Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jack The Stripper

Is he Still Out There?

So could Jack The Stripper still be alive and well, having kept his horrendous crimes a secret for more than 40 years?

Dennis Rader
Dennis Rader
If he is alive, could he still eventually be caught? It seems almost inconceivable, unless he makes another move. That's exceptionally unlikely, of course, but not entirely unprecedented where serial killers are concerned. Dennis Rader, the "BTK" murderer who terrorised Wichita, Kansas in the 1970s, was a rare example of a killer who stopped of his own volition. Yet even after nearly three decades of silence he couldn't resist boasting of his responsibility for an unsolved crime in a letter to the press. That sick act of criminal vanity led to his eventual arrest and conviction.

If Seabrook and Baldock's favored suspect was indeed the killer, then such a scenario is still not entirely impossible, because, it turns out...he is still alive.

"He was 70 in October," says Seabrook. "I know what he looks like, and he bears a startling resemblance to the identikit released after Frances Brown's murder. He hasn't moved that far from where he was, and he's still got business interests in the same area. But this guy has lived 40-odd years since the last murder, and if you'd got away with half a dozen murders you'd probably feel pretty invincible. Anyway, there wasn't nearly enough solid evidence to charge him at the time, and barring some miracle, no one's going to pin anything on him now."

Unknown Killer
Unknown Killer

Nearly half a century since the first naked body was found by the River Thames, will anyone ever be able to identify Jack The Stripper? Or will he, like his namesake, Jack the Ripper, baffle crime historians for decades to come?

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