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Thriller Thursday: Jack The Stripper

Yes, you read that right. No, it’s not a typo.

Between 1964-65, six women were murdered, their bodies found around the Thames River. All were prostitutes. All had been strangled and left naked. Because of their locations and similarity to the Jack the Ripper case, the unidentified assailant was given the nicknamed Jack the stripper.

The Victims:

Hannah Tailford, 30. Found dead February 2, 1964 near the Hammersmith Bridge. Hannah was strangled and several teeth were missing. Her underwear had been forced down her throat.

Irene Lockwood, 26. Found April 8, 1964 near the same area where Hannah’s body was found.

Helen Barthelemy, 22. The third victim and first break in the case, Helen was found on April 24, 1964 in an alleyway. Flecks of paint used in car factories.

Mary Flemming, 30. Found July 14, 1964 in an open street. The paint spots were found on the body.

Frances Brown, 21. Found November 25, 1964 after missing for a month. A friend was with Brown when the man believed to be her killer picked her up, and a composite sketch was created.

Bridget O’Hara, 28. Found dead behind the Heron Trading Estate. Again flecks of paint were present.

The paint pattern was found near a paint spray shop on the Heron estate, near the location of Bridget O’Hara’s body. Investigators realized this was where the bodies were stored before being dumped. 7,000 people were questioned.

Police announced the suspect list was being narrowed down in the hopes of causing the killer to make a mistake, but an arrest never happened.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Du Rose was in charge of the investigation, and in his book, Murder was my Business, Du Rose states the prime suspect committed suicide before an arrest could happen.

We had done all we possibly could but faced with his death no positive evidence was available to prove or disprove our belief that he was in fact the man we had been seeking. Because he was never arrested or stood trial, he must be considered innocent and will therefore never be named. – John Du Rose

Writer David Seabrook later identified this suspect as Mungo Ireland. Ireland gassed himself with exhaust on March 3, 1965. He left a note behind:

“I can’t stick it any longer… PS. To save you and the police looking for me I’ll be in the garage.”

Opinions vary on whether or not this man was actually the killer, and the case remains unsolved.

What do you think? Is the suicide note enough? Could Du Rose have been reaching to cover a failed investigation?

For more detailed accounts, visit here. For an entirely new theory, check out this interesting post.

The final painting for TIN GOD's cover. Artwork by Kimberlee Edgar
The final painting for TIN GOD’s cover. Artwork by Kimberlee Edgar. Official Cover Reveal in April!

Coming Soon: TIN GOD.

The official blurb for my second novel, TIN GOD (April 2013) is below! 

If you’d like to read the first chapter for FREE, visit my website.

Mystery/Romantic Thriller

Getting pregnant as a teenager and being coerced into giving her baby up for adoption left a festering scar on Jaymee Ballard’s life. Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee nearly gives up hope of getting her daughter back after her best friend is murdered. Now, four years later, a wealthy woman with legal connections hires her as a housekeeper, and Jaymee gathers the courage to seek her help. But Jaymee’s last chance ends up in a puddle of blood in one of the historic antebellum mansions in Roselea, Mississippi.

I just murdered your wife…again.

An unsigned letter consisting of six horrifying words turns Nick Samuels stagnant life upside down. Stuck in emotional purgatory since his wife’s unsolved murder four years ago, Nick is about to self-destruct. The arrival of the letter claiming credit for his wife’s murder and boasting of a new kill sends Nick to Roselea, where he and Jaymee’s worlds collide.

Jaymee and Nick realize exposing the truth about her daughter’s adoption is the only way to solve the murders. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence–and Jaymee’s daughter–are lost.

But the truth doesn’t always set the guilt-ridden free. Sometimes, it destroys them.

8 comments on… “Thriller Thursday: Jack The Stripper”

  1. How come the British get all the interesting nut jobs? All we get is some guy wandering around killing prostitutes and leaving the bodies in empty lots. Does he get a name like “The Development Killer”? Nope. We just print the story. C’mon guys let’s name our psychos.

    • LOL, Tom. They do have some great nicknames, don’t they? I admit, I’d never heard of Jack the Stripper. I stumbled on him when I was looking for weird crimes.


  2. If the killings ended there, it does point to Ireland being the killer. I didn’t think many serial killers stopped on their own. But with your research background, you’d probably know more than I.

    That underwear detail made me gag, by the way. Though I suppose I should have gagged at the murder itself. Interesting stuff, yet again.

    • They usually don’t. They almost always kill until they are jailed or murdered. But there are a couple of murders experts believe might have been committed by JtS. They will never no.

      Yes, the underwear was vomit inducing. Killers never cease to amaze me. Thanks:)

  3. Interesting take, I had never heard this one but reading the additional details makes me wonder how the police at the time missed it.

    Can’t wait to read the new book and the cover art is gorgeous!

    • Thank you! The cover is finished and I have an exclusive reveal with Night Owl Reviews on the 28th. Can’t want to share it.

      Glad you liked the post:)

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