Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jack The Stripper

A New Suspect?

Seabrook also claims another senior detective working on the case, Detective Superintendent Bill Baldock disagreed with Du Rose's findings, and deeply resented Du Rose going public with his claims, but didn't want to publically contradict his superior. However, Seabrook says Baldock believed the killer to be another suspect, who Seabrook outlines in Jack Of Jumps.

This individual was younger than Ireland, but he was also a former policeman who had good reason to have a grudge against the police. He was kicked out of the force in the early 1960s after being convicted of a series of petty burglaries in the area he patrolled. He later admitted that his motive had been bitterness at missing having been previously accused of corruption ("My feeling..." he admitted at the time," was that if they thought so strongly that I was a black sheep then I will show them and be a black sheep"). He wanted to make life difficult for his former colleagues, committing crimes which they would then spend many hours trying to solve, with no success (since he himself was disposing of evidence). Seabrook's theory is that the killer murdered the girls with the same motive to humiliate his former colleagues. He backs up his claim by pointing out the fact that the last six bodies (police never officially confirmed if they believed the deaths of Elizabeth Figg and Gwynneth Rees were definitely part of the series) were all found in different police sub-divisions. Very few people would know of these areas of jurisdiction, apart from a former police officer. Seabrook's suspect had actually worked in all but one of them.

After leaving the police force, he worked as a car salesman, which would have given him considerable opportunity to travel around London. The Heron trading estate, meanwhile, was easy to access 24 hours a day for someone with local knowledge.

Baldock wrote of this man in his original report, "(this man) cannot be eliminated from the enquiry and it is felt that he is still a strong possible suspect. The circumstances surrounding his mental history, knowledge of the area and background are ideal in every respect for his being the murderer."

But obvious questions remain why did he stop killing? Admittedly police presence in West London was intense, but we know now that the danger of being caught is rarely much of a prohibiting factor once a serial killer has become addicted to murder.

Seabrook argues that since the old London police boundaries were changed in April 1965, his motive disappeared with them. A plausible reason for a killer to go straight? Your guess is as good as ours...

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