Mary Kelly, the eyewitness to the said marriage, thinking she may be in danger, then flees to the East End of London. There she fell in with
Nichols, Chapman and Stride, who later became murder victims and, with their help, tried to blackmail the
authorities into buying her silence.
The plan misfired, and Sir William Gull was charged with the extraordinary job of silencing them. According to Stephen Knight, the other unlikely accomplices were Queen Victoria, Prime Minister Salisbury, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles
Commissioner Sir Robert Anderson and the Freemasons.
Even the Ripperologists yes, that is what they are called! - who make a study of every small detail of the murders, and who meet as the Cloak and Dagger Club every month above a public house in Whitechapel, consider Knight's book a good story.
It is a film producer's dream, and many films still use it, such as Murder by Decree, and only this year, From Hell, starring
In History Today (Volume 50, May 2000), William Rubinstein reviewed the achievements of the
'Ripperologists.' He states:
"The Royal-Masonic Ripper theory appears to be palpable nonsense from beginning to end, without a shred of evidence to support it. The whereabouts of senior Royals is known with considerable
precision: the Duke of Clarence was in Scotland at the time of the murders.
"There is no evidence that any member of the Royal
Family ever set eyes on any Ripper victim, or that Mary Kelly was blackmailing a Royal or anyone else. There is no evidence that Clarence entered into an illegal marriage with anyone. Sir William Gull was 71 in 1888 and had suffered two
serious strokes the year before. The five Ripper victims were not associates: there is no evidence that they ever met.
"As for the Freemason link, over the past 250 years, tens of thousands of Englishmen have been Freemasons in hundreds
of Lodges, without any Masonic 'ritual murders' being reported. The Masonic link is of the like
ilk to the 'Popish Plot' and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and belongs in the same dustbin."
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