Swansea link with Jack the Ripper suspect revealed
A Swansea author has written a book linking her family to perhaps the most infamous serial killer in history - Jack the Ripper.
Antonia Alexander, a 26-year-old mother of two from Swansea, says she is the great, great, great granddaughter of Jack the Ripper's last victim, Mary Kelly.
Her grandmother, also named Mary, has now decided to tell the story of Mary Kelly, her own great grandmother, through Antonia.
The move came after Mary found a small wooden box containing a locket that once belonged to the victim.
It contained a picture of a man she had always thought of as her great grandfather. Now she realises that the photograph is of Sir John Williams - a famous London surgeon and the latest Ripper suspect.
The author said: “It’s part of our family history that Mary had an affair for a number of years with a doctor who had taken her to places like Paris.
“But the doctor married someone else and Mary also got married so everyone believed the photo in the locket was of her husband. But my research has shown she was in fact carrying around the photo of her lover, Sir John Williams.”
Sir John, who once practiced in Craddock Street, Swansea, had a surgery in Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper killings, which claimed the lives of at least five women.
“My book centres on the ultimately tragic romance Mary had with Sir John Williams. It was felt he did not want to marry her because of her social standing but there was a strong bond between them.
“It was a great shock when we found the photo in Mary’s locket was that of Sir John as it proves the relationship between them.”
In all there are around 100 suspects in the Ripper case that still manages to captivate people.
Published by John Blake Publishing Ltd, to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Jack the Ripper murders, the Fifth Victim is being billed as the only book by a direct descendent of a victim.