Bidder pays £30,000 for auctioned Jack the Ripper letter

PUBLISHED: 14:59 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:59 01 May 2018

The back of the postcard, which is signed Jack the Ripper. Picture: Grand Auction Ltd

The back of the postcard, which is signed Jack the Ripper. Picture: Grand Auction Ltd


A card from Jack the Ripper has sold for more than £20,000 at auction.

The letter, addressed to Ealing Police Station. Picture: Grand Auction LtdThe letter, addressed to Ealing Police Station. Picture: Grand Auction Ltd

The letter from the Whitechapel killer was sent to Ealing Police in October, 1888, where it sat in police files until 1966 when it was gifted to a retiring PC.

The constable’s widow approached Grand Auctions with the card, which exceeded its £600 - £900 estimate by going for £22,000 at auction on Monday.

Jonathan Ridley, the historian who dealt with the card, said: “A card like this has never gone up for sale before, so the estimate was a complete guess, not based on scientific fact.

“The widow rang me up and said I’ve got a card from Jack the Ripper, which I didn’t believe at first, but after talking I realised she was genuine. It’s in good condition for its date.”

Much of the auction was conducted through a confidential bidding platform, so it’s unknown how many bids the winner placed. Jonathan believes around 40 were placed in total, with the victor being a private British collector.

The letter, which is written in ink, reads: “Beware there is two women I want here they are bastards and I mean to have them my knife is still in good order it is a students knife and I hope you liked the half of kidney. I am Jack the Ripper.”

There is a pencil date on the front, written by officers, of October 29 1988. Mary Jane Kelly, the last of the five women murdered most believe were killed by the Ripper, was murdered 11 days after the card was received.

The kidney mentioned in the card refers to another Ripper letter, in which the writer states he fried and ate the kidney of one of his victims.

Jonathan said: “I studied the Whitechapel area and the population boom around the Industrial Revolution, so was particularly interested in this item. The question is, why was he so famous, of all the killers? It’s because the first two letters which were published, which gave Jack the Ripper his name, were actually written by a journalist to boost publicity.”

Including the auction premium, the bidder will pay £30,000 for the letter.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 17:43

MPs opposing the Brussels Brexit deal joined campaigners converging on east London for today’s rally at the Excel centre calling for a People’s Vote on the controversial agreement being debated in Parliament on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 13:00

Thousands campaigners are converging on east London this afternoon for a rally calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit ahead of Tuesday’s crucial vote in Parliament.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Brexit continues to dominate the political landscape and Tower Hamlets Council deserves praise for setting up its own commission to examine the potential economic and social impact that leaving the EU will have on the borough.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mobility scooter and wheelchair users can receive free advice on staying safe while travelling on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cinderella has brought the Christmas panto season to Mile End amid the eternal battle with her Ugly Stepsisters.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Researchers from Queen Mary University have helped create the Xingu Village installation taking visitors to the heart of Brazil’s native communities.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Tower Hamlets has lost 75 pubs although more people are working in the trade, figures have revealed.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now