Jack the Ripper's family snaps revealed in suspect Charles Letchmere theory
PUBLISHED: 15:21 14 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:30 14 November 2014
Private family snapshots have emerged for the first time showing the children of the latest suspect named as Jack the Ripper being exposed in a new TV documentary on Monday—more than a year after he was revealed exclusively in the East London Advertiser.
Charles Letchemere is the latest ‘candidate’ to be linked to the Whitechapel Murders.
He was found leaning over the first victim, Polly Nichols, in Buck’s Row (Derward St) on August 31, 1888, on his route to work at 3.45am—but gave police a false name before disappearing into the night.
Letchemere’s route coincides with locations of other Ripper killings that year in Hanbury Street, Dorset Street and Mitre Square at roughly the times he would have been passing, with another in Berners Street (Henriques St) where his mother lived.
TV researchers from Blink film studios at Haggerson, by the Regent’s Canal, have been on Letchemere’s trail for the past year since the allegations about him were first splashed in the Advertiser on the 125th anniversary of Nichols’s slaughter.
The production company has recreated Scotland Yard’s investigation with a retired Murder Squad chief superintendant from Sussex and a leading barrister assuming Letchmere would have been brought to trial, in Monday’s episode of ‘Missing Evidence’ going out at 8pm.
Swedish journalist Christer Holngren is shown arriving in Whitechapel searching for evidence of Letchmere.
He follows the trail set by author Edward Stowe who first traced Letchmere’s descendant Sue Letchmere, living today in east London.
Sue had no idea about Charles Latchmere, but now firmly believes her great-great grandfather was Jack the Ripper.
“We think he was interrupted after killing Polly Nichols and pretended to have just come across the body,” she said. “He didn’t want anyone to know he had stabbed her, so he pulled her dress down to hide the abdomen which had been carved out.”
Jack the Ripper’s five known murders
Friday, August 31: Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols, Buck’s-row, Whitechapel,
Saturday, September 8: Annie Chapman, back yard at 29 Hanbury-st, Spitalfields.
Sunday, September 30: Elizabeth Stride, side yard at 40 Berner-st, St George’s-in-the-East.
Sunday, September 30: Catherine Eddowes, Mitre-sq, Aldgate.
Friday, November 9, Mary Jane Kelly, 13 Miller’s Court, 26 Dorset-st, Spitalfields.
Lechmere lived at 22 Dovedon Street, off Cambridge Heath Road, just six minutes’ walk to Buck’s Row.
“If he left home at 3.30am for work, he would have enough time to lure Nichols from Whitechapel Road to the back streets around Buck’s Row and murder her,” Sue explained. “It doesn’t take 15 minutes to walk direct to Buck’s Row, just six minutes—we’ve timed it.”
Lechmere gave the name ‘Charles Cross’ to a constable a few streets away when he and the man who found him at the scene reported finding the body.
Other ‘Whitechapel’ linked murders
Tuesday, April 3: Emma Smith, attacked and robbed in Osborn-st.
Tuesday, August 7: Martha Tabram, George Yard Buildings, George-yard.
Thursday, December 30: Rose Mylett, Clarke’s Yard, Poplar High-st.
Wednesday, July 17: Alice McKenzie, Castle-alley, Old Castle-st
Tuesday, September 10: unknown female torso, railway arch, Pinchin-st.
Friday, February 13: Frances Coles, railway arch, Swallow-gardens.
That gave Lechemere time to vanish, according to Stowe, who added: “He’s the only one who can be linked geographically as well as timing to all five main Ripper murders.”
This latest evidence challenges the ‘DNA’ theory emerging three months ago said to have come from a shawl worn by another Ripper victim, Cathy Eddowes in Mitre Square, that matched a descendant of one of the suspects, a deranged Aaron Kosminski who lived in Whitechapel at the time.
The shawl was bought by history sleuth Russell Edwards seven years ago who had it tested.
But Ripper historian Donald Rumbelow later knocked the Kosminski theory on the head as it was “too long for the DNA to be accurate” and the shawl never having been included on the list of her belongings found at Mitre Square.
So Letchmere is now back in the frame in Monday’s 8pm episode, which has been brought forward from its original transmission date next March, when Edward Stowe was planning to publish his book naming Charles Catchmere as Jack the Ripper.