(FreedomBeacon.com)- Police researchers have rediscovered a walking cane they believe bears the only known likeness of Jack the Ripper, the 19th Century killer who murdered and mutilated five women in London’s East End 133 years ago.
The cane was originally given to Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline “as a mark of esteem” by his team of seven officers at the conclusion of their investigation into Britain’s most notorious serial killer.
Etched into the handle of the cane is a hooded, haggard-faced man which police researchers believe may have been inspired by the suspect CI Abberline “favored,” Dr. Alexander Pedachenko, the Russian anarchist and “lunatic” who was living in London at the time of the murders.
Pedachenko’s name was included on the sign next to the cane when it was on display at Bramshill Police College. But after Bramshill closed in 2015, the cane was feared lost.
Then the staff at the College of Policing discovered the cane buried in its archives at Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire.
The college recently announced that the cane was now back on display alongside the original news cuttings about the murders.
Anthony Cash, the Content Creator at the College of Policing, said finding Abberline’s cane was “an exciting moment for us” as it represented “a historically significant time in policing.”
Whether the cane bears the face of the actual killer remains debatable among other Ripper historians, however.
There has been speculation that the cane was one of many that were hawked to curious crowds in Whitehall by a salesman eager to capitalize on Jack the Ripper’s notoriety.
Other Ripper historians have suggested that the carved face may have been based on a mad monk character in one of the popular penny dreadful booklets of the time, “The Curse Upon Mitre Square.”
Another claim is that each of the officers working on the case was presented with identical walking canes that were bought “off the peg” rather than specifically etched for DI Abberline.
Ultimately, without the benefit of modern forensics, the case of Jack the Ripper remains unsolved 133 years later, leaving it one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
In addition to Dr. Alexander Pedachenko, the long list of possible suspects included Queen Victoria’s grandson the Duke of Clarence as well as the painter Walter Sickert.