During the early 1990s, having got hold of copies of the original coverage of the case in the SUN newspaper from the library at Colindale, I professed myself an early 'Cutbushist.'
In 2011 Thomas Cutbush remains a viable JTR suspect for at least three reasons, all uncovered when his Broadmoor Asylum file was released in November 2008.
Firstly, he matches eye-witness descriptions: aged 22, 5ft 9.5 inches tall, eyes dark blue (very sharp), complexion dark. Secondly, his illness was ascribed to over-study, a common feature of Ripper suspects if a trifle lacking today. Finally, and most tellingly, attendants at the Asylum seem to have been assigned duties which involved spying on him. A night attendant called Bailey was listening outside Cutbush's window one night. Mr Bailey heard him say that if he had a knife suitable for the job he would rip up the attendants.
Such eavesdropping confirms the long-held belief that staff at Broadmoor Asylum once suspected that they had Jack the Ripper confirmed therein.
All Ripper books should be written like this, as they once were.
Peter Hodgson is the author of three books: 'Critical Murder', 'Jack the Ripper - Through the Mists of Time' and Rippercide.
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