Bestselling writer Patricia Cornwell claims she has uncovered new evidence to suggest Jack the Ripper was a well known 20th century painter
The London Post
The London Post, November 9th 1888.
Crime writer Patricia Cornwell claims to have unearthed evidence suggesting London's most famous serial killer Jack the Ripper was a well known artist.

The American author plans to publish 11 years worth of research which points to Walter Sickert as the prime suspect behind the murders in Whitechapel, East London, in 1888.

She claims to have matched watermarks on letters the mystery killer allegedly sent to police with those on paper used by the painter and printmaker, who died in 1942.

Cornwell also believes she has found clues linking Sickert to the royal family, adding weight to the much debated "royal conspiracy" theory put forward by a number of Ripper investigators.

She worked for a former Scotland Yard commander John Grieve and spent millions of her own money buying 32 of Sickert's works to try and solve the historic crimes in which at least five prostitutes were murdered.

Cornwell also read through all the letters supposedly sent by the killer, which are now held at The National Archives at Kew.

The 47-year-old, who has sold more than 100million books, told the London Evening Standard: "I feel that I have cracked it. I believe it's Sickert, and I believe it now more than ever.

"Will we ever prove it? No, how can you? It's a completely circumstantial case with the only real science that we can count on after all these years being the forensic analysis, which is really hard to feel is coincidental when you keep seeing water marks on paper that Jack the Ripper and Sickert had in common.

"What some detractors will point out, and it's a good point, 'So you proved that he wrote some of the Ripper's letters, that doesn't prove he was the killer'.

"In court, a jury might struggle with that. They are very confessional and violent letters. I do think this series of crimes will forever intrigue people and be cloaked in mystery."