Sir William Gull

Sir William Gull

Sir William Gull, who lived from 31st December 1816 - 29th January 1890, is an unlikely suspect for the Jack the Ripper killings, but his name has been suggested nonetheless. Sir William was a prominent 19th century physician, had links to the Royal Family and died within a year and a half of the last murders, all of which contribute to a complicated theory that he was Jack the Ripper. He is remembered because of his important contributions to medical science, and there are many historical records from which we can draw information.

Descending from humble origins, William overcame obstacles such as the death of his father when he was 10. He was mentored by the local rector, and the rector's uncle was impressed by William and offered to assist him in beginning a career in medicine. He had a brilliant academic career, earning high honours. Eventually, William had the opportunity to save the Prince of Wales' life from typhoid fever and was subsequently knighted and named a Baronet.

Despite these fantastic accomplishments, a very dramatic conspiracy theory includes the name of Sir William as a participant in the Whitechapel murders. The theory, which has little to no evidence to back it up, implies that there was an illegitimate Catholic heir to the throne, of which the victims of the murders were said to have knowledge. The motive of the murders, supposedly committed with an accomplice, is supposed to have been to cover up this potential scandal.

Fortunately for his legacy, Sir William is likely to be remembered for his contributions to medicine, such as his research into anorexia nervosa and spinal cord injuries. Of course, his medical knowledge does make him a likely suspect.