Author Backs Up Her Claims That She Knows Who Jack the Ripper Was

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Author Backs Up Her Claims That She Knows Who Jack the Ripper Was

One woman believes she has finally confirmed the authenticity of Jack the Ripper.

Author Patricia Cornwell is still convinced that British-German painter Walter Sickert is the true identity of the notorious Victorian serial killer.

She first made her case in her 2002 book Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed.

Patricia, 60, one said: "You can't raise the Titanic for free. I spent about $7million [£5.7million] overall in my investigation, including employing some of the best and brightest experts in the world.


Patricia Cornwell in 2005. Image: PA

"A lot of people couldn't have done what I have because they wouldn't have the money. I am trying to do the right thing. If someone proves me wrong, bring it."

It caused a great stirr among the art world, in particular art critics, who rubbished her theory as lazy sensationalism.


"That was quite sobering and I didn't handle it well. I was very defensive. I felt ambushed," she said.

"I am a relentless person. Most people who know me will unfortunately say that. I wear people out pretty quickly. But I was determined to prove my case and I believe I've done it."

Walter Sickert. Image: PA


Her proven case, she claims, is in her new book Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert.

Her main reference point is Sickert's work, which prominently features women, sometimes naked, painted with deliberately vague brushwork.

She notes that his painting Putana a Casa of a prostitute draws comparison with the postmortem picture of Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes' face.


A second painting, Le Journal, from 1906 shows a woman laying back wearing a necklace. Patricia argues that this matches the image of Mary Kelly dead on her bed.

"It is Impressionism - or something else more sinister," she said.

"I had his paintings hanging in my library in Greenwich, Connecticut, and every time I walked past them, it became too much. I donated about 100 of his paintings and drawings to Harvard and Yale."


Patricia goes on to argue that the image of Sickert is being coveted and protected to this very day.

She said: "I have people who will not allow me to quote from archival sources because their ancestor said something that was incriminating about him."

Patricia was so paranoid about this whole potential cover-up that she believed she was being monitored.

"I flew to London after Cornwall and immigration officers said we entered the country illegally as we never cleared Customs in Cornwall.

"I said we did as there was a man in military uniform who looked at our passports. They didn't have anyone that fitting that description."

A childhood operation Sickert had also contributes to Patricia's theory.

Image: PA

"Charles Dickens had one [penis fistula op] and said it was the most painful ever," she said. "You you can imagine a little boy with no anaesthesia.

"The question is what this did to him psychologically."

Sickert was also famous, alongside his dark portraiture, for his images of music halls. Far from innocent works of art, Patricia says the sketches in particular reveal lots about the artist's whereabouts during the Ripper murders.

Cornwell in 2013. Image: PA

"His music hall sketches are dated August, September, November. Mary Kelly, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes... he was in a 24-hour striking zone of them.

"He certainly wasn't in France. It's flat out not true."

Her book is available now on Amazon.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Josh Teal

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