Montague John Druitt

Montague John Druitt

Montague John Druitt, an upper-class, English-born schoolteacher and barrister, committed suicide only a few short months after the last Jack the Ripper victim was killed. Montague was the third child born to his parents, and while he lived a comfortable life, he did not inherit much money from his father's estate. Only months before his suicide, Montague's father passed away and his mother was committed to an insane asylum.

As is the case with many other suspects in these killings, the evidence against Montague is entirely circumstantial. The circumstantial evidence that initially accused Montague of being Jack the Ripper was based on statements by Henry Richard Farquharson, MP for West Dorset. He lived in the same area as Montague and was of the same social class, so we can presume that they knew each other. Henry did not say Montague's name, but he did say that he knew that the Ripper had killed himself in the river Thames to escape justice. Journalists and investigators were quick to tie Montague's name to the murders as a potential suspect. Possible motives for the murders include the fact that he had just been fired from his job at the school, unproven homosexuality, or factors concerning his parents.

It seems highly unlikely that a man of Montague's class and background would be able to pass unnoticed in the Whitechapel district, and there is at least one early morning murder that was committed at a time when it would have made it almost impossible for him to arrive, cleaned and showered, on time for a cricket game that we know that he played. Much of the evidence that he was homosexual and that his homosexuality, described at the time as sexual insanity, could have played a role in his identity as a killer, is based more on homophobia than fact.

Nevertheless, there is some speculation among modern experts that one of the detectives in the case, Assistant Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaghten, may have known facts about Montague that are not publicly available. Until we know the full details about the investigations, we will not be able to prove Montague John Druitt's innocence, nor verify his guilt.