Francis Craig: Another Jack The Ripper Candidate?

04 Aug


Perhaps the most famous serial killer of all time is Jack the Ripper. Part of his popularity resides in the fact that he has never been positively identified. Many folks, including best-selling author Patricia Cornwell, have made claims that they have uncovered Jack’s identify, but each theory remains controversial. Cornell, among others, named Walter Sickert as the likely Ripper. Other candidates have been John Pizer, George Chapman, and Aaron Kosminski, to name a few.

3 Jacks

Now a new candidate has entered the picture—Francis Craig.

Dr. Wynne Weston-Davies, in his book THE REAL MARY KELLY, postulates that Francis Craig, the estranged husband of Mary Kelly, is the mysterious Jack. Mary was apparently Jack’s fifth and final victim. Weston-Davies suggests that Craig killed all the women when in fact Mary was his intended victim—-the others were to provide cover for the killing of his wife. Well, that has indeed happened before.

Mary Kelly

Mary Kelly

For those who study Jack, Mary Kelly’s murder has always been problematic. She was the only victim killed indoors, in her home, and she was mutilated much more so than were others. It has been suggested that Jack was able to “do more” since he was indoors and less likely to be interrupted in his work. Maybe. It might also mean that the killing of Marry was indeed very personal. More so than his other victims. Such as a spouse might do. So, yes, all the killings could have been done to cover the real target—-Mary Kelly.

Or, perhaps, Craig knew of the other murders—-how could he not if he lived in London at that time?—and seized an opportunity. He could kill his estranged wife and make it look like Jack did it. It’s not like that’s never happened before either.

The overkill of Mary could fit either of these scenarios since her killing seems more personal than the other four. Plans are to exhume her corpse for examination. I doubt much useful will come from this but I hope I’m wrong. Regardless, it will interesting to watch.


5 responses to “Francis Craig: Another Jack The Ripper Candidate?

  1. Sue Coletta

    August 4, 2015 at 8:07 am

    That’ll be very interesting indeed. A follow piece to this post, perhaps?


  2. E.S. Abramson

    August 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Cromwell based her book on the fact that her killer was able to do detailed drawings of the corpses. During my college art studies our professor took our life drawing class to the morgue and had us draw as the bodies were being dissected. Based on her theory that only the killer could have drawn the corpses so accurately she would have had to named everyone in my life drawing class, and the life drawing classes for medical artists, also Jack the Ripper. Better research is needed before such assumptions can be made.


  3. wolfemann

    August 5, 2015 at 3:16 am

    It’s an interesting theory, but I’ve got to say that I personally find one gaping hole in it. Basing the theory around the fact that Kelly’s was the only killing that took place in a building ignores the fact that Mary Kelly was the only one of the C5 victims who actually *had* a private room she could be killed in. The others were all boarding house tenants who had a berth along with any of a dozen other people, at least one of them technically homeless the night she was killed due to lack of “rent” for the night. Plus, if we count the Martha Tabram murder, it’s actually *not* the only killing that took place inside a building, since she was killed on the landing of the stairs in her boarding house.

    Of the other C5 killings, only Elizabeth Stride’s took place “in the open,” as it were. Most of them happened where they’d have taken a john for some semi-privacy, which puts them all on an equal level with Mary Kelly’s killing for choice of “venue.”


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      August 5, 2015 at 7:28 am

      I think the point is that Mary had a private place and that allowed the Ripper more time and freedom to act. The others were in places that the public or other tenants could easily have stumbled on the murder in progress. I’m not sure I buy all that either. But Mary’s murder was more brutal and destructive than the others so one must at least consider that this was due to a more private situation or a more personal killing. Or maybe Jack was just having an especially bad day. Who knows? My guess is we will never know for sure the who and why of these murders.


  4. Harry Drake

    February 3, 2016 at 8:05 am

    FYI, that woman pictured in you article is most definitely NOT Mary Jane Kelly. It is actually ‘Lizzie Williams’ the wife of royal physician Sir John Williams. For some reason it’s been mistakenly identified as the fifth Ripper victim.



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