We conclude our Jack the Ripper documentary film with a look at the police investigation in the wake of Mary Kelly’s Murder. Richard Jones of http://www.jack-the-ripper-tour.com/ begins this instalment by observing that over 100 years have now passed since Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror and easily as many suspects have been put forward as possible perpetrators of the Whitechapel Murders. However, as Richard observes, the only real chance we have of hunting down the killer today is to put the crimes back into the context of the era and the streets in which they occurred. The first problem to confront a budding ripperologist is, exactly how many of the eleven Whitechapel Murders were actually at the hand of Jack the Ripper? Paul Begg and Lindsay Siviter give the number as five – Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly. Having established this we then start looking at who the police at the time thought the ripper may have been. As Paul Begg explains, many of the officers who worked on the case would later go on record to name a particular suspect and the one that appears to have been favoured by the two top officers on the case – Dr Robert Anderson and Chief Inspector Donald Sutherland Swanson – was Aaron Kosminski. According to Anderson, the only witness to have seen the ripper with a victim had positively identified this particular suspect when confronted with him, but refused to testify against him. Paul Begg opines that the witness in question was probably Israel Schwarz who saw the man attacking the third of Jack the Ripper victim’s Elizabeth Stride in Berner Street. According to Swanson this suspect was sent to Colney Hatch asylum. We then have an appearance by Zena Shine, who grew up in the district in the 1930’s, and whose maiden name was Kosminski and whose uncle, Aaron, was incarcerated in Colney hatch asylum. In 1988, the centenary year of the Jack the Ripper murders, investigators began combing the asylum records for that elusive proof with regards the fate of Jack the Ripper. Two investigators actually knocked on Zena’s door to inform her that there was a possibility that she might be a relative of the ripper! Having heard Zena’s reaction to learning that her uncle may possibly have been the World’s most infamous serial killer, Paul Begg then assesses the veracity of Aaron Kosminski as a suspect. “Unmasking Jack the Ripper” ends with Richard Jones explaining that, since today we know more about major suspects in the case than the majority of the police officers who worked on the investigation knew, there is a chance that the case might not be as cold as most people think it is and, with so many dedicated researchers on his trail, the day may yet come when the identity of Jack the Ripper can be revealed for certain.
Video/ Unmasking Jack the Ripper – Conclusion