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Unmasking Jack the Ripper
"Perhaps the best Jack the Ripper documentary produced in recent years." North American and European DVD formats both available.
Buy now!

Burlington Daily Times News
North Carolina, U.S.A.
9 December 1970

Was Jack the Ripper a Prince?
by Tom Cullen

Was Queen Victoria in reality Jack the Ripper?

The question makes a smuch sense as the recent suggestion that Queen Victoria's grandson Edward, Duke of Clarence, was the Ripper, who carved up five prostitutes in the autumn of 1888.

The killings took place in the Whitechapel slums of London and were particularly grisly. All of the victims were apparently seized from behind and had their throats cut. Four of the five women were mutilated.

The murderer was never found.

To link the Duke of larence, brother of King George V and heir to the throne of England, with the Whitechapel killer seems to me to be utterly preposterous.

The man behind the Duke of Clarence theory was the brain surgeon Dr. Thomas E. Stowell. In a recent article published in The Criminologist before his recent death, Dr. Stowell hints that Jack the Ripper had royal blood.

The story put forward contends:

That Prince Eddy,as he was popularly known, contracted syphilis as a young man, and the disease affected his brain and that on numerous occasions he managed to shake off Sir William Gull, the royal physician appointed as his watchdog, and prowl the streets of Whitechapel.

That he was a keen sportsman with skill in dissecting deer. (This would explain the Ripper's expertise in carving up prostitutes.)

That the Whitechapel murders ceased because Prince Eddy was confined to a mental home.

That the police, as soon as they learned the royal birth of the killer, concealed his identity and destroyed incriminating evidence.

After two years of research into the Jack the Ripper crimes, I decided that the Duke of Clarence theory was too far fetched even to metir mention in the book I wrote on the subject.

In the 80 odd years that have elapsed since the Whitechapel murders, Jack the Ripper has been "identified" countless times, as an unfrocked priest, a sadistic policeman and an escaped gorilla, to name a few of the theoretical killer.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, was not alone in believing the killer to be a "Jill the Ripper," a woman, or a man disguised as a woman.

The Duke of Clarence has been singled out for notoriety because the British love to project all sorts of fantasies onto members of the royalty who are known to be soft in the head.

That Prince Eddy, who was sometimes called "Collars and Cuffs," was not quite bright is beyond doubt. The prince was barely 16 when his tutor, the Reverend Dalton, reported to the royal parents on Eddy's "weakness of brain, his feebleness and lack of power to grasp almost anything put before him."

Despite the fact that he could barely read, the prince was sent to Cambridge University, where he was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Law.

As for the "case" that the Duke of Clarence and Jack the Ripper were the same person, there is no evidence of syphilis affecting Eddy's already dim wits. Nor would it be an easy matter to persuade British police to conceal the identity of a murderer, no matter how highly born.

Far from being confined to a mental home after the last of the Ripper murders in 1888, Prince Eddy continued to lead an active life. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in his father's regiment, the 10th Hussars, and was engaged to Princess May of Teck in December 1891. A month later, he died at Sandringham of influenza that had turned into pneumonia.

My research into the identity of Jack the Ripper led me to conclude that the Ripper was a barrister named Montague John Druitt, who came from a well known Dorset family.

Druitt committed suicide by drowning himself in the Thames late in November 1888. No murders of the Ripper type occurred after that date and the police, after the suicide had been discovered, called off the search for the Ripper. From my own inquiries, I have no doubt that Druitt's own family suspected him of being the Whitechapel murderer.


Related pages:
  Prince Albert Victor
       Dissertations: Tea, Scandal and the Rippers Shadow 
       Message Boards: Clarence: Was He Jack the Ripper? 
       Message Boards: Prince Albert Victor 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 10 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 12 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 12 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 13 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 13 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 18 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 19 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 20 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 22 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 23 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 24 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 27 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 28 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 29 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 30 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 6 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 8 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 8 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 8 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Northwestern - 26 May 1890 
       Press Reports: Echo - 21 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 26 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 6 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 7 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 7 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 13 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 17 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 19 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 20 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 21 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 22 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 30 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 8 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 8 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 9 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Lima Daily Democratic Times - 29 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 9 September 1888 
       Press Reports: Macclesfield Courier and Herald - 27 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 2 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 22 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 6 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 8 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Ogden Standard - 3 January 1890 
       Press Reports: Southern Guardian - 22 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 7 August 1888 
       Press Reports: Times - 14 November 1970 
       Press Reports: Times - 4 November 1970 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 15 January 1892 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 25 February 1886 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 8 January 1885 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 9 November 1970 
       Ripper Media: Clarence: Was He Jack the Ripper? 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - Albert Victor Edward D... 
       Ripper Media: Murder and Madness: The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper 
       Ripper Media: Prince Jack: The True Story of Jack the Ripper 
       Ripper Media: The Last Victim of the Bloody Tower 
       Ripper Media: The Prince, His Tutor and the Ripper 
       Suspects: Prince Albert Victor 
  Royal Conspiracy
       Authors: Stephen Knight 
       Dissertations: On the Origins of the Royal Conspiracy Theory 
       Message Boards: Royal Conspiracies 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 19 November 1970 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Cast of Thousands - Annie and Alice Cr... 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Cast of Thousands - John Netley 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution 
       Ripper Media: Prince Ripper and the Royal Family 
       Ripper Media: The Ripper and the Royals 
       Ripper Media: The Royal Ripper! 
       Suspects: The Royal Conspiracy 
  Tom Cullen
       Authors: Obituaries - Tom Cullen 
       Message Boards: Autumn of Terror 
       Press Reports: Sheboygan Press - 3 December 1970 
       Ripper Media: When London Walked in Terror