16 May, 2005
The following interview took place on 16 May 2005. The questions were asked by Stephen P. Ryder, Editor of Casebook: Jack the Ripper.
TW: We're very confident. Taken separately, the three parts of her name are not at all unusual, but taken together we believe this name to be very specifically hers. Additionally, we believe that John Williams put the E in Anne as that was the way his wife spelt the Anne in her name, and it was a habit for him to do so. We don't know that the operation that he carried out upon her was undertaken at the Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary, but as you know we have not specifically suggested this in our book. We have evidence he was there at around the same time he came into contact with her, which we've put forward, and therefore the assumption can be made the operation was carried out there; but we haven't said where exactly the operation was done, as we cannot be certain.
TW: We suppose that the fact the operation carried out was an abortion meant that she was not happy for her family to know what was happening to her, or where she was, until she had had the operation and recovered from it.
TW: We know that this would refer to other papers in his possession, a medical file number probably; but we have not been able to trace his papers at all, other than those in the National Library of Wales. There are no papers of his remaining in the University College Hospital archives that can help.
TW: We believe that John Williams told Morgan Davies about his visit to be sure that if he bumped into him in the area that he, Davies, would not be surprised to see Williams there.
TW: It's the letter that he wrote to his best friend's wife, quoted in the book, that led us to believe this, coupled with the changes to his job that took place in the immediate aftermath of the murders.
TW: We're very confident. All the evidence outlined in the book makes us think that we have found the right woman.
TW: No; just the testimony offered at her inquest. It seems to us that it would be an enormous leap of faith to suggest the link is merely coincidental, given the connections: the testimony regarding Mary Kelly's family offered at the inquest by Joe Barnett almost exactly coincides with the people recorded in the census, and the proximity of Jonathan Davies - right next door -is the final link for us.
TW: No; we understand that the library is reluctant to release the knife and slides to any other agency other than the police. We also understand that the Library is proposing to hold an exhibition based around Sir John and the archive the library holds later this summer. At the present time, we are hoping to change that situation and be in a position to enter the premises of the National Library to test these materials with the help of some experts. We have taken steps to do so by asking the police to reopen the investigation.
TW: No. As you know from reading the book, we focussed very much on the information we could gather on Sir John Williams and the environment in which he worked. Apart from one passing remark on the subject of doctors who commit crimes, referring to Dr Harold Shipman, there are no other references to time periods and individuals outside the story that we researched and wrote.
TW: We believe he was mentally unwell at this time, partly in response to the pressures upon him of the press and the public's anger, and partly because of his own morally sense. He acted as he did partly to conceal his tracks.
TW: As we say in the book, the diary was left on the shelf rather than thrown out so as, we believe, to keep any suspicious person from seeing a gap where a diary used to be. And, no, we don't think that cutting out pages raises suspicion, because there are not likely to be many people entering Sir John Williams's study who would open an old diary still in his possession.
TW: My brother and mother thought I was writing about Sir John's achievements so they were helpful with any questions I had. When the book was published my mother was surprised and my brother, who was close to my gran, is not happy. My father doesn't agree with the book, he feels that family matters should be kept in the family.
TW: Yes. No, not yet.