It seems there are forever new Jack The Ripper identities being speculated upon. The film From Hell starring Johnny Depp sure kept the mystery and rumors going. The film was based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell and continued to add fuel to the fire of who Jack could be. From Hell followed the the notorious story of Jack and the bloodshed that Jack left behind in his wake. Johnny Depp's character was based on the real Inspector Frederick Abberline who was placed in charge of the various detectives investigating the Ripper murders.
Amongst the many suspects who had potential to be Jack, Inspector Frederick Abberline's primary suspect was a Polish serial killer called Severin Antoniovich Klosowski a.k.a. George Chapman. This ruthless criminal was convicted and executed after poisoning three women, so the mystery of if he could have in fact been Jack went with him in death.
There have been so many other people suspected and named as a potential Jack, but this new development could maybe hold the answer. Based on a theory by author Dr. Weston-Davies who also happens to be the great nephew of Mary Kelly, the last victim of Jack The Ripper. This new theory was developed after he put together research for his book The Real Mary Kelly.
If you have heard of Jack the Ripper then my guess is that you will have heard the name Mary Jane Kelly. This new development began in 2011 when a bunch of old documents connected to the case surfaced at The National Archives, which raised questions about the strange marriage of Francis Spurzheim Craig and Mary. The divorce papers uncovered her real name, Elizabeth Weston Davies; definitely not the name "Mary" which we all knew her by.
Notice the date crossed out here as the "eighth day of March." Mary Kelly was murdered on the ninth.
Filing for divorce, Francis wrote
"That I am informed and verily believe that on the night of 19th May 1885 the said Elizabeth Weston Craig was seen to enter a house and private hotel, 53 Tonbridge Street in the company of a young man 20 – 24 years at 10 o’clock at night."
He does not mention whether he himself was the witness or somebody else, which in a court of law should really have been honored. Nor does it mention which partner left first. This was when he realized that his wife was a prostitute and this was a crushing blow to the marriage.
The main suspect for Jack is now her ex-husband, Francis
After their divorce, he stalked her and she never knew when he would appear to cause havoc. Fearing for her well-being, she moved to Whitechapel and lived under the pseudonym Mary Jane Kelly. Her ex-husband eventually found out and continued to stalk her, starting fights in the streets with her. The book suggests that after finding her he plotted her murder.
The author behind the book is the great nephew of Mary Kelly and believes that her murder was an act of marital vengeance. He has gathered so much evidence that The Ministry of Justice has indicated that it will grant the first ever exhumation license for the grave of a Ripper victim after examining the new theory.
Francis is circled here
So who was he?
Francis was a journalist whose career suffered an imaginable blow when he was exposed as a plagiarist, having lifted entire articles written from The Daily Telegraph. The author has connected the killer to Francis through this drawing alone:
"I think this is very possibly Francis Craig, and therefore the only surviving image of Jack the Ripper. The reporter in the illustration looks very much like Francis’s father, who was a well-known phrenologist who moved in the west London bohemian set with William Morris and the like. We know Francis was living in the East End, covering the courts and it’s very likely he covered the Chapman inquest."
Another strange connection is that the infamous letters which were the foundation of the ''Jack The Ripper" case were sent to the Central News press agency at the Old Bailey rather than a national newspaper.
In a bizarre turn of events, in 1903 the ex-husband of 'Mary Kelly' who was known for being unstable, cut his own throat with a razor. He left his landlady a note saying:
I have suffered a deal of pain and agony.
His death did not come until four days later and the coroner detailed the death as suicide stating.
Suicide whilst of unsound mind and when irresponsible for his actions.
The author goes on to say in his book
As his coffin was lowered into that unmarked grave, Francis Spurzheim Craig effectively passed from history leaving only a nom de guerre that has become more infamous and long-lasting than he could ever have imagined.
Dr. Weston-Davies is working to exhume Elizabeth a.k.a. Mary Kelly's body for DNA analysis. The author really believes that his vast amounts of research will show the true identity of Jack's final victim, revealing who Jack may have been. Francis, at the time, was a 51-year-old reporter who lived on Mile Road, Whitechapel which was just a seven minute walk from the first murder scene. The author believes that Francis' knowledge of police methods made it easy for him to cover up who he really was. Francis covered many of the inquests of Jack's victims as a reporter. Dr. Weston-Davies, who happens to be a former surgeon believes that all the murders were carried out by Francis to cover up his true intention, which was to kill his ex-wife. It will be interesting to see how this develops.