Our link to the Ripper -- Amazing revelations about London's infamous serial killer

By ED SOUTHORN

COULD the Tweed hold the secret to one of the greatest crime mysteries of all time?

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully has spent the past four years researching a book on Jack the Ripper, a pseudonym for the notorious serial killer who murdered at least five women in London almost 120 years ago.

Cr Tully, the longest serving city councillor in Queensland, told the Daily News yesterday his investigations led him to the Northern Rivers after following up information from an old school friend in Sydney.

"There is an Australian connection to these serial killings and it involves the Northern Rivers region of NSW as well as a separate south-east Queensland connection," Cr Tully said.

"My research shows there were people from the Northern Rivers who knew Jack the Ripper's family, and one individual from the area who unwittingly played a key role in the events which unfolded in London in 1888.

"Without this key involvement from the Northern Rivers, these murders may never have occurred," Cr Tully said.

Cr Tully, who has a law degree from the University of Queensland and is a Justice of the Peace, has been struck by an eerie similarity between a recent Scotland Yard comfit photo of Jack the Ripper compiled from eyewitness testimony at the time of the crimes and the person he believes could be the Ripper.

But Cr Tully is unwilling at this stage to reveal any more details about the mysterious Northern Rivers link with the Ripper.

He claims he doesn't want to say any more until he is ready to publish his Ripper book.

"I've been fascinated by Jack the Ripper for years, and there were two other Australian connections among the many suspects who have already been investigated.

"One was in Brisbane and the other in Melbourne, although a lot of people around the world have been suspected of being the Ripper."

Cr Tully is still looking for crucial evidence he believes could establish the Ripper's identity once and for all, a handwriting sample to match with letters believed sent by the Ripper to taunt police during his gruesome killing spree.

"I am hopeful of matching the Ripper's letter with my suspect's handwriting.

"Of course, that will only prove my suspect wrote the letter, which may not have been from the murderer, but it's a pretty distinct connection.

"A lot of material about Jack the Ripper is out there, but at this stage no one has been able to offer conclusive proof of anyone's guilt.

"I think that whether it's my suspect or someone else, evidence will eventually emerge that will give conclusive proof."



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