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LONDON 31 Aug 2013 First grisly Jack the Ripper murder 125 years ago

On 31 Aug 1888 Mary Ann Nichols was found with her throat cut in Whitechapel. She was the first of five – or possibly six — killi

August 31, 2013 - NULL

LONDON 31 Aug 2013 First grisly Jack the Ripper murder 125 years ago

On 31 Aug 1888 Mary Ann Nichols was found with her throat cut in Whitechapel. She was the first of five - or possibly six -- killings of prostitutes in slum areas of London between August and November in 1888 that were attributed to Jack the Ripper. The name has become the most infamous in the annals of murder in part because the bodies, except for one, were horribly mutilated. Jack the Ripper, identity still unknown, has appeared in numerous novels, comic books, films, TV series and plays, and

LONDON 31 Aug 2013 First grisly Jack the Ripper murder 125 years ago

On 31 Aug 1888 Mary Ann Nichols was found with her throat cut in Whitechapel. She was the first of five - or possibly six -- killings of prostitutes in slum areas of London between August and November in 1888 that were attributed to Jack the Ripper. The name has become the most infamous in the annals of murder in part because the bodies, except for one, were horribly mutilated. Jack the Ripper, identity still unknown, has appeared in numerous novels, comic books, films, TV series and plays, and the 125th anniversary of Chapman's death invites a new outpouring. Secret 125-year-old files are believed to hold the key to the identity of the killer, and the anniversary could see new court attempts to have them opened. So far, a tribunal has upheld Scotland Yard's determination to keep the files closed.

The Metropolitan Police history of the killings notes that it was at this time that the panic was at its height and the notoriety of the murders became international, appearing in newspapers from Europe to the Americas. Even at this early stage the newspapers were carrying theories as to the identity of the killer, including doctors, slaughterers, sailors and lunatics of every description.

According to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, four thick ledgers compiled by Special Branch officers have been kept under lock and key since the 1888 murders.

Trevor Marriott, a Ripper investigator and former murder squad detective, has spent three years attempting to obtain uncensored versions of the documents, according to the Telegraph in May 2011, but he has been repeatedly refused because the ledgers contain the identities of police informants. Scotland Yard is fighting an extraordinary legal battle to withhold them, the newspaper notes, arguing that revealing the information could compromise police attempts to gather information from modern-day informants. He took Scotland Yard to a tribunal in May 2011 in an attempt to see the journals, which contain 36,000 entries, because he believes they contain evidence that could finally unmask the world's most famous serial killer. According to KBW, in Jul of the same year, the tribunal upheld the police decision to keep the files secret. (WRITTEN MAR 2013)

KEYWORDS: Jack the Ripper, killings, murders, mutilations, prostitutes, secret files, identity, unknown identity, London, England, Europe, 125th anniversary, August 1888, August 2013, Mary Ann Nichols, Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard, tribunal

RELATED READING:

The Enduring Mystery of Jack the Ripper (History of the Metropolitan Police)
http://www.met.police.uk/history/ripper.htm

Jack the Ripper (BBC History)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/ripper_jack_the.shtml

Scotland Yard fights to keep Jack the Ripper files secret (Telegraph 15 May 2011)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8514000/Scotland-Yard-fights-to-keep-Jack-the-Ripper-files-secret.html

New tribunal decision on Jack the Ripper information (KBW 19 Jul 2011)
http://www.panopticonblog.com/2011/07/19/new-tribunal-decision-on-jack-the-ripper-information/

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Date written/update: 2013-08-31