New link in painting frames artist Walter Sickert as Jack the Ripper
- Credit: Archant
Artist Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper according to a blogger known only as ‘Jackdaw’, who contacted the Welwyn Hatfield Times after previous revelations on the murders.
‘Jackdaw’ referred to an investigation by US crime writer Patricia Cornwell into the case, in which she concluded artist Sickert was the killer.
She dismantled some of Sickert’s works hoping to find clues and DNA.
The ‘Ripperologist’ said: “Maybe Patricia Cornwell purchased the wrong paintings in her search for clues?”
Last month this newspaper revealed how a new lead in the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 had emerged from the archives of Hatfield House.
Lord Salisbury’s ancestor Robert Cecil was Prime Minister at the time of the unsolved prostitute killing spree which shocked the world, and had apparently asked then Met Commissioner Sir Charles Warren to speak to a shadowy art world figure called De la re Brett.
‘Jackdaw’ sent the WHT a close-up of 1927 painting Lazarus Breaks His Fast, which appears to feature the letters ‘J’, ‘T’ and ‘R’ – short for Jack the Ripper.
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Sickert also painted the eerie ‘The Camden Town Murder’, which some say resembles the scene of Ripper victim Mary Kelly’s slaying.
The theory that Sickert was the Ripper, or at least connected to the 125-year-old mystery, provides another link to Hatfield House.
It was claimed in a book by author Stephen Knight, that Robert Cecil, when Prime Minister, visited the artist at his studio in Dieppe and paid him £500 for a small picture worth a fraction of the cost.
However in his biography of Walter Sickert, writer Matthew Sturgis debunked the claim, said it never happened and said of Hatfield House “they do not possess a Sickert”.
‘Jackdaw’ remains convinced though, and has stuck to his theory.