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Lost remembrance book could hold key to whether Jack the Ripper suspect is buried in a Leavesden cemetery
A lost remembrance book could determine whether a man suspected to be Jack the Ripper is buried in a Leavesden cemetery, a local historian has said.
Aaron Kosminski- a prime suspect in the Ripper case, died as a patient at Leavesden Asylum in 1919 after being sent there in 1894.
The tale came to light after the Head of the CID at the time, Sir Robert Anderson, memoirs were published in 1910 which claimed the police knew the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Aaron Kosminski had been identified by a witness, who refused to give evidence against him, so instead the suspect was locked away in an asylum, where he claimed to be hearing voices.
The man put in charge of the Ripper case was Chief Inspector Donald Swanson, who passed down the book of memoirs and again confirmed Aaron Kosminski had been put in Leavesden Asylum.
Mr Kosminski, who was born around 1864, is listed in the 1901 census at Leavesden Asylum.
The shocking nature of the infamous Whitechapel murders over the autumn of 1888 saw the gruesome mutilation of five or possibly six prostitutes in the East End of London and the unknown serial killer has never been traced.
The answer to whether or not he is buried in the north cemetery in Leavesden Country Park lies in an untraced book of remembrance which bears the names of all those buried in the cemetery.
Martin Brooks, chair of the Leavesden history association, said: “This is an amazing part of the overall history of Leavesden hospital.
“While we are trying to trace the whereabouts of the remembrance book, which holds all the details of the people buried here, whether or not Aaron Kosminski is buried here will remain a mystery.
“It is thought he died in Leavesden hospital, so it could be possible he was buried in the north cemetery.
“It would be great to trace the books whereabouts to solve this mystery and to also answer the questions of those people that contact me knowing their loved ones were in Leavesden hospital and wish to find out if they are buried here in Leavesden too.”
In a case study compiled to show Mr Kosminski as a prime suspect of Jack the Ripper, information suggests he was a Polish Jew and a hairdresser and resident of Whitechapel.
He was known to have been sexually abused by his mother and had a known hatred for women, especially prostitutes, which modern day criminal profilers and psychologist agree that sexual abuse at an early age could lead to the type of psychopathic behaviour exhibited by serial killers.
Mr Brooks added: “Without the remembrance book we won’t be able to answer the question and it will remain a mystery. “
Historical research by Mr Brooks has also found an unknown third cemetery in Leavesden Country Park.