Claude Reignier Conder
There is no evidence Colonel Claude Reigneir Conder was ever suspected at the time of the murders of being Jack the Ripper, but according to recent research by crime writer Tom Slemen and criminologist Keith Andrews, they are convinced Conder, a 39 year old British intelligence officer, archaeologist, writer, map-maker and trained killer was Jack the Ripper, and intend to write a book naming him as such. They put forward the following theories. That Sir Charles Warren, a close friend of Conder, knew he was the Ripper, but kept quite and took the secret with him to the grave. That artefacts and rings excavated by Conder and Warren from King Solomon's temple in Jerusalem were stolen from his home by Annie Chapman. That all of the Ripper victims knew each other and had all benefited from the stolen goods. That he left cryptic messages carved on his victims bodies. And that the Goulston Street message was in an ancient language that Conder knew from working in the Middle East.
There is no evidence to support the claim that Warren suspected Conder of being Jack the Ripper, there is also no evidence that all of the victims knew each other. Presumably the cryptic message Slemen is referring to is the marks on Catherine Eddowes face. If Conder was indeed leaving a cryptic message on a victims body, why did he not leave them on all of them. It appears to be widely believed that the Ripper stopped to write the message at Goulston Street, why. Simply because the killer discarded a piece of apron, belonging to Catherine Eddowes below the message, does not automatically mean he wrote it. I personally have never believed it was written by the Ripper, more likely by an aggrieved Jew tired of being persecuted and blamed for the ills of the East End, which now included the Ripper murders.
Conder was born in 1848 and was a descendant of the French born Louis Francois Roubiliac, the most celebrated sculptor in 18th century Britain. He moved to Hackney, London, in the 1860's and served in the royal engineers alongside, pre-knighted, Charles Warren. They both became famous worldwide for excavating hundreds of sites, and Conder wrote an international best selling book about his archaeological finds. He retired to Cheltenham, where he died from a stroke in 1910. His wife Myra died in 1934 and is buried in the same grave as her husband.