Shipping on the Thames in Victorian era London. Image Credit: John Atkinson Grimshaw (1880)
An 11-year investigation in to the infamous 19th century killer has reached a startling conclusion.
The mysterious serial killer known only as Jack the Ripper has been the subject of investigations and research for over 125 years, but to date nobody has been able to piece together the identity of the Victorian-era killer whose grisly crimes saw the deaths of several women in London.
Now after a detailed investigation spanning more than a decade, former murder squad detective Trevor Marriott has determined that the reason Jack's identity has been so difficult to ascertain is because he didn't actually exist at all. Instead, the name was coined by a journalist called Thomas Bulling who forged a letter to Scotland Yard in the interests of obtaining a scoop.
While the murders certainly took place, it appears that they may have simply been grouped together under the name of Jack the Ripper and that there may have been multiple actual culprits.
"The facts of this case have been totally distorted over the years," said Marriott. "Jack is supposed to be responsible for five victims, but there were other similar murders before and after the ones attributed to him, both in this country and abroad in America and Germany."
The recognizable image of Jack the Ripper stalking the streets of London in a black cape and top hat, it seems, may have been nothing more than an urban myth.
Jack the Ripper