Clue found in Jack the Ripper letter mystery
By T.K. Randall
January 30, 2018 · 2 comments
Did Jack the Ripper really write the letters ? Image Credit: John Atkinson Grimshaw (1880)
A forensic linguist has conducted a new analysis of two letters allegedly written by the killer himself.
It's one of the best known and enduring murder mysteries the world has ever known, yet more than 120 years after Jack the Ripper's killing spree through the streets of London, there has never been a definitive answer as to who he really was.
In addition to his reputation as an infamous murderer, Jack was also known for writing letters about the killings - more than 200 in total - although many were thought to be copycats written by hoaxers.
Now in an effort to gain new insight in to who wrote two of the earliest letters, Dr Andrea Nini from The University of Manchester has analyzed the writing style using modern forensic linguistic techniques.
He was able to discover certain shared distinctive linguistic constructions, such as the phrasal verb 'to keep back' (to withhold), as well as connections to another well known letter from the killer.
"My conclusion is that there is very strong linguistic evidence that these two texts were written by the same person," he wrote. "People in the past had already expressed this tentative conclusion, on the basis of similarity of handwriting, but this had not been established with certainty."
"I also found evidence that could link the author of these two letters to the so-called 'Moab and Midian' letter, which some people believe was a hoax created by the Central News Agency of London."
Source: University of Manchester
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