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  1. #1
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    UK - Jack the Ripper 123 years on - Yard denies access to files

    Interesting material in its own right - the Yard continues to deny access to Jack the Ripper papers 123 years later.

    WS's most-current Ripper thread's last post was in 2009; let this one serve, then, as a good posting-ground for amateur Ripperologists of all stripes.

    Police make bizarre legal battle to keep files secret so Victorian sources keep their 'confidentiality'
    The Met Police is fighting a legal battle to keep files detailing the investigation into the notorious Jack the Ripper case secret - to maintain confidentiality for Victorian 'supergrasses'.

    The documents are said to include four new suspects for the serial killings which terrorised Whitechapel in 1888 and have become one of the world's most infamous unsolved cases.

    The historic ledgers have 36,000 entries detailing police interaction with informants between 1888 to 1912.
    ---
    more at Sunday Mail link above
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    Trevor Marriott, a Ripper investigator and former murder squad detective, has spent three years attempting to obtain uncensored versions of the documents.
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    Last week, Mr Marriott took Scotland Yard to a tribunal in a last-ditch attempt to see the journals – containing 36,000 entries – which he believes contain evidence which could finally unmask the world’s most famous serial killer.

    The legal case has cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds and has even involved a senior Scotland Yard officer giving evidence anonymously from behind a screen.
    ---
    more here:
    Scotland Yard fights to keep Jack the Ripper files secret (Telegraph)
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    “These files should be made public at once,” [Marriott] said. “They are some of the most interesting records on the case I’ve come across. Some of the informants died more than 100 years ago so to *censor the *documents is absurd.”
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    Det Supt Julian McKinney, head of Covert Operations at the Met, said: “An informant today, if they know in 100 years their identity will be given over, may not wish to co-operate with us.”

    more here:
    Secret Jack the Ripper files censored by the police... 123 years on (Mirror)
    Last edited by Kimster; 11-05-2011 at 01:40 AM. Reason: prefix

  2. #2
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    For non-Ripper experts, "supergrasses" is British slang for police informants.

    (I had to look it up.)

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    Today's NY Post hops aboard the tabloid train with a look at the case by Robert House, whose new book seeks to re-invigorate the candidacy of Aaron Kozminski as Jack:

    They don't know Jack
    Movies love to portray him as mysterious, glamorous — but what if Jack the Ripper was simply a lunatic?

  4. #4
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    Interesting that they're still protective of the investigation-- it immediately makes me wonder if the perp was royalty of some kind. Who else would merit protection of their reputation 120+ years later?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiche View Post
    Interesting that they're still protective of the investigation-- it immediately makes me wonder if the perp was royalty of some kind. Who else would merit protection of their reputation 120+ years later?
    I was thinking exactly the same thing.

    I hope I get to see these files in my lifetime. I think the Ripper was my first foray into crime mysteries.

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    What are the laws in that country governing older investigations like this please? TIA for anyone who knows!

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    The Casebook forums index will give some
    idea of the depth of the subject:

    http://forum.casebook.org/archive/index.php/

    Here's the Casebook main page:

    http://www.casebook.org/

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    I really do think that they must be protecting someone, and I'm not often for the royal family conspiracy theories, but this time...it's a case well over a century old. Who would still need protection at this point in time? Not the Ripper himself certainly, but his family? very likely, in my eyes.

    ETA: Although there is the possibility that Scotland Yard is only protecting themselves, not wanting the world to see unknown amounts of screw-uppery...that's always possible. No one wants to be a laughing stock.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  9. #9
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    possibly if the case was solved, it would hurt tourism? i would imagine tours of whitechapel still make a bundle.
    or...brits are very consious of privacy, i know, i married one LOL

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    To use a term in the news of late, this would appear to be the mother of all
    super injunctions, protecting those questioned even though they are dead.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mira View Post
    possibly if the case was solved, it would hurt tourism? i would imagine tours of whitechapel still make a bundle.
    or...brits are very consious of privacy, i know, i married one LOL
    I married one too! DH always thought it was a doctor, or someone who was highly protected (ie, royal). Eventually "Jack" was sent away or killed by someone who knew what he was doing.

    My other thought it was a (British bobby) or constable - who, again, was found out, killed, or sent away.

    Keeping the records hidden only hightens my suspicions. Dang hope he doesn't come from my family tree (The Gunpowder Plot - the Throckmortons, the Throgmortons) out of Coughton Court.

    Very intriguing!

    Mel

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mira View Post
    possibly if the case was solved, it would hurt tourism? i would imagine tours of whitechapel still make a bundle.
    or...brits are very consious of privacy, i know, i married one LOL
    Good point. My first thought was the same as others: they must be protecting a royal.

    But then I thought how bureaucracies go to extremes in protecting themselves. The official who said releasing info even after a century might have a chilling effect on witness candor may just be that sort of bureaucrat.

  13. #13
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    I couldn't help but laugh. My first thought was: "Everyone's going to think it's a royal for sure now!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mira View Post
    possibly if the case was solved, it would hurt tourism? i would imagine tours of whitechapel still make a bundle.
    or...brits are very consious of privacy, i know, i married one LOL
    BBM...

    They do...I was in London one New Years Eve several years ago and we decided to take the Jack the Ripper tour through the East End and Whitechapel area. The bus was packed! It was very eerie at the end of the tour to be in one of the pubs that existed back then. I remember sitting at the bar and drinking malt whisky, looking at all the grisly crime scene photos! It was definitely a memorable New Years Eve..lol.

    As far as the crime itself, I've long believed it was a member of the royal family who was involved. There's just no other reason why they would keep those records secret all this time. JMO.
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    I too love the "Royal involvement" angle, and the Masonic angle. But I just don't see them as solutions.

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