Scotland Yard Stymied By Four Similar Murders.
By ROBERT MUSEL.
LONDON (UPI) - British police wondered today whether they might be dealing with a mass murderer driven by the same sort of obsession that led "Jack the Ripper" to terrorize London in the gas-lit 1880's.
Jack the Ripper knifed and strangled a dozen or more ladies of the evening apparently because he bore a grudge against the profession itself. He never was captured although a policeman once surprised him leaning over the body of a victim.
Today, Scotland Yard and the county constabulary of Derbyshire were working on the murders of four men within the past 18 months in which, like the Ripper slayings, robbery does not seem to have been the primary motive.
Two of the murders were at the same spot - Clod Hall Lane in the village of Baslow in Derbyshire, one in June, 1960, the other in March, 1961. The victims were George Stobbs, 48, and William Elliott, 60, and the killings were so similar they were known as "The Carbon Copy murders."
Lured To Scene.
Both had apparently been lured to the scene by the murderer and brutally slain there.
Last week the body of Norman Rickard, a 38-year-old bachelor and Admiralty supply officer, was found crammed into the locked wardrobe of his apartment in London. He had been stripped and strangled, with his hands tied behind his back.
On the walls of the basement flat were photographs of himself in body-building poses.
On Tuesday Scotland Yard discovered another London murder that was a "carbon copy" of the Rickard case. Handsome Alan Vigar, 23-year-old valet to a television star, was found stripped, bound and strangled in the room he occupied alone.
Study London Cases.
"We are taking note of the London cases," said a spokesman for the Derbyshire constabulary. "There are some dissimilarities between the crimes there and here but because of the victims themselves we must keep an eye on any such killings anywhere in Britain."
Scotland Yard has circulated a description of a "man in grey" seen near Rickard's flat. A night club hostess raised the macabre possibility that the slayer of Rickard may have held a party in the room while his victim's body lay in the locked wardrobe.
She told police that she and her girl friend had been invited to a party last Thursday in a flat she believes was Rickard's by a round-faced man who picked them up.
Source: Raleigh Register, Friday Afternoon, February 23, 1962, Page 2
N.B. If Jack the Ripper was never caught and, yet, a policeman once surprised Jack the Ripper leaning over one of his victim's, then why was he never arrested?