Culprit? Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline has been named as Jack the Ripper by a Spanish investigator
  • Spanish handwriting expert claims to solve 120-year-old murder mystery
Suspects have ranged from a member of Royal Family to a local butcher - but it is now claimed that Jack the Ripper was the very detective who led the hunt for the killer.

Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline of Scotland Yard was the man who murdered and mutilated at least five women in Victorian East London - at least according to Spanish writer Jose Luis Abad, 84.

He makes the claim in his book Jack the Ripper: The Most Intelligent Murderer in History, published in Spain this week.

Mr Abad is a handwriting expert and has compared Abberline's writing with that in the Ripper's diary - which surfaced in Liverpool in 1992.

Mr Abad, says: 'I have no doubt Abberline was the Ripper. Handwriting does not lie.'

The diary was attributed to a Liverpool cotton dealer called James Maybrick - whom others have identified as the Ripper.

But many experts say the diary is a hoax. Mr Abad believes it is real, but that the author was Abberline, not Maybrick.

Other theories link the Ripper murders to Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor.

The detective was placed in charge of the Ripper investigations following the murder of Mary Ann Nichols in August 1888. He died in 1929 aged 86 at his home in Bournemouth.

'Killer' among the cops: Abberline (circled) in a group photo of officers in Whitechapel in 1888 - the year of the Ripper murders

© The Associated Press Sickening: The Ripper walks away from his victim in the film From Hell, starring Johnny Depp

Michael Caine played Chief Inspector Abberline in the 1988 TV movie Jack the Ripper, and Johnny Depp played the policeman in 2001's From Hell.

Jack the Ripper brought terror to the capital by butchering at least five prostitutes in Whitechapel, east London, between August and November 1888. On one infamous night, he murdered two women within minutes of each other.

An analysis of his methods revealed that several of the Ripper's victims had their throats cut, while those killed also had organs removed such as the uterus or the heart.

It has been claimed that before every slaying the Ripper would spend time drinking spirits in the pub before taking a stroll throughout the Whitechapel neighbourhood with lowered inhibitions.

After each killing he would return to a safe area where he could wash the blood from his hands and get rid of soiled clothing.

The case remains one of the world's greatest unsolved murder mysteries and over the years many suspects have been brought into the frame including Prince Albert Victor, Queen Victoria's grandson; Sir William Gull, the Queen's physician; and Sir Walter Sickert, a renowned painter of the time.

Identity parade: New Scotland Yard's four suspects in the Ripper case (from left to right) include Montague John Druitt, Michael Ostrog, Aaron Kosminski and Dr Francis J.Tumblety
At the time of the incidents New Scotland Yard boiled it down to four suspects but similarly they were unable to nail the murderer.

The pseudonym Jack the Ripper came from a letter posted to a London news agency at the time of the murders, supposedly from the killer himself but it was later dismissed as a hoax.

Last month it emerged Scotland Yard is fighting a legal battle to withhold secret Ripper files compiled by Special Branch officers in the 1880s.