FOI request: Please reveal the true identity of Jack the Ripper.

Henry Shrimp made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Home Office did not have the information requested.

Dear Home Office,

Please reveal the real identity of Jack the Ripper. It’s been over 100 years, people have a right to know

Yours faithfully,

Henry Shrimp

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()


All due respect, but this site is intended for serious requests, not conspiracy theories.

If the police at the time had known the identity of the Ripper - and had enough evidence to bring him/her to court - they would have made an arrest.

Requests like this just waste time.


Henry Shrimp (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

you mean like Princess Diana and David Kelly

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()


Yes, exactly like both of those - subjects of conspiracy theories along with JFK, Marylin Monroe and Area 51.

Jack the Ripper was very unlikely to have been one of Queen Victoria's children (for example), just one of the first serial killers to have been widely publicised in the contemporary press.

If you research the period you will find there were other serial killers active around the same period, they just didn't merge into 'folklore' like the Ripper did. Mary Ann Cotton, H H Holmes and Amelia Dyer to name three - only difference (apart from methods) being that some were caught and the Ripper wasn't.

Press coverage for all was just as sensational - because that's what sold newspapers then and still does now.

The Victorian 'penny dreadful' was a popular form of entertainment and specialised in stories dealing with murders and sensational crimes during the same period. A lot of what they published mirrored the Ripper's 'style', even before he/she came to notice.

The point being - your FOI request would have been better phrased along the lines of 'Please provide me with details of any papers or information held by the Home Office relating to the investigations into the murders committed by Jack the Ripper, where possible please also supply copies of any related documents from the period which are still held'.

It would also probably have been a good idea to have made the request to the Metropolitan Police, rather than the Home Office - since they would be more likely to hold such documents and information.

Helps to also remember that FOI only requires authorities/government agencies to release information, not to engage in speculation or interpretation of that information - or to gather new information so as to be able to respond.

Hope you find this useful.


Andi Ali left an annotation ()

Many conspiracy theories turn out to be true

Any records held by the Metropolitan Police would also be available to the Home Office. As you quite rightly say the FOI only requires authorities/government agencies to release information they hold, as such they must tell me who Jack the Ripper was if they hold that information. I don't want documents - I just want an answer to a very simple question which under the FOI they must provide.

BTW you are quite right to claim other serial killers were active around the same period, and didn't merge into 'folklore, but I would hardly put Mary Ann Cotton and Amelia Dyer in that category given the books, tv programmes and films made on these two.


Andi Ali left an annotation ()

meant to add a bit at the bottom for you but it did not show up in the message. So I will say it here, your entitled to ask the question but why do you want to know? Are you writing a book?

Henry Shrimp (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

No - mere interest.

FOI Requests, Home Office

1 Attachment

Mr Shrimp


Please see attached regarding your FOI request.



Informaton Services Centre

2 Marsham Street




T - 0207 035 6699

E - [Home Office request email]




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