I know who Jack the Ripper was
A FASCINATION which has spanned almost 50 years has turned Bill Beadle into one of the country s foremost Jack the Ripper experts. Now 62, this policeman s son from Dagenham has just published a book which he says, finally answers the question which has o
A FASCINATION which has spanned almost 50 years has turned Bill Beadle into one of the country's foremost Jack the Ripper experts.
Now 62, this policeman's son from Dagenham has just published a book which he says, finally answers the question which has obsessed criminologists the world over for 120 years - the real identity of the man who slaughtered at least five women in Victorian Whitechapel.
The Ripper's bloody five-month spree ended as abruptly as it began in 1888 and no one was ever caught for the murders, prompting no end of weird and wonderful theories over the generations.
According to Bill, Jack was really William Bury, and the murders stopped because he was hanged in Dundee for killing his wife.
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His new book, Jack the Ripper Unmasked, uses modern psychological profiling to show why Bill is so convinced.
He says: "I first came across William Bury in 1992 in the book Jack the Ripper A-Z. It seemed to me he was really worth taking a look at.
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"The murder of his wife bore very good comparison and I thought it was worth going to Scotland to see the files on him.
"And the more I researched, the more I was convinced he was Jack the Ripper."
He says the basic book was finished in 2002, having taken four years to gather the information. But he was still adding research until 2007.
It was published on Monday.
Bill, who grew up in Dagenham, going to John Perry Junior School and the now-defunct Park Secondary, first became interested in the Ripper story as a 13-year-old when he saw a TV programme by broadcaster Dan Farsan about the gory murders.
He is now chairman of the Whitechapel Society 1888, a forum for students of the world's most infamous serial killer.
So what is it about this murderer that has made him the world's most famous?
"It's because he was never identified and caught. It's the Mount Everest of crime - you really want to be the one who finds out who did it."
For Bill, there's also the social history - a fascination with the utter poverty, filth and hopelessness of life in the Whitechapel slums of the late 19th century.
He says: "In the society we try to understand not only the murderer, but the victims, why they were doing what they were doing at the time."
The role of a Ripperologist was brought to the fore in a recent ITV thriller, Whitechapel, in which present day police investigated a Jack the Ripper copycat killer.
They were helped by a Ripper expert, played by Steve Pemberton.
What did Bill think of the series and the Ripperologist character?
"He was certainly a bit overweight like me! I thought it was really good. There were lots of details not known to many people.
"The programme makers went into tremendous detail and many of the characters had the names of obscure witnesses in the original killings.