|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.|
Sergeant William Thick was accused of being Jack the Ripper by a member of the public, Mr H.T Haslewood, who wrote to the police on the 10 September 1889 saying that he had very good grounds to believe that, 'The person who committed the Whitechapel murders was a member of the police force', and who's name he would forward. Haslewood admitted that his suspicion was based on very slight evidence, but with the help of the police records could ascertain where this person was on the respective days of the murders. Haslewood wrote to the police again a few days later, this time naming his suspect as Sergeant T. Thicke, misspelling Thick's name. He stated that, 'Thicke should be watched, and his whereabouts ascertained upon other dates where certain woman have met their end'. Written in the margin of the letter was the official police response to the accusation, 'I think it is plainly rubbish, perhaps prompted by spite'.
William Thick was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on 20 November 1845. He joined the police force in 1868 and was appointed to H-division, Whitechapel, where he earned the nickname Johnny Upright, due to his uprightness, both in his walk and his methods. He was described as 5ft 8"tall, with dark hair and a heavy drooping moustache. The press at the time commented on his striking checked suits and went on to describe him as a smart officer. F. P Wensley, ex- chief Constable CID, described Thick as, 'One of the finest policemen he had ever known'. Thick retired in 1893. His most prominent action during the Ripper investigation was the arrest of John Pizer (Leather Apron).
In 1902 he showed Jack London around the East End when the writer was researching his book The People of the Abyss.
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