|The shared gravestone of Bessie and Walter Porriott, |
at Toowong cemetery, was recently vandalised.
The grave of one of a handful of people who may be Jack the Ripper - London's Whitechapel serial killer of prostitutes in 1888 - has been vandalised in Brisbane's Toowong Cemetery.
The Sydney-based family of English conman Walter Thomas Porriott - known to London's police as Andrew John Gibson - in 1997 accused Porriott of being Jack the Ripper.
A lot of people around the world believe this is the final resting place of Jack the Ripper.
Porriott was a convicted killer who lived in London when the five murders attributed to Jack the Ripper took place.
|The shared gravestone of Bessie and Walter Porriott at |
Toowong cemetery. Walter is believed by some to
have been Jack the Ripper.
The five Jack the Ripper murders took place between August and November 1888.
Porroitt sailed to Brisbane on November 9, 1888, the day the fifth prostitute was killed, according to Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, who is an amateur historian and Jack the Ripper blogger.
"There is a lot of circumstantial evidence, but nothing has ever been proved and probably I think Jack the Ripper will go down in history and no-one will ever be able to identify who he really was," he said.
Despite the FBI in 1988 preparing a profile of Jack the Ripper, no-one has ever been convicted of the killings.
Porriott had served 10 years in jail for killing a woman when he posed as a gynaecologist.
He was buried in Toowong cemetery, on this day 60 years ago - August 30, 1952.
Cemetery records wrongly show his age when buried as 59 - impossible given he fled London 64 years earlier in 1888 - but the conman is considered to have been in his 80s when he died.
His wife Eliza, "Bessie", was 77 when she died on June 26, 1957.
Jack the Ripper's first victim, Mary Anne Nichols, was murdered on August 31, 1888.
Today, Cr Tully - who for four years has been researching his own book about Jack the Ripper - told journalists he did not really believe Walter Porriott was Jack the Ripper.
"There has been vandalism in the cemetery. That is absolutely appalling," he said.
"This is an historic grave. A lot of people around the world believe this is the final resting place of Jack the Ripper."
But Cr Tully does not.
"It is a theory that I don't really subscribe to, but it has never been disproved," he said.
Cr Tully thinks Porriott was evil, but not Jack the Ripper.
"He was an evil man, an imposter, a conman, a fraudster. He served 10 years in jail for the killing of a woman when he posed as a gynaecologist," Cr Tully said.
"But he really did not have the same modus operandi as Jack the Ripper."
Cr Tully this morning said he was unsure exactly when Porriott's grave was vandalised.
"No; it happened fairly recently. The damage is quite recent. But until yesterday I hadn't been here for about a year."
However, Cr Tully said he still has his own idea of who Jack the Ripper was, which he would reveal in his own book.
"My theory relates to a person in Australia who had connections to the Brisbane area and to the northern rivers district of New South Wales," he said.
"It is a theory that I have been pursuing since 2003."
In 1988, the FBI prepared a profile of Jack the Ripper on the 100th anniversary of the killings.
The FBI's 1988 profile suggested Jack the Ripper:
was a white male, 28-36 years of age;
was of average intelligence, lucky not clever;
was single, never married, and had difficulty in interacting with people in general and women in particular;
was nocturnal and not accountable to anyone;
blended in with his surroundings;
had poor personal hygiene, and appeared dishevelled;
was personally inadequate with a low self image and diminished emotional responses;
was a quiet loner, withdrawn and asocial;
was of lower social class;
lived or worked in Whitechapel, and committed the crimes close to home;
had a menial job with little or no interaction with the public;
was employed Monday to Friday, possibly as a butcher, mortician's helper, medical examiner's assistant, or hospital attendant (the proximity of London Hospital was noted in the profile);
was the product of a broken home, and lacked consistent care and stable adult role models as a child;
was raised by a dominant female figure who drank heavily, consorted with different men, and physically, possibly sexually, abused him;
set fires and abused animals as a child;
hated, feared, and was intimidated by women;
internalised his anger;
was mentally disturbed and sexually inadequate;
desired power, control, and dominance;
drank in local pubs prior to the murders;
was seen walking all over Whitechapel during the early morning hours;
did not have medical knowledge or surgical expertise;
was probably interviewed by police at some point;
did not write any of the “Jack the Ripper” letters;
did not commit suicide after the murders stopped.