Martin Fido: The Man Who Caught Jack the Ripper

DATED: 17.09.14

The Jack the Ripper tour is proud to announce our latest team member: Martin Fido.

Martin is joining as technical advisor. He will ensure that the information we give to our customers continues to be 100% accurate and backed up by historical sources.

Martin is one of the world’s most respected experts on Jack the Ripper and true crime in the world. He is a researcher, lecturer and writer. For fourteen years his Murder After Midnight radio show was broadcast weekly on London LBC Radio, and several shows have been released on CD and iTunes, making him one of the most well-known true crime broadcasters in the world. His true crime books have also included The Official Encyclopaedia of Scotland Yard, Serial Killers and The Murder Guide to London.


Though interested in the case for many years, since reading Tom Cullen’s Autumn of Terror in his twenties, it was not until 1987 – the eve of the Ripper centenary – that the name Martin Fido came to the forefront. The recent publicity surrounding claims by Russell Edwards, that he has found the DNA of Jack the Ripper on a shawl he believes to have been taken from Catherine Eddowes’ murder scene, has once again brought Martin’s pioneering research to the attention of the world. This is because Martin was the first person to scour asylum records for an inmate named Kosminski, who would match the Polish Jew theory proposed by police officials who worked on the case. He found only one match; Aaron Kosminski, the same man whose DNA Mr Edwards claims to have found on the shawl. If Mr Edwards’ claims are correct, then Martin is directly responsible for his ability to have solved the case.


In his pioneering book, The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper, Martin proposed a second possible match for Kosminski. This potential match was a man he found in asylum records, logged as being named David Cohen – a name which Martin believed to be an alias used for Jewish men in the late Victorian Period (such as John Doe is today). Martin proposed that Cohen was really Nathan Kaminsky, a boot maker being treated for syphilis in 1888 who he believes was the true “Leather Apron”.


Since 1987, Martin has spent many years as a Jack the Ripper tour guide, taking tourists around the murder sites of London’s East End. He has also been featured in many documentaries on Jack the Ripper. Since 1993, he has co-authored The Jack the Ripper A-Z alongside Paul Begg and Keith Skinner. The book is now in its fourth edition, and considered the Bible of Jack the Ripper studies.


Martin is also no stranger to the Jack the Ripper Conference scene. For the 2008 American Jack the Ripper Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee he spoke on the topic of “Twenty Years On: Experiences in Ripperology.”  At the 2012 UK Conference in York, Martin spoke on the topic of the Double Event (as the weekend was on the anniversary of the two murders). Uniquely though, he did so without actually talking about the crimes. “The Rest of the World on 30th September, 1888” looked at the other main events and news stories of that infamous weekend, giving a fascinating insight into what should have been an average weekend in the 1880s.

Martin also appeared during the 125th Anniversary Conference in London in 2013, as some much appreciated Friday evening entertainment. During “An Evening With Martin Fido” he treated delegates to some reminiscences on his long career and hosted a pub quiz of his own choosing – focusing on serial killing and murder. Finally, on the Sunday of that weekend, delegates watched the1988 documentary Shadow of the Ripper which featured Martin leading a tour around the East End, and prior to the documentary Martin and Sir Christopher Frayling (who presented the documentary) shared in some reminiscences of the recording.

It has recently been announced that Martin will also be returning to the Jack the Ripper Conferences for 2015 (and beyond) as he has joined the team as a technical advisor.


In his professional life outside of the Ripper world, Martin has written biographies on Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde. He has also analysed the detective fiction of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and he has taught writing and research at Boston University, Massachusetts since 2001.

We welcome Martin to the team and look forward to working with him.

The Ripper-Vision team


 7 Days a Week

AT 5:00PM & 7:30PM

Tour Duration

1 hr 45 mins


The Jack the Ripper Casebook