe had a key.

2, The taking of the heart is a very personel statement. 3,The original client is

caught between a rock & a hard place, and simply decides that discresion is

better than valour... As I said this is my Wife's theory, so any complaints to her.

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Hi James, Do you have a photo.. :lol::lol:

Mr Barnett was as you,know the recent ex of Mary Kelly, last of the excepted

canonical victims. I shall say no more, but ask you to explain your thinking

if you feel so inclined. (Stephen Turner)

Hi Steve,

You are very well versed on the Ripper case so I know you will be aware of the following information.

http://www.casebook.org/suspects/barnett.html

I drew my conclusions based on lots of independent reading in which I felt the Ripper was either Barnett or Tumblety.

After an email exchange with Ian Griggs who would have to be one of the more learned individuals on the topic, I was convinced that Barnett was the man. I do believe Ian is a member of the forum and if he reads this, hopefully he will comment.

Interesting discussion. BTW, the photo crack was a classic. :D

James

Edited by James Richards
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Hi James, Do you have a photo.. :unsure:  :lol:

Mr Barnett was as you,know the recent ex of Mary Kelly, last of the excepted

canonical victims. I shall say no more, but ask you to explain your thinking

if you feel so inclined. (Stephen Turner)

Hi Steve,

You are very well versed on the Ripper case so I know you will be aware of the following information.

http://www.casebook.org/suspects/barnett.html

I drew my conclusions based on lots of independent reading in which I felt the Ripper was either Barnett or Tumblety.

After an email exchange with Ian Griggs who would have to be one of the more learned individuals on the topic, I was convinced that Barnett was the man. I do believe Ian is a member of the forum and if he reads this, hopefully he will comment.

Interesting discussion. BTW, the photo crack was a classic.  :D

James

James,

Very interesting. However, I can't have Barnett. He wouldn't have done that to his ex girlfriend. Also, he lived on in Whitechapel for years. With this kind of serial killer, they just don't get bored with it and move on to something else. IMO, he continues until he dies, gets caught or incarcerated for some other reason.

Steve,

Your wife poses an interesting scenario, more likely than JB committing all the murders, IMO, although I still don't buy it. MK's the ripper's work--only with more time. The locked door business is no mystery--the ripper just locks the door on his way out. BTW, has there ever been a handwriting comparison of MJD's suicide note (or other writing) and the ripper letters?

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