Sunday, 10 February 2013

Jack The Stripper

This unsolved series of murders had a number of names, such as "the Hammersmith Murders," The Thames Nude Murders," but is best known as the "Jack The Stripper Murders" which happened between 1964 & 1965, although two other murders, one in 1959 & the second in 1963, are thought to be part of the series of murders.  Six women fell foul to a sadistic killer, who used extreme violence on them, and although they were all prostitutes, he did nothing sexual to them.  The man from the Yard put in charge of the investigation was their best homicide investigator, John DuRose.  DuRose conducted a vast and thorough investigation, and did have a good suspect.  This man was known as Mungo Ireland, and he worked as a security guard on an industrial estate.  One of the victims had paint spray traces on her, and there was a spray shop on this industrial estate, which Ireland did have access to.  Of the victims, one had her panties forced down her throat, causing her to asphyxiate.  Semen was also found in their mouths, and some had had their teeth knocked out.  Ireland committed suicide before DuRose could arrest him, and Ireland left a suicide note.  This note suggested that Ireland was the killer, but there was no admission to the murders.  

    Over the years, some other suspects have emerged, but the theories can be a bit outlandish. One name that has been around since the mid sixties was that of renowned boxer Freddie Mills.  It was claimed in one book, that Mills was having a homosexual relationship with Liverpool crooner Michael Holliday, and had to have rough sex with a prostitute before sex with Holliday.  It was claimed that Mills liked to rough them up but went too far and killed them.  After the first killing, in which Mills allegedly dumped all the bodies, Mills acquired a taste for murder. This claim also had Mills being warned by a major villain that the Police were closing in on him and he should expect to be shortly arrested.  It is claimed that Mills committed suicide soon afterwards.  Holliday committed suicide in 1963, before the known series of murders started, so the claim that Hollidays` suicide, after a second murder, would be the 1963 death thought to be part of the series.  This theory has no evidence at all to substantiate it and has been dismissed.

    Another possible suspect is a notorious killer.  Harold Jones gained notoriety in South Wales for the murder of two young girls in 1921, aged just fifteen.  He was acquitted of the first murder, and was treated to a hero`s homecoming by townspeople that would not believe that a young lad in their town could commit such a brutal murder.  One of the first people to welcome him home was called Little.  Not long afterwards, Jones murdered his daughter.  This time he was convicted, but being under age, spared him the noose.  He spent the next twenty years in prison, and was released in 1941, against the wishes of the prison governor and psychiatrist.  Jones moved around during the next twenty years, eventually settling in London.  He had also married and had a child, although it is not known if they knew his background.  Jones was also a frequent visitor back to his home town, Abertillary.  Jones lived in the vicinity of the murders and where the victims lived.  But the Police did not know that a ruthless double killer was in the killing zone.  Jones can only remain a suspect.

    It was also believed that the killer could have been a Policeman, as the bodies were dumped just inside different Police boundaries. Indeed, one officer was considered a suspect, but another cop was proposed by a villain.  Jimmy Evans felt that former top cop and head of the Flying Squad, Tommy Butler, was the killer.  I view this as just sour grapes on Evans` part, as he claimed to have had a number of run-ins with Butler over the years.  As with Mills and Jones, Butler is not alive to refute these accusations.  An intriguing case study.