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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Jack the Ripper 'letter' made public
Openshaw letter
The Openshaw letter has been made public
A letter purportedly from Britain's most notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper, has been made public for the first time.

The so-called Openshaw letter is littered with spelling mistakes and bad grammar in a "Cockney" style, and is signed by "Jack the Ripper".

It has been released by the Public Records Office.

It was sent to Dr Thomas Horrocks Openshaw, curator of the London hospital's pathological museum, and is dated 29 October 1888.

The letter is genuine in so far as it dates from that period, but, whether it was from the original Jack the Ripper, may never be proved.

Notorious murders

Jack the Ripper's murders remain the most notorious unsolved mystery in the history of British crime.

Between August and November 1888, he murdered five prostitutes in the Whitechapel area of east London.

Speculation about his identity was rife at the time and remains so to this day.

Jack Depp
Jack Depp is researching a film about Jack the Ripper

The Openshaw letter has been linked with the Lusk letter sent on 16 October, 1888, 13 days previously.

In it, Jack the Ripper taunted Mr Lusk signing it "Catch me when you can".

He also includes part of a kidney which he said he took from one of his victims.

The Openshaw letter appears to be a follow-up about a foiled attempt by the alleged Ripper to kill again.

I guess I wil be on the job soon and will send you another bit of innerds. Jack the Ripper

Openshaw Letter

It states: "Old boss you was rite it was the left kidny I was goin to hopperate agin close to your ospitle just as I was goin to dror mi nife along of er bloomin throte then cusses of coppers spoilt the game but I guess I wil be on the job soon and will send you another bit of innerds. Jack the Ripper."

The letter was part of the Metropolitan Police file on the case.

The file re-surfaced about 30 years ago when it came into the possession of author and Jack the Ripper specialist Donald Rumbelow, who has donated it to the PRO.

Stewart Evans, author of the forthcoming book Jack the Ripper, Letters from Hell, and the consultant on the forthcoming Jack the Ripper film featuring Johnny Depp and called From Hell, said the letter was "better than most" allegedly from him.

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