A second book has named Queen Victoria’s surgeon Sir John Williams as the infamous Jack the Ripper – and it is written by a descendant of one of the serial killer’s victims.
Author Antonia Alexander claims she is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the Ripper’s fifth and final victim Mary Kelly.
She points the finger at Sir John, who founded the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth, and acted as surgeon for the royal family.
It follows a book released last year by Tony Williams, the great-great nephew of Sir John, who also accuses the prominent surgeon of being behind the notorious killings on the cobbled streets of London’s Whitechapel in 1888.
Ms Alexander’s investigation started after she discovered a photograph of a man in a 125-year-old locket contained in Mary’s belongings was not of the victim’s husband – as she had initially believed – but of Sir John.
‘It’s part of our family history that Mary had an affair for a number of years with a doctor who had taken her to places like Paris,’ said the mother-of-two, who released her book The Fifth Victim earlier this month.
‘But the doctor married someone else and Mary also got married so everyone believed the photo in the locket was of her husband.
‘But my research has shown she was in fact carrying around the photo of her lover, Sir John Williams.’
Born in Gwynfe, Carmarthenshire in 1840, Sir John trained as a doctor in London, working at a number of institutions.
He had a surgery in Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper killings, which claimed the lives of at least five women.
A life-long collector of Welsh books and manuscripts, he was the principle founder of the National Library of Wales, living at a house called Blaenllynant in Victoria Terrace on Aberystwyth’s seafront, which is now the Glengower Hotel, until his death in 1926.
In his book Uncle Jack: A Victorian Mystery, Tony Williams argues that the Welsh surgeon had the medical knowledge to remove vital organs from the victims; that he knew the victims from clinics he ran in Whitechapel, and that pages of his 1888 diary have been removed while other diaries are intact.
He also claimed that Sir John had been devastated he and his Swansea-born wife Lizzie could not have children and was desperate to find methods to increase fertility.
During the Whitechapel murder spree, the Ripper killed women and removed their sexual and internal organs with surgical precision.
‘The uterus were removed from the victims, and I believe John Williams wanted to understand the function of the ovaries, their relation to fertility and to see if he could use the organs he removed from the women to complete his research,’ said Mr Williams.