Jack the Ripper was renowned poet Francis Thompson: teacher
England's most notorious serial killer may have been renowned poet Francis Thompson, according to one teacher who claims to have cracked the century-old murder mystery.
Thompson penned poetry by day and butchered prostitutes by night under the guise of legendary murderer Jack the Ripper, Australian teacher Richard Patterson claims.
The 45-year-old educator says research from an exhaustive 20-year study shows the artist is the legendary culprit behind the grisly 1888 slays of five London prostitutes during a 10-week killing spree.
Thompson, from Preston, Lancashire, had surgical experience and hinted at his double life in some of his poems in which he talked about killing people, Patterson told the Mirror.
He "kept a dissecting knife under his coat, and he was taught a rare surgical procedure that was found in the mutilations of more than one of the Ripper victims," the researcher said.
"He helped with surgery and is known to have cut up heaps and heaps of cadavers while a student," Patterson added.
Thompson was also addicted to opium and had "close links" to at least one East London prostitute.
Patterson believes "The Hound of Heaven" writer snapped after a relationship with a local prostitute went sour.
"Soon before and soon after the murders, he wrote about killing female prostitutes with knives," the author said.
Thompson details the bloody murder of a woman stabbed at a pagan temple by a young poet in his short story, “Finis Coronat Opus.”
“I swear I struck not the first blow. Some violence seized my hand, and drove the poniard down.
Whereat she cried ; and I, frenzied, dreading detection, dreading, above all, her wakening, I struck again, and again she cried ; and yet again, and yet again she cried,” reads an excerpt from the 1889 piece.
The man in the poem hears the “sound of dripping blood” as the dying woman’s eyes glare at him in her last moments of life.
“Motionless with horror they were fixed on mine, motionless with horror mine were fixed on them, as she wakened into death,” the poem says.
Many along the years have been suspected of being the real Ripper, including a 23-year-old Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski, artist Walter Sickert and even Lizzie Williams, the wife of royal physician Sir John Williams.