Frederick Deeming, a fraudster and multiple murderer, was a suspect in the Ripper killings.He was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in 1892.
Frederick Deeming, a fraudster and multiple murderer, was a 
suspect in the Ripper killings. He was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in 
1892.A Melbourne academic is searching for a missing skull in his bid to prove that the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper fled to Melbourne where he continued his murder spree.

Geoff Crawford, a biomedical scientist from Templestowe in Melbourne's east, wants to conduct a DNA test on the skull and match it to evidence collated when the Ripper slaughtered prostitutes in London's Whitechapel in 1888 - the problem is somebody knocked off the skull.

Frederick Deeming, a fraudster and multiple murderer from England, was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1892 and buried there, but his bones were removed in 1937 and taken across town to Pentridge Prison.

His femur and skull never made it to the old "Bluestone College" and were probably taken to Canberra for medical research.

Dr Crawford says Deeming, like the Ripper, was an archetypical serial killer and an original suspect in the case.

At the time he was was ruled out as the Whitechapel killer as he was believed to have been in prison at the time or out of the country, but there is now uncertainty about that.

Deeming was hanged for murdering his wife Emily in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor, where they rented a flat in 1892. Her skull was fractured and her throat cut and she was buried under the hearthstone.

Investigations revealed he had also killed his previous wife and four children in Liverpool, England - three of the children had their throats cut. He then married Emily Mather and they moved to Australia.

Dr Crawford said there was plenty to suggest Deeming was the Ripper.

"The very severe slashing of the throat of his two wives and three of his four children is similar," he said.

"His make up is of a psychopath. He saw women as a disposable asset. He got the money out of them and and cut their throats - Jack the Ripper had a similar approach." he said.

Deeming was described as Jack the Ripper of the South Seas and the Criminal of the Century and a play was even written about him.

He was unsuccessfully defended by Alfred Deakin, who nevertheless kept his head and went on to become prime minister of Australia.