The emergence of the diary of James Maybrick has shed light on what could potentially be an important discovery in the search for the perpetrator behind the Whitechapel serial murders. In the diary, there is an account of the fact that Maybrick had seen his wife, who he labels “the Whore”, engaging in prostitution and that, as an act of rage-driven revenge, he took to the streets of Whitechapel, brutally murdering five prostitutes. He then signs off with, “I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentle man born. Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.” Initially, the evidence seems damning and points to Maybrick’s guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt.
However, numerous complications have arisen concerning the authenticity of the journal, which was only brought to public attention in 1992. While Ripperologists and other experts agree that the diary was definitely written around the time that Maybrick was alive, whether or not he wrote the diary and if the accounts within the diary are another question. Interestingly, thorough research of the diary has led researchers to the conclusion that accounts of the killings have been effectively plagiarised from the newspaper reports of the time. This, and other doubts raised, have proven to be the main cause of debate on whether Maybrick could be truly responsible for the killings.