Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jack The Stripper

"He framed a dead man."

For many years, Du Rose and McConnell's version of events were unofficially accepted. Yet even then, their views were not unanimously accepted.

An investigation by Owen Summers in The Sun newspaper in 1972 revealed that the man who Du Rose and McConnell suspected was in Scotland at the time of one of the murders. His findings were all but ignored at the time, but some 35 years after the last murders, author David Seabrook began researching a book on the case, entitled Jack Of Jumps. He was granted unprecedented access to the original police files on the case, and after several years of painstaking research, he came to a quite different conclusion.

Author David Seabrook
Author David Seabrook

"I've proved Du Rose to be corrupt," he says. "He framed a dead man to grab a bit of glory on the cheap, and avoid being seen as having failed."

Both Du Rose and McConnell are dead now, so they can't reply to such controversial accusations, but after looking at the files Seabrook does name Du Rose's dead suspect as a Scot from Putney named Mungo Ireland, and comes to the same conclusion as Owen Summers that he could not have been responsible because he was in Scotland at the time of Bridie O'Hara's murder.

Furthermore, he says, there was very little other evidence to confirm his guilt. "He spent only three weeks as a security guard on the Heron Trading Estate," Seabrook points out, "and there was no other link to the crimes."

What we do know is that on 3 March 1965 Ireland was found dead in his car in his lock-up garage. He'd committed suicide by inhaling the exhaust fumes.

He left a note to his wife, but its meaning is hard to ascertain for sure.

"I can't stick it any longer," he wrote. "It may be my fault but not all of it. I'm sorry Harry is a burden to you. Give my love to the kid.

Farewell,

Jock.

PS. To save you and the police looking for me I'll be in the garage."

So why would the police be looking for him, you may ask? Well it may not be what you think. He was due in court the same morning on a minor motoring offense (notably, his registration had not been logged by the surveillance teams on the case), and his wife admitted they had experienced marital difficulties, which seems likely to have been what "my fault" refers to. "Harry" was his brother, who may well have been stayinig with the couple. So if we accept that the case against this man was shaky to say the least, were there any other likely suspects? Well, one of Du Rose's most senior colleagues believed so.

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