As the second post in this Two Sides series I bring you the tantalizing story of Jack the Ripper v. Prince Albert Victor. I had originally heard a theory about this several months ago on a television show about Jack but it has been brought the forefront after reading Leslie Carroll’s newest book Royal Pains. There is a chapter on Prince Albert Victor and Leslie touches on the subject but I wanted to explore it more.
Jack the Ripper
|By Tom Merry (Cover page of Puck magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
Prince Albert Victor
|By W. & D. Downey (http://www.paulfrecker.com/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
One story, by Dr. Thomas Stowell, paints Albert as a person in the late stages of a syphilis infection that caused him to go crazy and commit the gruesome murders, while the royal family tried to hide him away and commit him to a mental hospital. A second theory, by Frank Spiering, claims that Albert could have carried out these surgical techniques because he was good at “dressing deer” and acted out the murders during a hypnotism session with his doctor. The third and most thought out theory was that Albert had gotten a common girl pregnant and it needed to be hushed up. According to this theory, one of the victims was the child’s nanny, another was a case of mistaken identity and that they were all carried out to symbolize a Masonic cause.
All of these rumors have mostly been debunked. Not only was Albert not in London at the time of these murders (and has airtight alibis) but there is no solid evidence showing he had a child with Annie Crook. Spiering asked Queen Elizabeth II to make a statement indicating the whereabouts of Albert during the days of the murders or to open up the Royal Archives – the response was that the Queen was not going to make a statement but he was more than welcome to the Archives – which he turned down.
If you were that adamant about a theory, wouldn’t you have wanted to take a look at the files? Is it possible that it was a cover up and Prince Albert Victor did have some culpability in this crime? Or is it likely that people were just looking for attention – seeing as it was so many years later that Prince Albert Victor’s name was brought up?
Using modern technology new analysis is constantly being done regarding this crime and periodically new evidence appears (because people took trophy’s, just like the Ripper). Someday we may find who the killer was (especially if you believe some rumors that the killer was known and the name was covered up). Will Prince Albert Victor be officially off the hook?
What do you think?
You can read a much more in-depth analysis of Prince Albert Victor as a suspect or view other areas about this crime at Casebook: Jack the Ripper where some of the information used in this post was acquired.
Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court