Seventy years after “Jack the Ripper” murderedand disembowelled prostitutes in London’s East end, a new generation of prostituteslearned to live with the ever-present fear of a lurking killer.Between 1964 and 1965 a serial killer was operating in London who due to his modus operandiwas soon given the moniker ‘Jack the Stripper.
‘ Also known as the ‘Hammersmith Nude Murders’,six victims have been.
Attributed to this one individual with a possible two earlier murderswhich he may have also carried out as practice runs to.
Perfect his technique and ensure hecould get away uncaptured.
Like Jack the Ripper, his victims were prostitutes, though.
Insteadof using a knife, the stripper developed a bizarre form of killing by asphyxiation.
Andjust like Jack the Ripper, the Stripper left little.
His identity remains to thisday a mystery.
Possible Early VictimsOn 17 June 1959, A naked body of a young woman was found on a towpath in Chiswick.Police officers were carrying out a routine patrol of.
A known lovers’ lane, Duke Meadows,on the north. Duke Meadows was also a site known to the locals as a placewhere sex workers took their clients. The woman had been strangled and dumped with noclothes or.
Personal belongings on or around her body. Her underwear and shoes were missing,as was her purse and any other identification. Her dress was torn at the waist and openedto reveal her breasts. A pathologist concluded that death had occurred between midnight and2:00 a. A post-mortem photo of her face.
Was circulated in the newspapers,and Elizabeth Figg was identified first by her flatmate and fellow sex-worker, PaulineMills, and later by Figg’s mother. Elizabeth was a prostitute who worked on the streetsnearby and police theorized she had been murdered by a man who.
Had picked her up for sex thenight before. A witness said that on the night of the murder he and his wife had observeda car’s headlights as it parked in that area at 12:05 am. Shortly after the lights wereswitched off, they heard a woman’s scream, but thought nothing of it at the time. The police questioned many people and searched the. With little evidence and no leads the case into her murdersoon went cold. Four years later, Welsh-born Gwynneth Reeswas found dead in a rubbish tip on 8 November 1963. Investigators later feltRees may have been a Stripper victim due to her being found near the River Thames, andbecause she had been strangled.
With ligature; several of her teeth were also missing. Shehad been missing for nine days with.
The last known sighting of her being getting into a van on September 29th, 1963. Although there were similarities between to Elizabeth Figg’s murder and Gwynneth rees murder, no links were made at that stage and the case of Gwynneth Rees joined the many other London unsolvedmurders lying cold in the police case files. Confirmed VictimsOn 2 February 1964, the first confirmed victim.
Of Jack The Stripper, Hannah Tailford, wasfound floating in the Thames River by a passing boat. She had been in the water for 2-7 daysand was.
Found naked (apart from her stockings, which had been rolled down to her ankles).Her underwear had been forced down her throat and at least one of her front teeth were missing.Despite being obviously strangled, her cause of death was drowning. She was reported missing10 days prior to her discovery. Across the next 12 months a further five bodies wouldbe found. All young woman, all prostitutes and all found stripped and either drownedor strangled.
On 8 April 1964, Irene Lockwoodwas found, drowned, on the foreshore of the Thames at Corney Reach, Chiswick, just 0.9miles away from where Hannah Tailford’s body was found. Her cause of death was alsoruled as drowning and she was four months pregnant when she. Police quicklylinked her murder not only to Hannah Tailford’s, but to one of the early possible victims,Elizabeth Figg. Weeks after the discovery of her body, a local caretaker 57-year-oldKenneth Archibald confessed to killing Irene Lockwood at a Notting Hill police stationand was subsequently charged with her murder. But it was later deemed a false confessiondue to inconsistencies in his version. He later recanted his statement, citing depression,and was cleared at trial. Just days after the discovery of Irene Lockwoodanother body was found giving police their third suspicious.
