A BIRMINGHAM author has caused a storm among historians by claiming Jack the Ripper was a WOMAN.
Former solicitor John Morris, 62, has named Welsh-born Lizzie Williams as the Whitechapel monster â€“ and claims she killed her victims because she could not have children.
Lizzie was wife of royal physician Sir John Williams, himself seen as a prime suspect by many other crime experts.
Johnâ€™s new book, Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman, was written along with his late father Byron.
The men sifted through thousands of medical and legal documents to draw-up a compelling case for branding Lizzie the killer.
But John, speaking from his current home in Wicklow, Ireland, said their theory has not proved popular among Ripper experts.
He told the Birmingham Mail: â€œThe case for a woman murderer is overwhelming. But unfortunately it does not sit well in some quarters where such a theory flies in the face of long-held beliefs.
â€œThereâ€™s absolutely no doubt that the Ripper was a woman. But because everyone believes that the murderer was a man, all the evidence that points to a woman has always been ignored.â€
The Ripper struck five times during a blood-soaked ten weeks in 1888.
The victims â€“ Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly â€“ were all East End prostitutes. Three had their wombs removed, which John believes is significant.
He says Welshwoman Lizzie, born on February 7, 1850, was unable to have children and, in an unhinged state, took terrible revenge on those who could.
Coroner Wynne Baxter said at Annie Chapmanâ€™s inquest: â€œThe conclusion that the desire was to possess the missing (body) part seems overwhelming.â€
John also points to the facts:
- None of the women was sexually assaulted;
- Personal items were laid out at the feet of Chapman in, according to newspaper reports, â€˜a typically feminine mannerâ€™;
- Three small buttons from a womanâ€™s boot were found in blood near Catherine Eddowes;
- Remnants of womenâ€™s clothing â€“ a cape, skirt and hat â€“ were found in the ashes of Mary Kellyâ€™s fireplace. Mary had never been seen wearing them,
John believes thereâ€™s a reason Mary Kelly was targeted â€“ and why the killing spree ended with her death. Lizzieâ€™s husband, Sir John, who ran abortion clinics in Whitechapel, was having an affair with her.
The author added: â€œThere are numerous clues scattered throughout the crimes which, taken individually, may mean little, but when grouped together a strong case for a woman murderer begins to emerge.â€
Soon after the grisly deaths, Lizzie suffered a nervous breakdown. She died of cancer in 1912, having never been quizzed by police over the murders.
Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman is published by Seren Books.