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Page last updated at 09:18 GMT, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 10:18 UK
Jack the Ripper movie made in Dorset
By Zoe Kleinman
Reporter, BBC Dorset

Jack the Ripper
The film's narrator is veteran actor Michael Medwin OBE

Dorset-born Jack the Ripper suspect Montague John Druitt has been brought back to life in a new drama by local film makers.

Mr Druitt was living in London in 1888 at the time of the murders and had been working as a teacher.

His mother was declared insane and placed in an asylum just before the Ripper began his killing spree.

Mr Druitt killed himself shortly after the death of Jack the Ripper's final victim Mary Kelly.

He was later named by Sir Melville Macnaghten, Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Constable at the time, as one of just three suspects.

Historians and enthusiasts have been divided ever since over whether Mr Druitt really was the infamous serial killer.

As the accusation was made after his death, Mr Druitt himself was never aware that he was under suspicion.

"He's a favourite suspect for many," said Jack the Ripper expert Donald Rumbelow.

"We know he was a teacher and a lawyer and according to Macnaghten his own family believed him to be the Ripper. But there's no evidence - he's only a suspect because of what Macnaghten said."

Movie making

Members of the Wimborne Video Club spent three years making the independent movie "Montague Jack", filmed entirely in Wimborne and Poole and shot using HD cameras.

Mr Druitt's grave in Wimborne cemetery also features in the film.

The drama concentrates on Mr Druitt's lifelong friendship with his cousin Emily, who eventually went to the police about him.

Director and script writer Ray Joyce told the BBC that he first heard about Mr Druitt by chance in 2007 after watching a local pageant in which he featured.

Jack the Ripper illustration, 1889
Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London from July to November 1888.

"I've lived here my whole life and I had never heard the story," he said.

"Like everybody, when someone says Jack the Ripper your ears prick up."

Despite his extensive research Mr Joyce is still undecided about whether Montague Druitt actually was the killer.

"The more I looked, the more I found it could well have been him but also that he couldn't possibly have done it," he said.

Donald Rumbelow has written two books about Jack the Ripper and says the truth may be revealed one day.

"There's more and more evidence coming out... but we would need a mammoth shift in new research material to actually get us somewhere," he said.

"But if (Montague Druitt) came back he could win a fortune in libel - there's no evidence that it was him."

The film "Montague Jack" will be shown at Corfe Mullen village hall on Friday 22 October. The Wimborne Video Club also hope to release it on DVD.




SEE ALSO
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20 Aug 10 |  Things to do
Doubts over Ripper 'memoirs' find
27 Oct 09 |  Somerset


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