The name "Jack the Ripper" immediately summons both a feeling of fear and morbid curiosity among those who hear it. And any time new Jack the Ripper evidence emerges, most folks father 'round to listen. The notoriously brutal killer who is known to have murdered at least five women in London in 1888 lurked in the shadows of alleys and doorways throughout the poverty-stricken Whitechapel district seeking out his prey. What's worse is that his true identity was never discovered and, though over 130 years have passed, his legacy of terror lives on.
That is until a recent investigation unearthed greater evidence of his identity. The pages of a diary found hidden beneath the floorboards of an old London flat in March of 1992 may hide the key to the Jack the Ripper mystery – a fact no one believed could be true until now.
Recent analysis by Robert Smith, a "Ripperologist" of sorts, has revealed that the book was, in fact, discovered beneath the floorboard of a room that would have belonged to a Mr. James Maybrick in 1889, when the murders were being committed. What's more? The pages contain a detailed retelling of the crimes – and a confession.
WARNING: Graphic images from the Jack the Ripper crime scenes are included below.
New Evidence Shows That The Diary Is Authentic
Ever since its discovery, critics and conspiracy theorists alike have claimed that the diary (which seemed to suddenly appear as if out of nowhere) was just an impressive forgery. The confession inside – which, if true, would have led historians and criminologists to believe that James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton merchant, was the highly sought after Jack the Ripper – included gruesome details of the murders and specifics surrounding the circumstances leading up to the women's deaths that some believe could have been acquired through a headline search. Others claim they could only have been known by the killer himself.
The Diary Was Found Beneath the Floorboards Of What Was Once James Maybrick's Bedroom
When the diary first came to light in March of 1992, the man who revealed the discovery refused to provide any details about where the potentially case-breaking document had been found, which only added to speculation surrounding its validity (or lack thereof). Apparently, the diary fell into the possession of Mike Barrett, a Liverpool scrap metal dealer, in 1992, courtesy of a friend of his named Tony Devereux who had happened upon it while renovating his home. However, because Devereux died shortly thereafter, no one was ever able to hear his account of the discovery of the book, and all facts surrounding the matter became hearsay until Barrett decided to turn the diary over to a well-renowned Ripper expert named Robert Smith.