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Jack the Ripper postcard to be sold at auction in Folkestone

By Matt Leclere

Chilling words thought to be written by Jack the Ripper feature on a postcard now set to be sold at auction.

The postcard contains just 43 words and was sent to Ealing police station in October 1888 - in the middle of his murderous spree.

The card claiming to be from the beast responsible for the brutal murders in the east end slums is going under the hammer in Folkestone next month.

The postcard claiming to be penned by Jack the Ripper will go under the hammer in Folkestone

The postcard claiming to be penned by Jack the Ripper will go under the hammer in Folkestone

Police in the East End received dozens of notes claiming to be from the Ripper during the longest-running mystery in British criminal history.

But this is one of the strongest examples due to the time it was sent and because it was found in police files.

The postcard reads: "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 students knife and I hope you liked the half of kidney. I am Jack the Ripper."

It is being sold by Grand Auctions, based in Pent Road, on behalf of Doreen Hall.

"Nothing like this from the police files has ever come up for sale before with such convincing provenance" - Jonathan Riley, auctioneer

Her late husband, John, was a former Metropolitan Police officer and was given the postcard after the Ripper file was closed when he left the force in 1966.

Mrs Hall said: "I found the card when I was going through my husband’s papers after his death.

"It makes you stop and think that when you touch the postcard it could have been handled by Jack the Ripper 130 years ago. It’s a scary thought."

Its authenticity is thought to be second to none because it remained in police files until the case was closed by the Met in their bid to solve the Whitechapel Murders.

The date it was received, October 29, 1888, is also believed to be significant because just two weeks later Mary Kelly, one of the Ripper's confirmed victims was murdered.

Jonathan Riley, from Grand Auctions, said: "The comment about his student’s knife could be important because many people thought the murderer may have had some medical or surgical training."

The auction house says it has "left no stone unturned" in trying to verify the postcard.

Ripper victim Elizabeth Stride

Ripper victim Elizabeth Stride

Experts from the Jack the Ripper Museum in London and The Whitechapel Society have been consulted including historian Stewart Evans, author of a book about letters relating to Jack the Ripper.

Mr Riley added: "Nothing like this from the police files has ever come up for sale before with such convincing provenance.

"We are dealing with a very rare artefact indeed involving someone who still casts a chilling shadow even after all these years.

“More than a century after the Whitechapel Murders, the killings have never been solved and the identity of Jack the Ripper remains a mystery.

"It continues to grip the public’s imagination and the story is never very far from the news headlines, with books, films and TV programmes all dedicated to the subject. 

“So could this postcard with its 43 menacing words be from the Ripper? We will never know for sure."

The sale takes place on Monday, October 9. For more details go to the Grand Auctions website.

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