A sensational new book has caused a storm among historians by claiming that Jack the Ripper was, in fact, a woman.
Former solicitor John Morris, 62, has named Welsh-born Lizzie Williams as the Whitechapel monster - and claims she killed her victims because she could not have children, ripping out the wombs of three in an 'unhinged state'.
Lizzie was the wife of royal physician Sir John Williams, himself seen as a prime suspect by many other crime experts.
Mr Morris, from Birmingham, also cites evidence - which has not proved popular among Ripper experts - including the fact that none of the five murdered prostitutes was sexually assaulted; and the personal items of one, Annie Chapman, were laid out at her feet 'in a feminine manner'.
Former solicitor John Morris, 62, has named Welsh-born Lizzie Williams (above) as the Whitechapel monster - and claims she killed her victims because she could not have children
The serial killer struck five times during a blood-soaked ten weeks in 1888. Ripper experts have scoffed at the idea that 'Jack' was a woman
THE RIPPER'S PROSTITUTE VICTIMS OF 1888
August 31, Mary Ann Nichols, 43
September 8, Annie Chapman, 47
September 30, Lizzy Stride, 44
September 30, Catherine Eddowes, 46
November 9, Mary Jane Kelly, 25
Mr Morris's new book, Jack The Ripper: The Hand Of A Woman, was written along with his late father Byron.
The men sifted through thousands of medical and legal documents to draw up a compelling case for branding Lizzie the killer.
But John, speaking from his current home in Wicklow, Ireland, said their theory has not gone down well with Ripperologists.
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'The case for a woman murderer is overwhelming. But unfortunately it does not sit well in some quarters where such a theory flies in the face of long-held beliefs,' he told the Birmingham Mail.
'There’s absolutely no doubt that the Ripper was a woman. But because everyone believes that the murderer was a man, all the evidence that points to a woman has always been ignored.'
The Ripper struck five times during a blood-soaked ten weeks in 1888. The victims - Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly - were all East End prostitutes.
Jack The Ripper: The Hand Of A Woman, by former solicitor John Morris (left), which was written along with his late father Byron
Three had their wombs removed, which John believes is significant.
He says Welshwoman Lizzie, born on February 7, 1850, was unable to have children and, in an unhinged state, took terrible revenge on those who could.
Coroner Wynne Baxter said at Annie Chapman’s inquest: 'The conclusion that the desire was to possess the missing (body) part seems overwhelming.'
John also points to the facts:
None of the women was sexually assaulted;
Personal items were laid out at the feet of Chapman in, according to newspaper reports, ‘a typically feminine manner’;
Three small buttons from a woman’s boot were found in blood near Catherine Eddowes;
Remnants of women’s clothing - a cape, skirt and hat - were found in the ashes of Mary Kelly’s fireplace. Mary had never been seen wearing them
John believes there’s a reason Mary Kelly was targeted - and why the killing spree ended with her death.
Lizzie’s husband, Sir John, who ran abortion clinics in Whitechapel, was having an affair with her.
The author added: 'There are numerous clues scattered throughout the crimes which, taken individually, may mean little, but when grouped together a strong case for a woman murderer begins to emerge.'
Lizzie - nee Mary Elizabeth Ann Hughes - was the daughter of a Welsh industrialist Richard Hughes. The couple were married in 1872, when he was 32 and she was 22.
Soon after the grisly deaths, Lizzie suffered a nervous breakdown. She died of cancer in 1912, having never been quizzed by police over the murders.
Sir John and the six-inch 'Ripper' blade... but now his wife's in the frame
Lizzie was wife of royal physician Sir John Williams, himself seen as a prime suspect by many other crime experts
Last November, a knife was unearthed which could be one of the most infamous murder weapons in British criminal history.
The razor sharp six-inch blade belonged to Welsh surgeon Sir John Williams, a chief suspect in the notorious Jack the Ripper murders.
Sir John - known to his family at the time of the killings as 'Uncle Jack' - was the surgeon to Queen Victoria who lived in London at the time of the slayings.
He fled the capital after the murders and later founded the National Library for Wales in Aberystwyth.
One of his distant relatives found the old black-handled surgeon's knife, which he used for operations, and is sure it is the murder weapon.
Tony Williams, 49, Sir John's great-great-great-great nephew, discovered the blade among a stash of possessions left by the Welshman, including three glass slides which contains smears of a uterus.
Mr Williams said: 'Why would he leave this behind? I am convinced that this is the knife used by Sir John Williams to murder those women.
'It is widely know that the person who carried out the killings would have had significant medical knowledge.
'Sir John Williams was an accomplished surgeon and routinely performed abortions on women.
'He held surgeries all over London at the time of the murders.
'Dr Thomas Bond, a pathologist who examined the body of Mary Kelly, said the ripper had used the same six-inch knife in all the murders.
This razor sharp six-inch blade belonged to Welsh surgeon Sir John and it is believed to be the Ripper's weapon
'He said it would have been at least six inches long, very sharp, pointed at the top and about an inch in width - a surgeon's knife.
'This is the knife that fits the description that I've held in my hand back in the National Library of Wales.'
Sir John Williams, born November 1840, was a Welsh surgeon and physician who attended to Queen Victoria.
He was raised to the baronetcy by her for his work in 1894.
The medic had a surgery in London's Harley Street the time of the murders - which saw five prostitutes butchered in the streets of Whitechapel in the city's East End.
Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes and Kelly had been expertly sliced open and some had been disembowelled. Two had their uteruses missing.
Many suspects have been put forward for the gruesome killings - but it wasn't until this century that Sir John Williams was named.
ROBERT MANN: Historian Mei Trow points the finger at mortuary attendant Robert Mann. He was well educated in anatomy, lived locally and came from a poor background. The first two victims, Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman, are known to have been delivered to his mortuary.
PRINCE ALBERT VICTOR: He killed the women after being driven insane by syphilis, according to an article in The Criminologist in 1970 by Dr Thomas E A Stowell.
MONTAGUE JOHN DRUITT: Druitt was a barrister who came under suspicion because he committed suicide just after the final murder. However, he lived in Kent – and most Ripper experts believe the suspect was local to Whitechapel.
DR THOMAS NEILL CREAM: Cream, a doctor specialising in abortions, was hanged in 1892 for several murders he committed in London and his last words were reportedly ‘I am Jack…’.
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