Jack the Ripper must have shown violence before murder spree says former Met homicide detective
SERIAL killer Jack the Ripper is likely to have committed violent crimes before he started butchering women, a seasoned former murder detective believes.
Steven Keogh, 51, (below) who retired from the Met Police a year ago, is believed to be the first former Scotland Yard murder squad detective to assess the Ripper files and explore why the killer was never caught.
He is researching for book on the Ripper, that will look at how a modern Scotland Yard would have used the techniques of today to try to crack what became one of the world's most infamous unsolved crime sprees.
Jack the Ripper butchered and murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel area of east London over just a four month period from August to November 1888.
Three victims had internal organs removed, which led to a theory that the killer had some anatomical or surgical skills.
Police actually investigated the brutal killings of 11 women, mainly prostitutes, from April 1888 to February 1891, known as the Whitechapel murders.
It is widely agreed that the third to the seventh of them, known as the Canonical Murders, were definitely carried out by the Ripper.
Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly were killed over nine weeks from August to November 1888.
They all had their throats cuts, post mortem injuries, including to the vagina, and body parts were taken from Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly.
Mr Keough also said all but one involved stealth whereby the women were murdered with out making a sound just metres from other people.
Although several suspects and theories about the identity of the Ripper were, and continue to be forward, the killings stopped and no one was ever caught, making the Victorian murder spree one of the world's greatest mysteries.
Mr Keogh, who spent more than half of his 30-year police career as a Scotland Yard murder detective, working on around 100 cases, released the book Murder Investigation Team: How Killers Are Really Caught last November within a week of retiring from the force.
He went on to launch the Murder Academy website and YouTube channel which explores cases and teaches followers about how an investigation pans out from the initial crime scene to the court room and prosecution.
His first book was a detailed blow by blow account of how a murder probe unfolds from the discovery of the body and preservation of evidence through to interviewing of witnesses and arrests of suspects before the case proceeds to trial.
Mr Keogh said: "The Murder Academy has also taken off and I am now speaking about homicide investigations at conferences here and in the US.
"I am working on a second book about Jack the Ripper and how modern-day Scotland Yard would have investigated the Ripper murders with today's techniques."
He has spent hours going through evidence from the original investigation and assessing the decisions taken and conclusions reached.
In a Murder Academy YouTube video about the Ripper case, he said: "I am the first Scotland yard murder detective to approach this subject and I have never seen one talk about it in this format."
He believes it is unlikely the Ripper's first ever attack would have resulted in one of the gruesome murders.
He said: "There will undoubtedly be other crimes linked to him and this is something I will be looking into."
Mr Keogh has already concluded that he believes Mary Ann Nichols was not his first kill and he did not murder Elizabeth Stride, because it was not a stealthy attack and there injuries were not the same and theories the Ripper was disturbed are not supported by the evidence.
He believes that Martha Tabram, the second of the 11 murder victims was killed by the Ripper because she also had her throat cut, with post mortem injuries, including to her vagina, in a similar way to Nichols, who also did not have body parts removed.
He said: "On the balance of what I have seen, I believe Martha was killed by Jack the Ripper. She did have her throat cut, there was stealth, there were post mortem injuries and she was stabbed in the vagina. I believe that was his first murder that we know of and as he goes through te murders he seems to develop and progress and he started to take stuff.
"I'm going against what a lot of historians say and I am not saying I'm right, but it's what I believe."
Mr Keogh also says there is no evidence to support the Ripper wearing the trademark top hat and coat and carrying a shiny black bag.
He believes that Victorian detectives were quick to rule out witnesses who said they saw the Ripper and did not use the media effectively to run appeals about the murders, as is done today, causing a number of corruption theories to develop among a suspicious public.
"In terms of suspects, I am keeping an open mind and will come to that last," he added.
Mr Keogh's first book includes a warts and all look at some of his 20 most memorable cases and looks at the mental toll of repeatedly seeing horrific crime scenes and post mortem examinations.
He was commended for his role in investigating the 7/7 bombings during which he crawled through tunnels collecting body parts.
He was concerned how unaffected he was by this, fearing he lost part of his humanity, but revealed that investigating murders led him to regularly dream about murdering people himself.
He recounted a bloody double murder scene, where one victim was still in bed with his throat cut, and another where the victim was stabbed 60 times by a mental health patient with the "all too familiar" story that his family had desperately tried to get him readmitted to a psychiatric ward without success before the killing.
He wrote: "I’ve always had the most vivid dreams and can generally remember them when I wake up.
"During my time on MITs, those dreams started to become more and more violent in nature. Most nights I would end up killing someone in my sleep. Stabbing, shooting, beating or strangling."
But, he said he laughed them off and did not worry about them and survived by shutting off his emotions.
"When I recently stopped investigating murders, the dreams ceased. Coincidence? Probably not," he said.
But, there are cases involving children that have haunted him, including the sight of a girl, 5, with pigtails, in a flowery dress laid out in a mortuary and the scene of an arson that saw two girls die from their injuries.
Seeing the post mortem examination of Daniel Evbuowman, three, who was battered to death by his uncle Ben Igbinedion, 51, just for wetting the bed in 2013 was also a sight he "could not unsee."
Unusual cases he worked on included a skeleton found dumped in a street. It turned out not to be a murder but a co-tenant had kept the body of his friend in a bedsit for ten years and adopted his identity as he feared eviction.
Neighbours complained to the council about the smell, but it took a decade for the authority to write to the address and threaten a visit, so he discarded the body nearby, but forgot about a hand that was found by contractors.
He was not charged with anything.
Another perplexing case was a man's body with severe head injuries but no signs of an attack or road accident.
It dawned on the team he was under the Heathrow Airport flightpath and it was a stowaway who fell.
During one investigation the finger marks of a police officer not on the case were found at an address. It later transpired they had been there for years and the officer left them during his earlier job as a telephone engineer.
Mr Keogh also detailed a terrifying event in a mortuary at night.
He wrote: "My first station was Greenwich. The keys to the nearby mortuary were kept there in case the security alarms went off. One night they did, so my colleague and I collected the keys and drove over to check on it. We entered to make sure nobody had broken in. As I was looking around, I noticed a body lying under a sheet. As I got closer, it sat bolt upright. I’m not ashamed to admit that I screamed like a child and ran out. It turned out to be a local initiation."