In 2015, a new name in the form of Francis Craig was raised as a suspect in the Jack the Ripper case, but who was he? And could he really have been the killer?
With numerous theories released year on year as to whom the killer could have been, it is difficult to take many with more than a pinch of salt. However, there is one theory that refuses to disappear after coming to light in 2015 as a result of Dr Wynne Weston-Davies’ book on Mary Jane Kelly, the last of the Canonical Five.
With the British government seemingly believing that there is some traction to the claims of Weston-Davies, and an exhumation of the body of Mary Jane Kelly possible, we profile the man who could possibly be named as Jack the Ripper.
Born in Acton, London in 1837, Craig was a Victorian newspaper reporter and would enjoy success in his career, working in the United States of America between 1864 and 1866. Despite being found to have been plagiarising The Daily Telegraph, Craig would assume the role as editor of Indicator and West London News.
On 24th December 1884, Craig married Elizabeth Weston-Davies in Hammersmith. However, according to Dr Wynne Weston-Davies, Craig discovered that his wife was engaging in prostitution and filed for divorce in 1886.
According to Dr Weston-Davies, he is the great nephew of Elizabeth Weston-Davies and claims that while she was working in prostitution she would use a fake identity and that she was, in fact, Mary Jane Kelly, the fifth victim of Jack the Ripper.
Weston-Davies’ theory revolves around Craig, whom he believes to be his great uncle, to have plotted to kill his estranged wife for revenge. As a reporter, Craig had covered many criminal cases and had become familiar with police methods, therefore killing four other women as a cover up for his true motive.
If this theory is proven to be true, the mystery would be no more. Jack the Ripper would be unveiled as Francis Craig, a then 51-year-old journalist who would have been covering his own brutal murders.
The team investigating the true identity of Mary Jane Kelly has been pushing for an exhumation of the body for DNA testing, with reports that the Ministry of Justice would grant a licence. Although it is unlikely that at this point the true identity of Jack the Ripper would be unveiled, this does add an interesting dimension to the case.
Do you believe that Francis Craig was the killer? Or is someone else culpable for the Whitechapel Murders? Decide for yourself on our Jack the Ripper tour, taking place seven days a week, by booking your place online.