A question that I often ask on my tour, and on our Facebook page is – If we could find out who it was that wrote the Dear Boss Jack the Ripper letter, would we at last know the identity of Jack the Ripper?
I get a variety of answers, of which the following are some examples.
“No, I think a reporter wrote the Dear Boss letter, It wouldn’t give us any clue as to who Jack would have been.”
“That all depends on the author of the Boss letter, whether it was genuine or fraudulent.”
“No I don’t think so!!”
“No more than the weir side jack tapes led to the catching of the Yorkshire ripper, I still think it was journalism selling newspapers.”
“It’s so hard to know it could’ve been him writing it to tease the rest of the population in London or it could’ve been a journalist doing it for extra publicity that could’ve been animal blood on the letter it may not of been the victims blood DNA evidence was in the store and back then so there would’ve been no way of knowing for certain it would be easy to concoct a letter imagining what he would say who knows maybe he did do it as he liked to work in the dark without anybody catching him playing his own sadistic games who’s to know.”
“Why are you so keen to find out the identity of the killer anyway? If proof ever does come to light, (which I doubt) then groups like this one will be finished.”
“No. None of the letters give any crime scene evidence that was not already published. So no letter places the writer at the crime scene.”
“No it was fake.”
“No because if the letter writer knew the ripper’s identity he’d have screamed it from the rooftops. Or sold the information to the highest bidder.”
“I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. You gotta love the mystery of not knowing.”
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERER
However, I would contend that if we did learn the name of the author of the letter, then there is no doubt in my mind that we would finally know the identity of the ripper.
Quite simply because, the letter was almost certainly written by “Jack the Ripper.”
Now, I am not saying that the author was the Whitechapel murderer. Far from it.
Indeed, I am 100% convinced that the person who wrote the infamous missive was not the same man who murdered Martha Tabram, Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes or Mary Kelly.
But, those who reply, “no, because Jack the Ripper didn’t write the letter” are, I am sorry to say, mistaken. Jack the Ripper did write the letter.
How do I know?
Because that’s the name the author signed it with!
SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION
The point is that Jack the Ripper per se never existed. He was a fiction created by whoever it was that composed the missive. So, to refer to the murderer of those poor women in Whitechapel by that name is simply wrong.
We really do, in this case, need to separate the fact from the fiction. Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murderer were two different people. One of them wrote the letter, and assumed the name; the other carried out the Whitechapel atrocities and his name is still not known.
So if we were able, and this is highly unlikely now, to find out for certain who it was that wrote the letter, then we would almost certainly know who Jack the Ripper was, because that was the pseudonym adopted by the author of the epistle.
WE SHOULD SEPARATE THE TWO
The problem for is today is that the fictitious name has become so ubiquitous that it is almost impossible to separate it from the unknown miscreant who carried out the brutal and barbarous crimes.
And, in consequence, people are so focused on the murderers name actually having been “Jack the Ripper” that they tend to forget that we are dealing with two different people, and so they blithely and sagely spout out the time-seasoned mantra, when asked if we would know Jack the Ripper’s identity were we to solve the mystery of who it was that wrote the letter – “no, because the person who wrote the letter was not the murderer, or similar sentiments.
Of course, the point that those who make such statements miss is that they have contradicted themselves in the answer, and have acknowledged that the author of the letter was not the killer and was, therefore, Jack the Ripper!