Investigator Fights to Reveal Secret Jack the Ripper Files

But Scotland Yard is determined to keep them under wraps

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2011 5:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A former police detective believes that the identity of Jack the Ripper could finally be uncovered if four thick Special Branch ledgers are released uncensored, but for three years, the Metropolitan Police have been fighting to keep that from happening. Trevor Marriott took Scotland Yard to a tribunal last week in a last-ditch effort to get his hands on the journals, the Telegraph reports. Police say that releasing them, and thus giving away the identities of thousands of police informants, would compromise their ability to get information from modern-day informants.

Even though the informants in question gave up their information between 1888 and 1912, one detective inspector—who spoke from behind a screen—insisted to the tribunal that current-day informants would be dissuaded by knowing that their identities could one day be revealed and their descendants could be targeted. Marriott, who began researching the Jack the Ripper case in 2003 and has published one book on the subject, says the files contain the names of four new suspects as well as other evidence. A decision is expected later this year.

A member of staff stands in front of a screen showing a short movie about Jack the Ripper during a press preview for "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, May 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
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Look at one of the world’s best-known informants, Judas Iscariot. If someone could draw a bloodline from Judas Iscariot to a present day person then that person would face a risk. - Anonymous detective inspector

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