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The Return of Evidence

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The Return of Evidence

Post by Karen on Fri 3 Jun 2011 - 17:03

Police unveil chilling Jack the Ripper mementos.

LONDON (AP) - Police unveiled long-lost evidence from the case of Jack the Ripper on Thursday, saying it helped fill in the historical puzzle surrounding the murderer who terrorized the city a century ago.
But they said the recovered police photographs and documents, including a chilling letter allegedly from the Ripper, cast no new light on the identity of one of history's best-known criminals.
His five victims, all prostitutes, fell prey to the murderer's knife in the seamy East End of London during a nine week period beginning August 31, 1888. Most were disembowelled and mutilated.
"We're quite pleased that they are in our possession now," said Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner John Dellow, surrounded by the evidence in plastic packets. "We can't say at this stage where or how they became detached or where they've been since, but they are of some interest to us.
"They fill in the historical jigsaw of the Ripper murders and one or two other things," he told reporters at New Scotland Yard police headquarters. But he did not think it brought anyone closer to knowing who the Ripper was.
The yellowed Ripper letter, written in neat script and red ink, laughs at the police for their failure to catch him.
"I keep hearing the police have caught me but they won't fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track," it starts. "I am down on whores and I shan't quit ripping them till I do get buckled."
Dellow said part of the evidence, a set of post-mortem black-and-white photographs of the Ripper's victims, were given to police last year by the family of a deceased policeman.
It was not known how they came into his possession, he said.
The second set of evidence appeared more mysteriously, in a plain brown envelope mailed to police from Croydon, south London, earlier this year.
As well as the Ripper letter, whose contents have been known, the envelope contained the announcement of a pardon for anyone with knowledge of the Ripper; original post-mortem notes on the last victim, Mary Kelly, and documents about an 1889 crime thought possibly to have been the work of the Ripper.
Dellow said, "there's been a considerable amount of time spent on this to try and identify where documents might have been in the last few years," but it remains a mystery.
Donald Rumbelow, who has written two books on Ripper crimes, told the Associated Press the recovery of the evidence was "important in the sense that....a lot of police papers were scattered, thrown away, destroyed....so anything which plugs gaps is actually doing us all a great service."
Dellow said, "At least we know we have a more complete file. Obviously these things were missing from the record. They're now back in."
He said the documents would be given to the Public Records Office, where other police files were sent in 1951.
The photographs probably would be shown in a police museum, such as the Black Museum, Scotland Yard's resting place for exhibits from Britain's most notorious crimes. It is closed to the public.
Later Thursday, British Broadcasting Corp. television previewed a television documentary that will be shown in September titled "Shadow of the Ripper," which examines social and historical reasons why the spate of crimes became so legendary.
The program is one of several by both British and U.S. television producers which the centenary has sparked, along with walking tours of London, video games, T-shirts and other memorabilia.

Source: The Stars and Stripes, Saturday August 20, 1988, Page 3

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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