Auction bids show 'how much interest still in Jack the Ripper'
A rare piece of policing memorabilia linked to one of criminal history’s most infamous killers has gone under the auctioneer’s hammer.
A “unique” card from Jack the Ripper warning of two murders has sold for close on £30,000.
The ink-written missive was sent to Ealing police station on October 29, 1888, just 11 days before Mary Jane Kelly – the fifth and last of the serial killer’s suspected victims – was disembowelled.
It is believed to have stayed in police files until 1966 when it was gifted to a Metropolitan Police Service constable as a retirement memento.
The officer’s widow approached Grand Auctions Ltd, in Folkestone, Kent, with the letter, and more than half a century on it greatly exceeded its £600 to £900 estimate – fetching £22,000 at auction on Monday (April 30). Including the auction premium, the bidder will end up paying just short of £30,000.
With an estimated 40 bids though a confidential platform, a British private collector took the ‘prize’ from an American for an item which auctioneer Jonathan Riley said proves “how much interest there still is” in the Ripper.
In 43 chilling words the author more than hints at his gruesome killing record, warning on the card: “Beware there is two women I want here they are bastards, and I mean to have them my knife is still in good order it is a student’s knife and I hope you liked the kidney. I am Jack the Ripper.”
The kidney mentioned in the card refers to another Ripper letter, in which the writer states he fried and ate the kidney of one of his victims.
Ironically, the first two letters published in the Ripper’s name were actually written by a journalist to boost publicity.
Of its Ealing treasure trove, the auctioneers stated that its most unusual aspect is its rarity as “no such card with police provenance has been offered for sale at auction”, adding: “It is a unique Ripper item for sale, and no one can prove it is the Ripper himself, but equally no one can prove it is not.”