A. Now listen to the first part of an interview with Ken Morton, an expert on Jack the Ripper. Complete the information about the suspects. Tick (✓) the person who Patricia Cornwell says is Jack the Ripper.


Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s grandson

James Maybrick, a cotton merchant

Walter Sickert, an artist


I = Interviewer, K = Ken

  Good morning and thank you for coming, Mr Morton – or should it be Inspector Morton – you were a detective with Scotland Yard, weren’t you?

K   Yes, that’s right. For twenty-five years. I retired last year.

  People today are still fascinated by the identity of Jack the Ripper, more than a hundred years after the crimes were committed. It’s incredible, isn’t it?

K   Well, it’s not really that surprising. People are always interested in unsolved murders – and Jack the Ripper has become a sort of cult horror figure.

  Who are the main suspects?

K   Well, there are a lot of them. But probably the best known are Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s grandson, the artist Walter Sickert, and a Liverpool cotton merchant called James Maybrick.

  Patricia Cornwell in her book ‘Jack the Ripper – case closed’ says that she has identified the murderer. Who does she think it was?

K   Well, she’s convinced that Jack the Ripper was Walter Sickert, the painter.

B. Listen to the second part of the interview and mark the sentences T (true) or F (false). Correct the false sentences.

 Cornwell’s evidence is mainly scientific.

 She took DNA samples from a letter written by Sickert.

 Art lovers were angry with Cornwell.

 Sickert was probably abroad at the time of the murders.

 Maybrick confessed to the murders in a letter.

 Ken Morton thinks that Prince Albert was a serial killer.

 He doesn’t want to say who he thinks the murderer is.

 He doesn’t think the mystery will be solved soon.


1 T

2 F (From a painting)

3 T

4 T

5 F (A diary)

6 F (He thinks it’s a ridiculous theory.)

7 F (He doesn’t know.)

8 T


  What evidence did she discover?

K   Well, she mainly used DNA analysis. She actually bought a painting by Sickert at great expense and she cut it up to get the DNA from it – people in the art world were furious.

  I can imagine.

K   And then she compared the DNA from the painting with DNA taken from the letters that Jack the Ripper sent to the police. Patricia Cornwell says that she’s 99% certain that Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper.

  But you don’t think she’s right, do you?

K   No, I don’t. I don’t think her scientific evidence is completely reliable and there’s a lot of evidence which says that Sickert was in France not London when some of the women were killed.

  There’s been another recent theory, hasn’t there? About James Maybrick? Do you think he was the murderer?

K   Well, somebody found a diary which is supposed to be his, where he admits to being Jack the Ripper. But nobody has been able to prove that the diary is genuine and, personally, I don’t think he was the murderer.

  And Prince Albert, the Queen’s grandson?

K   This for me is the most ridiculous theory. I can’t seriously believe that a member of the royal family could be a serial murderer. In any case, Prince Albert was in Scotland when at least two of the murders were committed.

  So, who do you think the murderer was?

K   I can’t tell you because I don’t know.

  So you don’t think we’ll ever solve the mystery?

K   No, I wouldn’t say that. I think one day the mystery will be solved. Some new evidence will appear and we’ll be able to say that the case of Jack the Ripper is finally closed. But at the moment it’s still a mystery, and people like a good mystery.

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