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Confession Made to a Vicar

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Confession Made to a Vicar

Post by Karen on Sat 6 Aug 2011 - 0:12


The London Daily Mail has received from a clergyman of the Church of England, now a North-country vicar, an interesting communication with reference to the greatest criminal mystery of our times - that enshrouding the perpetration of the series of crimes which have come to be known as the "Jack the Ripper" murders.
He writes: "I received information in professional confidence with directions to publish the facts after ten years, and then with such alterations as might defeat identification. The murderer was a man of good position, and otherwise unblemished character, who suffered from epileptic mania, and is long since deceased. I must ask you not to give my name, as it might lead to identification" - meaning the identification of the perpetrator of the crimes. We thought at first the writer was at fault in believing that ten years had passed yet since the last murder of the series, for there were other somewhat similar crimes in 1889. But on referring to Major Griffiths's book, we find he states that the last "Jack the Ripper" murder was that in Miller's-court on November 9, 1888, a confirmation of the vicar's sources of information. The vicar enclosed a narrative which he called "The Whitechurch murders - solution of a London mystery." This he described as "substantial truth under fictitious form." "Proof for obvious reasons impossible - under seal of confession," he added in reply to an enquiry.
Failing to see how any good purpose could be served by publishing substantial truth in fictitious form, the Daily Mail sent a representative to see the vicar to endeavor to ascertain which parts of the narrative were actual facts. But the vicar was not to be persuaded, and all that the reporter could learn was that the rev. gentleman appears to know with certainty the identity of the most terrible figure in the criminal annals of our times, and that the vicar does not intend to let anyone else into the secret. The murderer died, the vicar states, very shortly after committing the last murder. The vicar obtained his information from a brother clergyman, to whom a confession was made - but as to whom the vicar would not give even the most guarded hint. The only other item which a lengthy chat with the vicar could elicit was that the murderer was a man who at one time used to be engaged in rescue work among depraved women of the East-end - eventually his victims - and that the assassin was at one time a surgeon."

Source: Daily Telegraph, Issue 9418, 11 March 1899, Page 6

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

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