Scotland Yard is fighting the release of 123-year-old secret files which experts believe could finally provide the identity of Jack the Ripper. These four thick notebooks, containing 36,000 entries compiled by Special Branch officers over 100 years ago, have been kept under lock and key since the "Jack the Ripper" murders in 1888. If they know the identity of the "Ripper" (who wandered the streets of London at night, randomly murdering prostitutes), why do they still want to keep it secret? Was he (as has long been rumored) a Royal?
The ledgers give details of police interrogations of thousands of informants from 1888 to 1912. Former murder squad detective Trevor Marriott has spent 3 years trying to get uncensored versions of these documents, but has been repeatedly told that they cannot be released because they contain the identities of police informants. However, these "informants" are obviously all dead by now! Marriott is now suing Scotland Yard to try to get the material. Jack the Ripper killed at least 5 women between August and November of 1888 in the slums of East London, but the police at the time thought that he may have committed many more murders on earlier and later dates.
In the May 17th edition of the Telegraph, David Barrett quotes Marriott as saying, "I believe this to be the very last chance that we may have to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper. To have any possibility of getting near the truth about those horrific crimes we must see what these ledgers contain. It may be that within them we find the final piece of the jigsaw that would unlock this mystery and lead to the identity of the killer, or killers, albeit 123 years too late."
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