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Jack the Ripper suspect 'buried in Jewish cemetery in East Ham' claim
More light has been shed on the mystery behind whether a Jack the Ripper suspect is buried in a Leavesden cemetery.
Last week, the Watford Observer reported a prime suspect of the Whitechapel murders – Aaron Kosminski – may be buried in the north cemetery in Leavesden Country Park.
Martin Brooks, chairman of the Leavesden hospital history association, suggested the key to this answer was held in an untraced book of remembrance, which bears the names of all those buried in the cemetery.
The article sparked a debate and prompted a call from an interested party who suggested an Aaron Kosminski who died in the same year is in fact buried in a Jewish cemetery in East Ham, London.
The source said: “After doing my own research over a number of years me and my colleague have found out he is in fact buried in East Ham Jewish Cemetery after dying in Leavesden Hospital.
“Aaron Kosminski was a Polish Jew and his family would have wanted him buried in a Jewish cemetery.”
Kosminski died as a patient at Leavesden Asylum in 1919 after being sent there in 1894 from Colney Hatch lunatic asylum.
He was born around 1864 and is listed in the 1901 census at Leavesden Asylum.
Mr Kosminski became a prime suspect in the Whitechapel murders – which took place between 1888 and 1891 – because the head of the CID at the time, Sir Robert Anderson, published his memoirs in 1910 which claimed that the police knew the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Kosminski had been identified by a witness, who had 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.
The Watford Observer was denied permission to visit the grave at East Ham Jewish Cemetery, because it is a closed cemetery and visits are only permitted to family and friends.
However, the United Synagogue, an organistation which runs the cemetery, was able to confirm a grave stone listed under the name of Aaron Kosminski, who died in 1919, was in the cemetery.
A spokesperson from the United Synagogue, said: “The United Synagogue can confirm we have an Aaron Kosminski buried in East Ham Jewish Cemetery in London.”
After hearing the news, Martin Brooks said it was a “matter of seeing it before believing it.”
Mr Brooks said: “I don’t think it answers any questions, I believe it is just more information to another route down the road of mystery.
“It is wonderful if we have found the resting place of Aaron Kosminski.
“However, without seeing the tombstone, to see whether the dates match with the dates we have from when he died at Leavesden Hospital on August, 24, 1919 it still remains a mystery.”