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HomePolicing“Jack the Ripper was a Met officer,” historian claims

“Jack the Ripper was a Met officer,” historian claims

Rod Beattie, an author and historian, claims Britain’s most notorious serial killer was an aggrieved Met police constable, based on his 20-year research going through national archives.

Mr Beattie says the culprit was Bowden Endacott, a reserve Met Police officer who would have been patrolling the streets of Whitechapel.

When Endacott worked in Devon in the early 1870s, he was given a bastardy order, the Victorian equivalent of child maintenance payments, for fathering a child outside of marriage.

The Lancaster Gazette reported that he got a young woman by the name of Rogers “in trouble”. The order was settled before it came to court but Mr Beattie believes it fuelled Endacott’s anger of women.

In 1875 he left Devon to join the Metropolitan Police in London. In 1877 he was the focus of a scandal when he accused a woman out late at night of being a prostitute.

Elizabeth Cass complained of wrongful arrest to Scotland Yard. An inquiry cleared Endacott but he was demoted to guard duty.

Mr Beattie, 72, from Birmingham, believes he decided to take “revenge” on prostitutes. He said: “I was reading an article about the Endacott case and suddenly had a eureka moment. What stronger motivation could there be than having your career ruined by what you thought was a prostitute?

“It just made sense; I went through the archives trying to piece together his history. He was in London for all of the killings. He was stationed at the British Museum but all the Met’s reserves were called up to patrol the streets.

“The murder spree began the year after he lost everything in court. He had a bad history with women. He moved to London after being subject to a bastardy order. I think he finally snapped when he was made to guard the British Museum and went on this frenzy of murderous revenge.

“There is no concrete proof he did it but there isn’t any for any suspect. As a police officer he could go anywhere with-out suspicion. I’m confident it was him. It’s possible the Met knew it was him but didn’t want to damage their reputation.”

Jack the Ripper was never caught and little is known about his appearance. Five women were hacked to death between August and November 1888.

The Scotland Yard was heavily criticized at the time for not being able to catch the killer.

“Blind man’s buff”: Punch cartoon by John Tenniel (22 September 1888) criticises the police’s alleged incompetence. The failure of the police to capture the killer reinforced the attitude held by radicals that the police were inept and mismanaged.

The case also brought forth the first criminal profiling work as police surgeon Thomas Bond was asked to give his opinion on the extent of the murderer’s surgical skill and knowledge.

The opinion offered by Bond on the character of the “Whitechapel murderer”, i.e. Jack the Ripper, is the earliest surviving offender profile.

(Source: The Daily Mirror)

(Image: ©  Pierre André, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

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