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Jack the Ripper diary which reveals monster's identity is genuine, says expert

Mirror logo Mirror 07/08/2017 Steve Myall
Credits: Liverpool Echo © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Liverpool Echo

Proof that a diary long believed to be written by Jack the Ripper is genuine has emerged exciting enthusiasts that it really was written by the killer.

It means that experts could be close for the first time to identifying the brutal slayer who terrorised East London more than 200 years ago.

The killer has never been caught and his identity and dozens of theories have been put forward about his, or her, identity.

Credits: Rex Features © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Rex Features Excitement among Ripper hunters was fired in 1993 when a diary was said to have been discovered under floorboards of a house in Liverpool, "proving" that wealthy cotton broker James Maybrick was the killer.

Maybrick's wife Florence was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of murdering her husband by poisoning in 1889 but released in 1904 when the trial was called into question.

In the 9,000 word volume, Maybrick confessed to the brutal murders of five women in the East End as well as one prostitute in Manchester.

Credits: Hulton Archive © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Hulton Archive He signed off the diary: "I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentleman born. Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper."

The authenticity of the document, which points the finger of blame for the grisly murders in London at Liverpool cotton trader Maybrick, has never been proved or disproved despite exhaustive debate since it was published in the 1990s.

But now new research has linked the diary to the author more conclusively than ever before.

Credits: Liverpool Echo © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Liverpool Echo

The diary was said to have been originally found by a scrap metal dealer who said he had got it from a family friend, who had passed away.

It was impossible to link directly to Maybrick but work by researchers has discovered links to the original finder and a firm of builders who worked on the suspects house.

It puts the the diary in the house and makes it much more likely to be genuine.

The diary was published by Robert Smith, and he believes the links to the building firm were kept secret because the men who found it were frightened of being prosecuted.

Credits: Liverpool Echo © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Liverpool Echo Mr Smith told the Daily Telegraph: "I have never been in any doubt that the diary is a genuine document written in 1888 and 1889.

"The new and indisputable evidence, that on March 9 1992, the diary was removed from under the floorboards of the room that had been James Maybrick’s bedroom in 1889, and offered later on the very same day to a London literary agent, overrides any other considerations regarding its authenticity.

"It follows that James Maybrick is its most likely author. Was he Jack the Ripper? He now has to be a prime suspect, but the disputes over the Ripper’s identity may well rage for another century at least.”

A limited hardback edition of 25 Years of The Diary of Jack the Ripper: The True Facts by Robert Smith is available from www.mangobooks.co.uk from 4 September

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