A BBC One science documentary will employ the latest police cold-case techniques to these gruesome Jack the Ripper murders.
130 years ago, the most infamous serial killer of all time began his reign of terror in the East End of London. Between August and November 1888, five horrifically violent murders took place in Whitechapel. The victims were all poor or working-class women. A huge manhunt ensued involving hundreds of officers, but Jack the Ripper was never caught.
In the new programme, produced by BBC Studios, actor Emilia Fox and Professor David Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University, will be joined by some of the UK’s top forensic and crime experts to re-analyse the murders using original crime-scene photographs and a virtual-reality dissection table. With the 21st Century technology, they hope to get closer than anyone has before to answer vital questions, including who was Jack the Ripper, what motivated his crimes, how did he escape justice and could he have been responsible for even more brutal murders?
“Having worked on crime drama for many years, this project has been a truly fascinating insight into how current real police procedure, forensics and technology can be applied to the most famous of unsolved historical crimes - the Jack the Ripper murders,” said Fox. “Working alongside Professor David Wilson, a leading expert in the psychology of criminals, we have approached it as a cold case might be investigated now, and with the help of other leading experts, have taken another look at the mind and actions of this brutal murderer. This documentary appealed to me hugely because of my interest in crime, forensics and pathology and also because it looks at the victims - the women Jack the Ripper chose and what left them so vulnerable to his brutality. It’s been an immense privilege to get this behind-the-scenes insight into real crime solving on such a fascinating case.”
Craig Hunter, BBC commissioning editor, added: “Jack the Ripper is synonymous with murder and intrigue – even if you don’t know all the details, you will have heard of the case. It is remarkable to think that today’s scientific techniques can be used to help try and tackle unanswered questions which are more than a century old.”