The notorious legend of Jack the Ripper continues to live on with theories popping up ranging from the feasible to the truly bizarre. Although the Ripper was never actually caught, many of these theories provide a compelling back story and some even lead us to believe that the case has finally been cracked. Below we have listed just 3 lesser-known Jack the Ripper suspects and the reasons why they were and still remain, suspects.
William Henry Bury
Born in 1895 and hanged in 1889 for the cold murder of Ellen, his wife, the theory that William Henry Bury might be the Ripper came about in 1889. The New York Times suggested that he fits the bill due to the nature of his killing and the similarities between his wife’s murder and that of Polly Nichols.
Bury stabbed his wife in the abdomen after strangling her to death, inflicting similar wounds to those that were found on the Ripper’s victims. Presumably, the police made the link as they began to investigate the matter further. In addition, it was said that the words “Jack the Ripper is in this sellar (sic)” were written on the door at Bury’s home in chalk and Bury’s wife was known to have previously been involved in prostitution. It’s also rumoured that Bury slept with a penknife tucked beneath his pillow and it was suggested that he matched the profile of the Ripper.
Strangely, the police leading the investigation decided that Bury was not a viable suspect and was therefore not charged with the Ripper killings.
Walter Sickert was an artist at the time of the Ripper murders and is said to have some quite interesting connections to the killings. Apparently, he actually painted Mary Kelly and it’s thought he did the same for a few other victims. He is also said to have shown a great deal of interest in the murders, creating several works that show things from the perspective of the murderer and even told tales and rumours that related to the notorious killer.
However, apart from shaky claims, there is no solid evidence that mean that Sickert was actually the Ripper; just a few coincidental facts.
Montague Druitt is said to be the first suspect whose case was taken seriously by both dedicated Ripperologists and the police. Sir Melville Macnaughten, former police assistant commissioner, suggested that Druitt was actually a loner and it’s possible that he was a sexual deviant who ended up committing suicide in the Thames (supposedly around the time when the murders ceased). Macnaughten also said that a few members of Druitt’s family feared that he may be the Ripper.
However, despite a fair bit of ‘evidence’ stacking up against him, little of Macnaughten’s statement was proven and some of it was even false e.g. while Macnaughten claimed that the suspect was a medical student, he was in fact a lawyer and Druitt apparently didn’t in any way match the profile of the Ripper.
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Richard Cobb – has written 229 posts on this site.
Richard Cobb is a industry expert on everything Jack The Ripper, he is also the founding partner of The Jack The Ripper Tour which has become extremely successful over the last 3 years.