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Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman
by John Morris
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Written by the Author John Morris (John Morris is a retired
solicitor, currently living in County Wicklow, Ireland)
When Victorian London was terrorised by serial killer, Jack the
Ripper, in the autumn of 1888, the police should have actually been
searching for a Jill.
Jack the Ripper was not in fact Sir William Gull, Walter Sickert,
the Duke of Clarence or any one of the dozens of villains who have
been suspected, from time to time, as being Britain’s most notorious
murderer, but one Lizzie Williams, a woman.
Mary Elizabeth Hughes, Lizzie, an upper middle-class, middle-aged
housewife from Wales, was the wife of Royal gynaecologist, Dr John
Williams, a surgeon so eminent that he even became Queen Victoria’s
My Eureka moment came in 2005 when I read a new book in which Dr
John Williams was named as Jack the Ripper. My father was a
historical researcher and he had just completed his exhaustive
research into the life of Dr Williams.
Dr Williams enjoyed an affair with the Ripper’s last victim, a young
pretty Irish girl from Limerick, named Mary Kelly. But we were
unable to pinpoint a single reason why he would want to murder her.
However, there was every reason why his wife, Lizzie, would want her
out of the way.
Lizzie Williams was the daughter of Richard Hughes, a wealthy
Swansea businessman. She loved her husband at the outset, but while
he was desperate for a child, she was infertile and unable to
conceive. As time went by, he fell out of love with her and started
an affair with Mary Kelly. This distressed Lizzie greatly, but her
family money gave her the consolation she needed.
But in the summer of 1888, Lizzie’s father lost all his money.
Suddenly she found herself married to a man who no longer loved her,
and her own money was gone. She became concerned that Dr Williams
would abandon her, or even father a baby by Kelly. And so she set
out to murder her and put her out of the way. It was jealousy, pure
Everybody assumes that Jack the Ripper was a man. But this is only
because the police received a letter signed ‘Jack the Ripper’,
admitting to the murders, and the horrendous nature of the crimes.
Three of the five victims had their uterus taken, whilst an attempt
to take the uterus of the first victim failed.
But our investigation showed us was that the letter was a fake. It
was written by Frederick Best, a journalist at the Star newspaper,
to increase circulation figures. This was at the behest of Thomas P.
O’Conner also of Limerick, one of Fleet Street’s greatest newspaper
And as for the crimes, the type of attack committed by Jack the
Ripper, the theft or attempted theft of uteri, have only ever since
this time, been committed by women.
Of all the suspects proposed as Jack the Ripper, only one possessed
all the attributes the murderer needed to commit such terrible
crimes, and only one had the means the motive and the opportunity to
do so. Lizzie Williams was that person.
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