Police have finally revealed the face of Jack the Ripper – carved into a walking cane owned by the cop who could not catch him.
The stick was presented to Scotland Yard detective Frederick Abberline by fellow officers when he was taken off the case in 1889 after failing to snare the notorious serial killer terrorising London’s East End.
The image etched into the handle is the only reported facial composite’ of the Ripper whose identity remains a mystery more than a century later.
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For years the cane had been stored at the Police College in Bramshill, Hampshire, and was feared lost when the institution was shut in 2015.
But it was rediscovered by staff searching through memorabilia at the College of Policing’s HQ in Ryton, West Midlands.
Now the chilling face with haunting eyes has gone on display to highlight advancements in police technology to recruits.
A College of Policing spokesman said two staff unearthed it when rooting through artefacts placed into storage following Bramshill’s closure.
The college’s content creator Antony Cash said: "Finding this cane was an exciting moment for us.
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"Jack the Ripper is one of the biggest and most infamous murder cases in our history and his crimes were significant in paving the way for modern policing and forensics as it caused police to begin experimenting with and developing new techniques as they attempted to try and solve these murders, such as crime scene preservation, profiling and photography.
"This walking cane is such a fascinating artefact which represents such a historically significant time in policing.
"It’s amazing that we can put it out on display here in Ryton, alongside the original newspaper cuttings, so that our officers can see first-hand how far we’ve advanced in policing since then.’’
The Ripper butchered at least five women in Whitechapel over three months in 1888.
Each victim’s throat was cut and body mutilated in a way that suggested the killer had some knowledge of human anatomy.
Half a kidney extracted from one victim was mailed to the police along with a series of taunting notes from the purported killer calling himself Jack the Ripper.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica police made strenuous and sometimes curious efforts’ to unmask and trap him.
Their failure triggered public outrage resulting in the resignation of London’s police commissioner.
The cane was gifted to Abberline after he was taken off the case.
He retired from the Metropolitan Police in 1892 after 30 years’ service and died in 1929 without knowing the identity of his nemesis.
In 2006 a BBC poll identified Jack the Ripper as the worst Briton in history.
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