5 October 1972
Farce on Ripper
Daniel Farson's book "Jack the Ripper," which identifies Montague John Druitt as the Whitechapel murderer, has run into unsuspected legal snags in Australia, the country where Farson believes that "the final pieces of evidence... which will close the file for ever" may still exist.
The peculiar libel laws of the state of New South Wales have dissuaded the Sydney Sun Herald from giving Druitt's name in their preview of the book, and have restricted the Australian Broadcasting Commissions to references to a "Mr. D." The difficulty is that in New South Wales it is, in effect, possible to libel the dead, and family descendants offended by Farson's allegations would be in a position to sue.
Michael Joseph, the book's publishers, who have a consignment bound for Australia at the moment, are seeking advice from their agents there before deciding whether to risk a writ.
Farson's book does make it clear that Montague Druitt's cousin, Dr. Lionel Druitt, who had a surgery in the Minories at the time of the murders, did emigrate to Australia, and probably has untraced descendants still living there.