Death of a young prostitutein less than three months. On 24 April 1964, Helen Barthelemy’s naked, tattooed bodywas found, not on the riverbank, but in an alley 4.5 miles northwest of the locationof Irene Lockwood’s body, near the Boston Manor Playing Fields.The area was fairly secluded allowing the killer privacy to dispose of the body. Itwas this crime scene that gave Detectives their first real clue. Helen had been strangled,most likely up to 24 hours earlier, but most importantly flakes of automotive paint werefound on her body.
Police, who by now had started to suspect they weredealing with a serial killer, to believe she’d been stored in a workshop or warehouse ofsome sort. Detectives believed their suspect was a paint-sprayer. Like Hannah Tailford,Barthelmy was missing several front teeth — three, to be exact.Then, On 14 July 1964, 30-year-old Mary.
Nude and seated in an upright positionat the entrance to a garage in Chiswick, which was 1.8 miles from where Hannah Tailford’sbody was. Her dentures were missing and it was thought she may have smothered to death. Paintspecks were also found on her body just. Many locals reportedhearing a vehicle, probably a van, reversing down the street.
Shortly before her body wasdiscovered, though none could identify the car or the driver.For the next three months all went quiet until 25 November, when 21-year-old Margaret McGowanaka Francis Brown was found in a car park on Hornton Street, Kensington.
On 23 October 1964 by a colleague and fellow sex-worker, KimTaylor, who saw her get into a client’s car. Taylor was able to provide a composite ofthe man that picked her up.
As well as a description of the car he was driving. Kim thought itwas either a Ford Zephyr or a Zodiac. Her cause of death was asphyxiation by strangulation.one of her front teeth had been forced from its socket, and police noted traces of.
Thenow-familiar paint flecks on her body as well. Jack’s last known victim was Bridget O’Hara.She was last seen in early January 1965. Her body was found on 16 February, 1965, hiddenin amongst bushes on the Heron Trading Estate in Acton. Traces of paint flecks were discoveredon her body, but turned out to be industrial paint, not automotive. The paint flecks weresourced to. Bridgit’s front teeth were missing, and investigatorsdetermined she’d died on her knees. Her corpse was partially mummified, eitherfrom prolonged storage in a cool dry place, or possibly from the heat of the transformer.
InvestigationA massive hunt for Jack the Stripper was led by Chief Superintendent John Du Rose of ScotlandYard. He had policewomen dressed up as prostitutes to walk the streets of Notting Hill in thehope. He also sent officers across west London to look for paint-sprayingsites. They didn’t have to look far – the paint patternwas found opposite a paint spray shop on the Heron.
Estate, not far from where Bridget O’Hara’sbody was found which forensics were able to match exactly to those found on the bodies.John Du Rose concluded that this was where the bodies were stored before being dumped.Detectives believed the killer must have had some association with the estate and questioned7,000 people from the area.
No information could be found on the identity of the killer.In an attempt to force the killer into exposing himself, Du Rose held a news conference, falselyannouncing that the police had narrowed the suspect pool down to 20 men. After a shorttime, he announced that the suspect pool contained only 10 members, and then three.
Searches and interviews the case reached a dead end and with no new murdersafter February 1965, no further evidence was gained. The SuspectsFor Du Rose, the most likely suspect was a Scottish security guard called Mungo Ireland.Mungo Ireland had a pretty bleak childhood in Scotland, punctuated by frequent beatings.He served in WWII, where he developed a taste for hiring sex-workers. He worked as a policeofficer, briefly, but quit after being.Ireland drove a van like the one seen in Chiswick where Mary Fleming was found. He worked theovernight shift, 10pm to.
6am, just like police suspected the killer would, and he also workedon the estate as a security guard where Bridgit O’Hara’s body was found.In March 1965, a month after the final murder attributed to Jack the Stripper, Mungo Irelandcommitted suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning inside his garage. He left a suicide notefor his wife which said ‘I cannot stand the strain any more.’ and finished, “Tosave you and the police looking for me I’ll be in the garage.” His decision to take hisown life and.
The timing aroused further suspicion that Mungo Ireland was indeed Jack the Stripper.However, Some serious doubts were raised on Ireland being a credible suspect when it wasdiscovered he didn’t begin work on the estate.