Jack the Ripper's final victim to be exhumed
THE body of infamous Victorian murderer Jack the Ripper's final victim is likely to be exhumed following the release of a new theory on the identity of the killer.
After seeing the new theory, the Ministry of Justice has indicated it will grant an exhumation licence for the grave of East End prostitute Mary Jane Kelly, the first such license to be issued for the grave of one of the Ripper's victims.
The theory has been detailed in a new book, The Real Mary Kelly, written by Dr Wynne Weston-Davies.
As reported in The Telegraph, he claims the Ripper was a man called Francis Spurzheim Craig, a journalist who reported on police courts in the East End of London at the time of the murders in 1888.
An illustration shows police officers discovering the body of one of the Ripper's victims Dr Weston-Davies believes he killed Kelly, his wife, as an act of revenge after she secretly returned to prostitution shortly after they married in 1885.
He adds that the murders of four other women acted as a 'cover' for his act of vengeance - making the crime seem like the work of a serial killer, not a spurned husband.
Dr Weston-Davies also believes that Kelly was his great-aunt - something he intends to prove through DNA testing on the body.
Requests to exhume Kelly's body have been made before and denied, but Dr Weston-Davies believes his possible family connection to her was what made his application more successful.
The Ministry of Justice has said it is willing to grant the licence, on the condition that Dr Weston-Davies can produce a letter from a laboratory willing to do the DNA testing, and that a notice of the exhumation is posted on the grave for three months.
He hopes that by proving the body in Kelly's grave is indeed her through DNA testing, the link between her and Francis Craig will be more certain and his theory will have stronger evidence than before.
The murderer called Jack the Ripper is believed to have killed at least five women, all of them prostitues, in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888.
Hundreds of theories as to the murderer's true identity exist, but it is likely that the real answer will never be known.