Sir William Gull: Ripper Suspect

Posted by Jenny Phillips, Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Friday, September 24, 2021 Under: Jack the Ripper

Sir William Gull: Ripper Suspect

Most of the candidates for Jack the Ripper have fatal flaws. For example, the queen’s doctor Sir William Gull. In 1887, Sir William Gull suffered the first of several strokes at his Scottish home, Urrard House, Killiecrankie. The attack of hemiplegia and aphasia was caused by a cerebral haemorrhage. He recovered after a few weeks and returned to London, but was under no illusions about the danger to his health, remarking "One arrow had missed its mark, but there are more in the quiver".

Over the next two years, Gull lived at 74 Brook Street, Grosvenor Square. He also had homes in Reigate and Brighton. During this time, he suffered several more strokes. The fatal attack came at his home in 27 January 1890. He died two days later. So, here was a man in frail health for over a year before the Ripper murders. Would a man in this condition be strong enough to mutilate a body to the degree that Mary Kelly was, in her room at 13 Millers Court?

Curious about this, I asked a slaughterman who came on my tour knowing that he would be an expert on this subject. He told me that it would take a great deal of strength even with a very sharp knife and this must have been committed by a very strong man. I accept this expert opinion and therefore believe that Sir William Withy Gull could never have committed this murder.

I also believe the murderer was a young man, and a local who had a good knowledge of the area, as he was able to evade all the people on the streets looking for him. This is especially the case after 30 September 1888 when there were 100 policemen, groups of self-appointed vigilantes, newspaper reporters and the entire population of Whitechapel on high alert.

Apart from these overriding facts could the royal carriage have whizzed around the streets of Whitechapel, even with its insignia blacked out unnoticed? I hardly think so, it would have stood out like a sore thumb!

Also, in the book by Stephen Knight written in the 1970s these women were enticed into the carriage with grapes (an expensive delicacy at the time) and murdered within, then their bodies thrown out at the various spots where they were discovered.

Two were discovered inside buildings, one in a backyard only entered from the front door through a passageway in the house to the yard. Why would anyone take the chance to move bodies to these places? Also, there was blood on the ground where they were killed, proving that they were killed where they were found.

I think all this evidence proves that although entertaining, his book ‘Jack the Ripper the Final Solution’ is not the final solution at all!

In : Jack the Ripper 

Tags: 1888  whitechapel  victorian era  crime 
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