Montague John Druitt
Jack the Ripper?
(No, not him on the left)
Montague John Druitt has long been considered one of the principal Ripper suspects. He was born in Wimborne Minster in Dorset, the son of William Druitt F.R.C.S., a wealthy local surgeon who died of a heart attack in 1885, and Anne Druitt who was later committed to the Brook Asylum, East London, then Manor House Asylum in West London, where she died.
A talented cricketer, Monty attended Winchester College, then New College, Oxford before qualifying as a barrister, supplementing his income with work as an assistant school teacher in Blackheath, from which position he was fired in November 1888 for reasons unknown.
Monty was found drowned in the River Thames shortly after midday on New Year's Eve, 1888; his overcoat pockets were weighed down with four large stones. The coroner returned a verdict of “suicide while in an unsound state of mind.” He was 31.
Apparently, a Ripper file at Scotland Yard reads: “A Mr M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor and of good family, who disappeared at the time of the Miller’s Court murder – and whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st December – or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.”
Make of that what you will.
By the way, 13 Miller’s Court is where the supposed final victim of the Ripper, Mary Kelly, was found mutilated on 9th November 1888.
Montague John Druitt is buried in Wimborne Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Wimborne BH21 1EX. His grave can be found by the western side of the chapel.
Two fascinating Montague Druitt/Jack the Ripper articles can be found here:
(photos: Carole Chessun)