Ripper of a yarn in murder mystery over a century old
IT'S a dark and twisted murder mystery that's kept the world guessing for more than a century.
But after two decades of research Mullumbimby teacher Richard Patterson believes he has uncovered the identity of London's most notorious mass murderer Jack the Ripper.
And the murderer is.....
Acclaimed English poet Francis Thompson had the means, the motive and opportunity, according to Mr Patterson's extensive research.
"From day one I thought this guy's the guy," he said.
Knowing there was no shortage of literature, he chose Jack the Ripper.
Two weeks later he was reading a $2 poetry book on a tram to cure boredom and stumbled across Thompson's poetry.
"It wasn't until I got home and I read the last poem and I thought he's Jack the Ripper"
Elementary my dear Watson
Mr Patterson said the famous poet was within 80m of where the prostitute Mary Jane Kelly was brutally murdered, admitted to carrying a knife at the time, had fallen in love and been dumped by a prostitute, was addicted to opium and wrote about killing prostitutes.
"There's a lot of well-known suspects but there's no suspect that was there and had a knife and had had a relationship with a prostitute just before the murders," he said.
"He's the only one that fulfils all of the conditions of means and motives and opportunity. No other suspect does that."
Mr Patterson cites Thompson's works like 'Finis Coronat Opus' the story of a young poet who sacrifices a woman in a temple to achieve fame and 'The Ballad of the Witch Babies' which deals with a "lusty knight" who roams the mist in darkness hunting down and disembowelling women.
Clues are in the poetry
"It seems like an extravagant piece of baroque poetry… (but) when you read it in the light of 'he could be a murderer', suddenly it all just opens up," he said.
"They say a criminal can't help but confess, and I think almost all his poems boast an aspect of the murders."
Mr Patterson also discovered that Providence Row, where Thompson was known to have stayed, was moved from West London to Whitechapel in East London, right next to the murder of Mary Kelly, but retained the name from its west end location.
Associated by location
From his room in Providence Row, Mr Patterson said Thompson would have been able to see the covered passage that led to the room Mary Kelly was gruesomely murdered.
He also points to a letter from Thompson requesting a razor because he had "shaved with a dissecting scalpel before now" and as a homeless person, we would have had to carry all of his belongings with him.
He also had the medical knowledge and expertise to disembowel his victims.
"His last job at Manchester before going to London was working at a medical instrument factory so they were coming out on an assembly line in front of him and before that, six years at a medical school."
Means and motive
Mr Patterson said Thompson's motive could have been that the prostitute he had being seeing for a year deserted him shortly after he received recognition for his work.
"She encouraged him and helped him but when he finally became published she said I've got to leave you because no one's going to understand the relationship," he said.
"She must have known all that time... so to him, she'd lied from the very beginning."
Not the first
The only other person to have made the connection was forensic pathologist Dr Joseph Rupp who wrote a small article in 1988, but little came of it.
It was a discovery Mr Patterson was unaware of when he made the connection.
"He thought of it, and it would have been lost in time, but I happened to re-discover it," he said.
Mr Patterson has almost finished writing his non-fiction book, Francis Thompson - a Ripper Suspect, which he hopes to have published.
He said as well as detailing a wealth of evidence that points to Thompson being the Ripper, the book goes as far as detailing ways his theory could be proved.
More information is available on his website: http://www.francisjthompson.com/