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Illustration of William Henry Bury from the Dundee Courier and Argus
Courtesy of Calum Bury
William Henry Bury

Aliases: None.

Born: 1859.

Died: Hanged April 1889, Dundee Scotland, for the murder of his wife, Ellen.

First suspected: 1889. The New York Times suggested he was the Ripper, due to similarities between the stab wounds he inflicted upon his late wife, Ellen, and those found on the body of Polly Nichols. Rediscovered as a suspect in 1986, by Euan Macpherson, and later supported by William Beadle in his book, Jack the Ripper: Anatomy of a Myth (1995).

Reasons for suspicion: Similarities between the murder of Ellen Bury and Ripper victims. Ellen was strangled to death, then stabbed deeply in the abdomen. The police at the time must have made certain links between Bury and the Ripper, as they sent Inspector Abberline north to investigate the matter. It was also suggested that the words "Jack the Ripper is in this sellar (sic)" were written in chalk on the door of Bury's residence. Bury's wife was also a former prostitute. Beadle later discovered that Bury was in the habit of sleeping with a penknife under his pillow (reminiscent of the penknife-like wounds inflicted upon Martha Tabram), and suggests that Bury fits the FBI's psychological profile of the Ripper.

Problems with candidacy: Police at the time investigated the matter but did not seem to consider Bury a viable suspect.

William Henry Bury
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