Has Shropshire author Amanda really found Jack the Ripper?

Detective work by a Shropshire author has uncovered a new slant on one of Britain's most notorious crimes – the Jack The Ripper murders.

Has Shropshire author Amanda really found Jack the Ripper?

But has Amanda Griffiths-Jones finally solved the mystery and been able to identify the Victorian serial killer?

That is something she's not saying – as she wants you to buy the book.

Amanda spent weeks studying a file which had lain undisturbed in American archives for over 120 years. Her in-depth investigation has centred on Dr Thomas Neill Cream, who was a suspect in the killings of 1888.

Between August and November 1888, five brutal murders were committed in the poverty-stricken Whitechapel area of London – although some say The Ripper was responsible for more.

But who was The Ripper? Suspects have ranged from Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, also known as the Duke of Clarence, to the Queen's physician, Dr William Gull, the artist Walter Sickert, and any number of others – from a Polish butcher to a lawyer to even Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.

Amanda, who lives in Oakengates, said: "I lived in London in my 20s and became interested in Jack The Ripper, so I decided to read some of the transcripts of documents from witnesses and so on.

"The only person who had supposedly seen Jack The Ripper walking away from the crime scene saw a man wearing a top hat and a horseshoe tie pin.

"The only suspect photo I could find wearing a top hat and horseshoe tie pin was Thomas Neill Cream, who has always been listed among the 22 suspects."

She said there had been various books about him, some saying he was in jail at the time of the murders, others that he bribed his way out, and another saying he had a doppelganger.

"I decided to find out what was the truth behind the man and his crimes," said Amanda.

"He was hanged at Newgate for murdering prostitutes, but his modus operandi was poison – strychnine. He had a very wild career in Canada and the US. He was sent to prison for murdering his lover's husband. After 10 years he was released.

"I thought I needed evidence to prove exactly where he was, and whether he was in prison or not. I contacted the archives in Illinois and they granted access to the file.

"Nobody had asked for the file in 126 years. They copied the whole of the file and sent it to me. I sat for weeks reading and re-reading it – it's 181 pages long. I found out some amazing facts."

The resulting book is titled "Prisoner 4374" and is the first published work by 48-year-old Amanda, who writes as A.J. Griffiths-Jones.

Amanda was born in Shrewsbury and her husband Dave is an engineer. Before their return to Britain they spent 10 years in Shanghai, where she was a language training manager for Citibank.

Her book is published by Austin Macauley. A Kindle version is also available through Amazon.

Amanda added: "I've been contacted by the London Museum, who are holding an exhibition on crime and will feature death masks and so on from a vast collection at Scotland Yard which have never been open to the public before.

"In the display will be Dr Cream's medical bag. The curator has enquired about purchasing my book for their visitor bookshop as it also shows a photo of the same medical bag.

"The exhibition will run from October 2015 to April 2016."

"I'm writing full time now," Amanda adds. "I've been back in the UK for two years.

"In the first year we bought the Hare and Hounds pub in Holyhead Road and ran that for 12 months.

"We sold that last year.

"Unfortunately I became ill in April last year so decided to use my convalescence constructively and began putting my research together."

So . . . could Dr Cream have committed the Ripper murders?

"I can't tell you," says Amanda, "because that would ruin the book."

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