The postcard, which was mailed to Ealing Police Station, warns that the killer’s knife “is still in good order”.
A postcard believed to have been sent by Britain’s notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper, warning of two planned murders, has been sold on auction in the UK for £22000 (nearly R379000).
The postcard, which was mailed to Ealing Police Station, warns that the killer’s knife “is still in good order”. It is dated October 29, 1888 – 11 days before his final victim, Mary Kelly, was murdered on November 9.
The serial killer typically targeted female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of the East End of London where poverty towards the end of the 19th century turned hundreds of women into streetwalkers.
Between August and November 1888, the Whitechapel Murderer killed five – possibly more – women in London’s East End.
The postcard sold on auction once belonged to a London police constable who received it as a memento when he retired in 1966.
His widow put it on auction. With a now clearly modest pre-sale estimate of up to £900, the card states: “Beware there is two women I want here and I mean to have them. My knife is still in good order it is a student’s knife and I hope you liked the kidney. I am Jack the Ripper.”
Auctioneer Jonathan Riley, of Grand Auctions in Folkestone, Kent, said a British private collector had won a bidding war with an American for the rare letter, adding that the sale shows “how much interest in the Ripper there still is”.
Riley said the “student’s knife” mentioned on the card could reinforce the belief that the killer had some medical training from the way he mutilated his victims.
“The kidney that was mentioned also appears in the ‘Letter from Hell’, another Ripper letter, where the writer stated he had fried one of his victim’s kidneys and ‘it tasted nice’ ”