Is It Really Jack the Ripper’s Grave in Toowong Cemetery?

Photo credit: Rocketrod1960 /Wikimedia Commons

Toowong Cemetery holds a lot of mysteries — with the rows and rows of tombstones that hold interesting stories and mysteries waiting to be unraveled. One particular tombstone in the cemetery seems to be part of speculations regarding one of the most notorious criminals responsible for some of London’s most horrific killings.

 

All Signs Point To…

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A Walter Thomas Porriott, known to police as Andrew John Gibson, is buried in Toowong cemetery. There is speculation that Walter Thomas Porriott is Jack the Ripper.

Who “gave him away?” His own great-grandson, Steven Wilson in 1997. What made Mr Wilson think it? Apparently, his great-grandfather lived in Limehouse, near Whitechapel in Eastern London where the killings took place.

Mr Wilson also revealed that his great-grandfather had an abhorrence for prostitutes. Jack the Ripper killed five prostitutes during his “killing spree.” It seems that Mr Porriott wrote about his hatred for prostitutes. Mr Wilson saw the writings and believed that his great-grandfather’s handwriting is very much similar to Jack the Ripper based on the alleged letter the killer sent to a London newspaper during the killings.

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This is not the first time that Mr Porriott was speculated to be Jack the Ripper himself. Reports about him have surfaced over the years. Still, there is no concrete evidence for this.

 

Coincidence?

Photo credit: Travelling Type

Mr Porriott died in 1952. He was a self-proclaimed “doctor” with no medical background or education. From the manner of killings, Jack the Ripper was theorised to have some medical background or knowledge.

Another point of circumstantial speculation is the timing. The killings of Jack the Ripper stopped at around the same time that Mr Porriott left for Australia.

Mr. Porriott married a woman named Bessie and was buried with her. In fact, the gravestone doesn’t even bear his name. Instead, it reads “Bessie, died 25th June 1957, and her husband.”

Suggestions for obtaining a DNA sample have actually been made. However, since the basis exhuming the remains from the grave for DNA testing remains purely speculative, such suggestions have remained as merely that.

The identity of Jack the Ripper, up to this day, remains a mystery. Still, the grave in Toowong remains an object of speculation. What if…?