A historical artifact that was recently rediscovered may offer a penetrating clue to the identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper, who mutilated and murdered five women in London in 1888 but was never caught.
Many theories have been propounded as to the murderer’s identity, and little if any evidence has been found as to his physical appearance, but the rediscovery of a walking stick that may have his face carved on it has excited some police researchers. It was just found by staff in the archives of the College of Policing in the U.K., who called the face engraved on the cane “the only reported facial composite” of the infamous murderer.
Jack the Ripper may have finally been unmasked after police make bizarre discovery https://t.co/nc3JP4qoaH
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 30, 2022
“Finding this cane was an exciting moment for us,” Antony Cash of the College of Policing enthused. “Jack the Ripper is one of the biggest and most infamous murder cases in our history and his crimes were significant in paving the way for modern policing and forensics as it caused police to begin experimenting with and developing new techniques as they attempted to try and solve these murders, such as crime scene preservation, profiling, and photography.”
The walking stick had originally been presented to then-Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline “as a mark of esteem” by his investigative team after the murders.
“This walking cane is such a fascinating artifact that represents such a historically significant time in policing, and it’s amazing that we can put it out on display here in Ryton, alongside the original newspaper cuttings, so that our officers can see first-hand how far we’ve advanced in policing since then,” Cash added.
The handle of the cane shows a man glaring while wearing a dark cowl, a face that researchers think was supposed to represent Dr. Alexander Pedachenko, whom Abberline suspected of the crimes, which occurred between August 31 and November 9, 1888. Jack the Ripper slashed the throats of five prostitutes: Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. He reportedly took internal organs from three of the women and removed half a kidney from one and sent it to the police.
A series of notes were sent to the police from someone claiming to be the murderer and calling himself Jack the Ripper. The failure to catch the murderer led to the resignation of the London police commissioner. The removal of organs from the victims has led some to believe that the murderer may have been a doctor, who would have had the requisite knowledge to perform such an action.