Jack the Ripper’s identity may have finally been proven by a recently-uncovered Victorian painting, claims a new book.
Author of The Inevitable Jack the Ripper, Paul Christian, says the 130-year-old piece contains hidden clues to suggest the artist himself was the notorious East London serial killer, brutally murdering five prostitutes in 1888.
Victorian artist Walter Sickert’s painting, sent to Mr Christian in 2013, shows a scene on the streets of London featuring three figures - one is believed to be the Ripper and two are thought to be his victims, Mary Kelly and Martha Tabram.
Victorian artist Walter Sickert’s painting, sent to Mr Christian in 2013, shows a scene on the streets of London featuring three figures - one is believed to be the Ripper and two are thought to be his victims, Mary Kelly and Martha Tabram
In the artwork, a person believed to be the Ripper walks towards a woman resembling Mary Kelly, the last of the Ripper's five victims.
A second woman wears a shawl decorated with many red spots, possibly referring to the 39 times Martha Tabram was stabbed. She is thought to be the killer’s unofficial sixth victim, many historians claim.
A set of railings in the artwork also appear to show the numbers 1888 - the year of the Ripper’s gruesome campaign.
On the back of Sickert’s painting is a sketch which Mr Christian claims is supposed to be the police chief in charge of the investigation to find the Ripper, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren.
Mr Christian (left), 36, said: ‘The evidence I have unearthed can allow us to now confidently point the finger at Walter Sickert (right)'
In the back of the artwork (pictured right), the man circled on the left is Sir Charles Warren (left) and on the right is Jack the Ripper
Mr Christian, 36, said: ‘The evidence I have unearthed can allow us to now confidently point the finger at Walter Sickert and a conspiracy of arty types behind the Jack the Ripper case.
Jack the Ripper’s victims were Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly.
Nichols was discovered at around 3.40am on August 31, 1888 in Buck's Row (now Durward Street), Whitechapel. Her throat was cut twice and her lower abdomen had some incisions.
Chapman's body was discovered at about 6am on September 8 near a doorway in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. Her throat was also cut twice, her abdomen was slashed open and her uterus was removed.
The corpse of Elizabeth Stride, pictured
The corpse of Annie Chapman, pictured
Stride and Eddowes' murders were referred to as a 'double event' as they were both found within an hour of each other on September 30.
Kelly's mutilated and disembowelled body was discovered at 13 Miller's Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields, November 9. Her throat had been severed down to the spine, the abdomen almost emptied of its organs and her heart was missing.
'Sickert was certainly a major suspect before this, but there are details in the painting that only the killer could have known.'
The author is not the only one to suggest such a theory.
Writer Patricia Cornwell has published two books claiming Sickert to be the real Jack the Ripper: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed and Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert.
Yet the idea is not believed by many, despite Sickert claiming he lived in Jack the Ripper's old home and painting a scene called Jack the Ripper's Bedroom, which included his own figure.
Stewart Evans, an expert on Jack the Ripper