Experts Point to New Suspect as Jack the Ripper

Say he was lowly cart driver Charles Cross

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 4, 2012 9:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The last time we checked in on the identity of Jack the Ripper, he was a woman. The latest theory, as reported by the Telegraph, restores his gender to male but points the finger at a new suspect: a cart driver. Ripper experts Christer Holmgren and Edward Stow have IDed Charles Cross as the serial killer. Cross is actually credited as the man who found victim No. 1, Polly Nichols, telling police he came upon her body while walking at 3am on Aug. 31, 1888. But Cross himself was spotted by a witness who said the cart driver was standing over the body—though Cross told police he wasn't standing so close to it.

Holmgren and Stow think he was actually the killer, and had been in the process of "trying to cover up some of the wounds" when he was sighted. Their other evidence: All the women were killed at hours and in an area that coincided with the time he would have headed to work and the path he would have taken. Cross also didn't give police his real name; his actual last name was Latchmere. And Holmgren and Stow point out that he may be the obvious one just because he was so unassuming. "He hasn't been the subject of a lot of investigation. The police at the time were looking for some sort of special individual. But most crimes turn out to be someone quite ordinary." Click for more on the Ripper.

A member of staff is seen reflected in "The Illustrated Police News" on display during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London.   (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
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