jack the ripper crime scene

The Ministry of Justice has indicated it will grant the first ever exhumation licence for the grave of a Ripper victim after examining the new theory, which is serialised exclusively in The Telegraph.

The author, Dr Wynne Weston-Davies, provided the Government with evidence that Mary Jane Kelly, an East End prostitute, was in fact his great aunt, and that her murder was an act of marital vengeance.

Dr Weston-Davies believes Craig’s knowledge of police methods of the day led him to kill four other women as a “cover” for his true intent - to murder his wife who embarrassed him by secretly returning to her life of prostitution just months after they wed in 1885.

The author hopes his theory will be proved, at least partly, by DNA evidence from the exhumation.

He has even located what may be the only surviving image of the face of Jack the Ripper.

A contemporary sketch of the inquest into the murder of the Ripper’s earlier victims is thought to show Craig sitting near the front of the court, reporting on a murder he himself had committed.

“The only way of absolutely proving that the Ripper’s final victim was my great aunt is to exhume Mary Jane Kelly’s body,” said Dr Weston-Davies, a former surgeon.

“We will then attempt to extract DNA from her bones or teeth and compare them with DNA from myself or my brother who, as far as I know, are her only living relatives.” Ministry of Justice officials wrote to Dr Weston-Davies in September last year after considering his research for six months.

His work had required “detailed consideration”, they said, before adding that they would be “happy to consider your application for an exhumation licence” providing two simple criteria were met.

He has been asked to provide a letter from a forensics laboratory which is prepared to carry out the DNA testing and – as a final formality – post a public notice on the grave for three months.

The key to unlocking the secret of the Ripper were documents discovered in the National Archives at Kew, south-west London, four years ago.

Dr Weston-Davies proposes in The Real Mary Kelly that the divorce papers showed his family links with Elizabeth Weston Davies, the true identity of Mary Jane Kelly, and Francis Craig.