Melbourne, August 30 : One of the world's most infamous and brutal serial killers, Jack the Ripper, is once again in the headlines, with sleuths thinking that he might have been buried in Brisbane.
The headstone at the end of a grave at the Toowong Cemetery does not mention the man, but many believe it to be the Ripper, convicted killer, rogue impostor, backwater quack and man of a thousand identities Walter Thomas Porriott.
Porriott, whose legally acknowledged name was Andrew John Gibson, was buried amid family shame beneath his ever-faithful last wife Eliza "Bessie" Porriott.
Although people still continue to debate the true identity of Jack the Ripper, there are some who are convinced that there is strong evidence implicating Porriott in the string of five prostitute murders in the dark back streets of industrial-era England about 120 years ago.
He was a habitual bigamist who broke as many hearts as he did bank accounts by the time he died in 1952.
While he was believed to have been in his 80s at the time of his death, he was officially recorded to be 59. Ripper fanatics say that his actual birth name and date of birth are among the secrets he took with him to his grave.
However, records with Brisbane City Council suggest that Porriott's Sydney-based great-grandson Steve Wilson publicly clained in 1997 that he had had little doubt his late relative was the infamous serial killer.
The records also suggest that Porriott was in England when all five "confirmed" murders were committed, and that the murders stopped when he sailed Australia in November 1888.
Porriott particularly hated prostitutes, and he spent his life marrying women in order to fleece them of their assets before fleeing.
"Porriott was a womanising conman whose modus operandi was unlike that of Jack the Ripper. But this is a fascinating Australian connection to Jack the Ripper which cannot be completely dismissed," news.com.au quoted Ipswich Ripperologist and councillor Paul Tully, who has been researching for his own Ripper book for the past five years, as saying.