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The Times (London)
14 November 1970

The Times Diary
Ripper file destroyed

Whatever secret information Thomas Stowell had about the identity of Jack the Ripper, it has died with him. It was a recent article by this senior surgeon in The Criminologist which started speculation that the murderer was the Duke of Clarence; after I had disclosed the ducal alibis last week, Stowell wrote to The Times denying that he implicated the Duke, but adding that he still thought the Ripper was "a scion of a noble family."

The letter appeared on Monday, the day after his death. Stowell left behind him a folder labelled "Jack the Ripper" which his son, Dr. T Eldon Stowell, tells me has been destroyed unread.

"I read just sufficient to make certain that there was nothing of importance," he says. "The family decided that this was the right thing to do. I am not prepared to discuss our grounds for doing so.

"My father left no instructions or request on what we were to do with it. I know that he had been interested in this subject for many years, and that it arose again recently - for what reason I don't know. The case doesn't interest me particularly. It was before my time."