Revelations From His Asylum Records

In this 10 minute documentary, Paul Begg and Richard Jones pay a visit to the Berkshire Records Office to become the first ripper historians to view the asylum records of leading Jack the Ripper suspect Thomas Hayne Cutbush.

On 13th February 1894 The Sun newspaper began a series of articles in which it informed its readers that several senior reporters not only knew the identity of Jack the Ripper, but went on to claim that they had actually visited him in a lunatic asylum.

Although The Sun didn't actually name the suspect, there is enough information in their description to deduce that they were talking about Thomas Hayne Cutbush, whose uncle, Charles had, interestingly enough, been Superintendent in charge of pay and supplies at Scotland Yard at the time of the Jack the Ripper Murders.

Prior to the opening of the Cutbush files, in November 2008, not a great deal was known about Thomas Cutbush, so when the files did open, Paul Begg and Richard Jones made sure that they were the first to see them to see if they had any information that might suggest that Cutbush was the ripper.

Sadly, there were no major revelations on the files, albeit they did provide an insight into Cutbush's state of mind at Broadmoor, and revealed that he was most certainly prone to bouts of homicidal violence.

Indeed, there are several reports of him attacking other inmates and of him threatening to "rip up the attendants or anyone else that upset him."

On 20th April 1903 his mother had been to visit him and, as she went to kiss him goodbye, Cutbush suddenly bit her face.

The Broadmoor files do, however, solve one unknown factor as they reveal the fate of Thomas Cutbush since, up until their opening, we were unsure as to whether Cutbush had been released from the asylum or whether he had died in the asylum.

What the files reveal is that he actually died in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum on 5th July 1903 from chronic kidney disease.

So, although the Broadmoor files don't contain that elusive grail that would, once and for all, name Jack the Ripper, they certainly contain enough new information to justify closer inspection of a man who is, without doubt, a promising ripper suspect.