I recently added a new offering to my videos about the various Jack the Ripper documentaries, about one of the most intriguing suspects to have surfaced in recent years – James Maybrick.
You can watch it on the following video.
THE DEATH OF JAMES MAYBRICK
On Saturday the 11th of May 1889, cotton merchant James Maybrick died after a short illness at his home, Battlecrease House in the Grassendale suburb of Liverpool.
Following his death, two doctors became suspicious about the manner of his death, and they refused to grant a death certificate.
A police investigation was therefore launched, and from the outset the police were convinced that James Maybrick had been murdered by his American wife, Florence Elizabeth Maybrick.
THE ARREST OF FLORENCE MAYBRICK
On Saturday the 18th of May, magistrate Colonel Bidwell, accompanied by Mr. Swift, Clerk to the County Magistrates, went to Battlecrease House, where they were met by Superintendent Bryning, who then accompanied them to the bedroom where Mrs. Maybrick was lying ill.
According to The Liverpool Echo:-
“Superintendent Bryning, took up his position at the foot of the bed and said:- “This person is Mrs Maybrick, the wife of the late Mr. James Maybrick. She is charged with having ceased his death administering poison to him.”
That night, Florence Maybrick was taken to Kirkdale Prison.
FLORENCE MAYBRICK’S TRIAL
On Wednesday the 31st of July, 1889 her trial began at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.
After what many consider to have been a decidedly unsatisfactory trial, that was presided over by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Florence was found guilty and was sentenced to death.
However, on the 22nd of August the Home Secretary, Henry Matthews, issued a reprieve and her sentence was commuted to one of penal servitude for life.
HER RELEASE FROM PRISON
Having served fifteen years in prison, she was released from Aylesbury Prison in February 1904, after which she returned to America, where she died in 1941.
THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER
In 1992, a journal came to light that, although the author didn’t give his name, was obviously supposed to have been written by James Maybrick.
In the journal, which has since been heavily promoted as a diary, the writer makes the astonishing claim that he was Jack the Ripper.
Since the journal was the first time that the name of James Maybrick was linked in any way to the Whitechapel murders, the strength of the case for him having been history’s most infamous serial killer rests solely on whether or not the so-called diary was, in fact, written by him.
CHRIS JONES ON JAMES MAYBRICK
Anxious to know more about the supposed “Ripper diary”, I approached Chris Jones, co-author of the book “The Maybrick Murder and the Diary of Jack The Ripper: The End Game.”
If anyone can explain the chequered history of what, since its discovery in 1992, has, to say the least, proved to be a highly controversial document, Chris is the man to do it.
He graciously accepted my request for an interview, and you can view that interview, in which he reveals an awful lot about, not just the diary of Jack the Ripper but also about the life and trial of Florence Maybrick, in the above video, which features, along with many other documentaries about the case, on our YouTube channel.
Many thanks to Chris Jones, for graciously granting me an interview about the case.