Theory: Jack the Ripper Was a Freemason
More than 100 years later, the words “Jack the Ripper” still elicit a chilling response. There has been much speculation about the identity of Jack the Ripper, a sadistic murderer responsible for the deaths of five women in England in 1888. Was he a member of the Royal family, a surgeon, a butcher, a doctor, a Russian secret agent, a mental patient, a convicted criminal, or a boot maker?
And was he, as some have speculated, a Freemason?
One story has His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward falling in love with, and secretly marrying, a commoner named Annie Elizabeth Crook. According to that version, the couple produced a daughter in 1885. When Mary Kelly, close friend to Annie Crook, told her fellow prostitutes about the secret liaison, they decided to blackmail the Royal family. Prince Eddy’s marriage to a lowly commoner might be enough to unravel the monarchy and, with it, the Freemasons who were in comfortable government positions.
As the theory goes, Sir William Gull, physician to the Queen and a Freemason, was spurred on either by the Queen herself or the prime minister to contact fellow Masons and enlist their help to kill the women involved. Gull trapped the women and brutally murdered them. Although this theory identifies only Gull as Jack the Ripper, the Masons who may have known are accused of keeping Gull’s identity secret as part of their oath to protect fellow Masons.
There’s no evidence to support this theory, but for those who endeavor to link Freemasons with evil conspiracies, it’s a titillating story.