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 Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide 
This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.

John William Smith Sanders

Inspector Swanson, in a report to the Home Office dated 19 October 1888, mentions three insane medical students who had attended the London Hospital. Two had been traced, and eliminated from their inquires, but the third was believed to have gone abroad. Enquiries were made at the suspects last known address 20 Aberdeen Place, where it was believed a woman named Sanders had lived with her son. However, Sanders mother Laura Tucker Sanders, in fact lived at 20 Abercorn Place. The police had clearly made a mistake in identifying the address. Sanders had not gone abroad but had been placed in an asylum, and was there at the time of the Whitechapel murders.

Sanders was born in Milton, Kent, in 1862 one of six children, four girls and two boys, and was the son of Henry Shearly Sanders, an Indian army surgeon. He entered the London hospital as a student on 22 April 1879 and had lived at 20 Abercorn Place with his mother. In 1881 he was placed in an asylum after subjecting his family and friends to outbursts of physical violence, despite it being claimed he had previously been of a gentle and passive nature. In February 1887 he was moved to Holloway asylum in Virginia Water, after suffering fits of violence. He was later transferred to West Malling, and finally in 1899 to Heavitree asylum in Exeter, where he remained until his death at the age of 39 on 31 March 1901. Any files the police may have had which caused them to become suspicious of the three medical students has since either been lost or stolen.

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  John William Smith Sanders
       Dissertations: The Third Man