'Face of Jack the Ripper' revealed after police discovery
The 'face of Jack the Ripper' has been discovered after police went searching through a collection of old items.
One of the most notorious serial killers in British history, Jack the Ripper terrorised the streets of London in 1888.
He is known to have killed at least five female sex workers in the Whitechapel area - Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly - with each of his victims having had their throats cut and being mutilated in a way that led police to believe the murderer had a knowledge of human anatomy.
Now, an impression of Jack the Ripper's face has been found chiselled into the wooden walking stick of the detective who was investigating him.
Detective Frederick Abberline became consumed by the case and had the only known facial composite of Jack The Ripper etched onto his walking cane.
But he was taken off the case after failing to catch the murderer.
The cane was discovered again after staff went searching through an archive collection at the College of Policing headquarters in Ryton, West Midlands.
For years the cane had been stored at the Police College in Bramshill, Hampshire, and was feared lost when the institution was shut in 2015.
A spokesperson for the institution said two members of staff found the cane whilst searching through the stuff left over after Bramshill closed.
It has now been placed on display in order to act as a reminder to recruits about how far policing has come since those dark days.
The college’s content creator Antony Cash said: "Finding this cane was an exciting moment for us.
"Jack the Ripper is one of the biggest and most infamous murder cases in our history and his crimes were significant in paving the way for modern policing and forensics as it caused police to begin experimenting with and developing new techniques as they attempted to try and solve these murders, such as crime scene preservation, profiling and photography.
"This walking cane is such a fascinating artefact which represents such a historically significant time in policing.
"It’s amazing that we can put it out on display here in Ryton, alongside the original newspaper cuttings, so that our officers can see first-hand how far we’ve advanced in policing since then."
The story of Jack the Ripper has become one of the most infamous mysteries in British history, and the murderer is often described as the first modern serial killer.
His brutal, and seemingly motiveless killing spree has led to more than 200 names being put in the frame over the decades -including celebrity suspects such as Lewis Carroll, Prince Albert Victor and Sir John Williams, obstetrician to the royal family.
Despite a large-scale investigation the Ripper was never caught.