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
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)

(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.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Investigator Fights to Reveal Secret Jack the Ripper Files is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 17 comments
May 15, 2011 10:45 PM CDT
Seems like Scotland Yard could meet Marriott halfway by blacking out the names of the informants.
May 15, 2011 9:19 PM CDT
Whoever they name as the Ripper, I won't believe it until I see the long-form birth certificate.
May 15, 2011 7:45 PM CDT
Oh my God. There was a cover-up. It was Prince Albert and Queen Victoria knew about it.