The great-granddaughter of a British policeman who had investigated his case Jack the Ripperclaims to have achieved what her ancestor had not: to discover the identity of the serial killer of prostitutes who terrorized east London in the late 19th century.

As no one was ever arrested for the murders, suspicions had at times been raised about dozens of people, even for members of the royal family or for Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. In a book to be released next month, the Sarah Bux Horton, descendant of a police officer who actively participated in the investigations, names as the perpetrator Hyam Hyams, based on eyewitness accounts.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, he said that it is the first time named Hyams, an epileptic and alcoholic cigar maker who had been committed to an asylum several times.

Hyam Hyams photographed in 1899 in a mental asylum – CREDIT: London Metropolitan Archives

Hyams was injured in an accident, as a result of which his condition worsened and he was no longer able to work. According to the author, he often abused his wife, believing that she was cheating on him. He was arrested when he attacked to his wife, but also to his mother with a cleaver.

Witnesses described a man aged approx 30 years old with stiff arm and bent knees. The author discovered news information in medical records who state that Hyam Hyams, who in 1888 was 35 years old, was unable to bend or extend his left arm due to his injury. He also had some trouble with his knees and suffered from a severe form of epilepsy, with very frequent seizures.

At least six women were slaughtered by Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel district from August to November 1888. Medical data collected by Bux Horton from several nursing homes and asylums suggest that Hyams’ physical and mental deterioration coincides with the period of the murders.

The author concludes that this deterioration of his mental health, combined with his alcoholism, led to his murder. The killings stopped in late 1888, around the same time the police arrested Hyams as a “freakless vagrant.” The following year he was sent to Colney Hatch Mental Asylum, North London.

Paul Begg, an author who specializes in the Jack the Ripper story, said he supports Bux Horton’s position, which he called “well documented” and “well written”.

In 2014 another author-entrepreneur, Russell Edwards, concluded that the perpetrator of the crimes was Aaron Kosminski, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who worked as a barber and was considered a suspect at the time. His case, based on DNA analyses, was disputed.