|Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide|
|This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.|
On the night of 25 November 1894 a young woman named Augustus Dawes, was found murdered in a much frequented thoroughfare, Holland Villas Road, Kensington. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear and a stick was found lying beside the body. A knife, believed to have been used in the murder, was later discovered in an unfinished building. Immediately the newspapers raised the inevitable cry of Jack the Ripper. Daws was described as a comely woman about 30 years of age, well dressed and of the unfortunate class. A young man, Reginald Saunderson, immediately came under suspicion. Saunderson, whose state of mind, it was said, had caused his family to send him to an institution at Hampton Wick, near Kingston upon Thames. He left the institution on 25 November 1894 claiming he was going to attend divine service at a local church, and was not heard of again for sometime. Police checks at the institution led them to identify the stick which was found at the murder scene as one Saunderson had taken from another pupil. They also discovered he had taken a knife from the carpenters shop with him when he had left.
He was traced to a relatives house in Belfast and arrested. The police received a letter in his handwriting signed Jack the Ripper, claiming how he had committed the murder in Kensington. Saunderson came from a well connected family, his father was Colonel Edward J. Saunderson, the Orange leader, and member of parliament for North Armagh. One of his aunts was Lady Maria Henrietta Fitzclarence, whose husband was the grandson of William IV. In 1894 Saunderson was 21 years old, which immediately rules him out as a Ripper suspect, as he would have been 15 years old at the time of the Whitechapel murders. He was described as tall and handsome, an expert at football, rowing and swimming. He was committed for trail and adjudged insane.
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