Mystery of Jack the Ripper letters could be solved as ‘similarities’ are found

Rob Waugh
Remains of Jack the Ripper’s last victim Mary Jane Kelly are ‘unlikely to ever be found’, experts warn

Linguistic analysis of letters supposedly written by ‘Jack the Ripper’ in the wake of the gruesome murders has shown that two are written by the same person.

Letters dwelling in gruesome detail on the crimes were sent to police and news agencies in the wake of the Whitechapel murders in 1888.

Linguistic analysis of two of the letters offer hints they were written by the same person – including the ‘Dear Boss’ letter where the phrase Jack the Ripper was first used.

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Two texts show a similarity to a third letter, ‘Moab and Midian’, which has long been thought to be a hoax.

The letters lend weight to the theory that they are fakes made up by the Central News Agency.

Dr Andrea Nini, from the University of Manchester, did a ‘cluster analysis’ of 209 letters – and noticed similarities in the Dear Boss and Saucy Jacky letters.

Both refer to the killings as ‘work’ and use phrases such as ‘ha ha’.

Dr Nini says, ‘’My conclusion is that there is very strong linguistic evidence that these two texts were written by the same person,’ he said.

‘People in the past had already expressed this tentative conclusion, on the basis of similarity of handwriting, but this had not been established with certainty.’

The Dear Boss letter says, ‘Dear Boss,

‘I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet.

‘I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track.

‘That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled.

‘Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal.

‘How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again.

‘You will soon hear of me with my funny little games.

‘I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I can’t use it.

‘Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly, wouldn’t you?

‘Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight.

‘My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance.

‘Good Luck.

‘Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

‘Don’t mind me giving the trade name.’