Monday, November 20, 2006

Using new profiling techniques, British investigators have created a picture of what they believe the 19th Century murderer Jack the Ripper would have looked like.

Jack the Ripper's face 'revealed'

Nov. 20, 2006. 01:26 PM

Jack the Ripper finally has a face.

Thanks to state-of-the-art profiling techniques, police in England have come up with a computer-generated image of the man who terrorized late 19th century Britain, mutilating five prostitutes in the east London neighbourhood of Whitechapel.

Britain's first serial killer was never caught, but many theories have sprung up over the years on the Ripper's identity.

Now, police will reveal who they think the man was. The documentary Jack the Ripper: The First Serial Killer will air in Britain on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Discovery Channel in Canada said there are no plans to screen the documentary here at this time.

Laura Richards, the head of analysis for Scotland Yard's Violent Crime Command, reopened the case using modern police techniques and put together a team to review the 13 witness statements given at the time.

Investigators have been able to pinpoint the street on which the killer probably lived and explain how he got away.

They will also discuss the psychological make-up of the man and try to explain why he was so bloodthirsty.

Prostitutes were not only murdered, they were strangled and then eviscerated with a sharp instrument. Some of their organs were removed during the murders.

That led to the belief the Ripper had medical training.

The result of this profile is believed to be the most accurate physical, geographical and psychological portrait ever put together of Jack the Ripper.

Richards said that had the current police techniques been available then, the killer would have been caught.

Richards believes that police at the time were looking for the wrong man, possibly a raving lunatic, and weren't prepared for a killer who could blend so easily into a crowd.

Jack the Ripper has been described by Scotland Yard as "frighteningly normal" but someone capable of "extraordinary cruelty."

According to the new profile, the Ripper was between 25 and 35 years of age. He was short and stocky, probably between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-7. He had a large black moustache, close-cropped black hair, a pinched face and a square jaw.