A postcard claiming to be written by notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper and warning of two murders has sold at auction for $49,000 (£27,280).
The card was posted to Ealing Police Station and received on October 29, 1888 – 11 days before Jack the Ripper’s suspected final victim, Mary Jane Kelly, was found.
“Beware there is two women I want here they are bastards, and I mean to have them my knife is still in good order it is a students knife and I hope you liked the kidney. I am Jack the Ripper,” the card states.
The card had been expected to sell for between $1000-$1630 (£600-£900).
It once belonged to a Metropolitan Police constable who was given it as a memento when he retired from the force in 1966. It was sold by his widow.
Stewart Evans, a retired police officer and the author of a book on the Ripper letters, said the card was without a doubt created during the time of the Ripper murders.
MKelly, the last of the “canonical five” victims, was murdered on November 9 1888.
The canonical five are the women most agree were murdered by the Ripper between August and November 1888.
The kidney that is mentioned in the card also appears in the “Letter from Hell”, another Ripper note in which the writer states he had fried one of his victim’s kidneys and “it tasted nice”.
No such card with police provenance has been offered for sale at auction in the past — but hundreds of letters, many of them sent as pranks, were received by police investigating the Ripper case.
“The great beauty of the card is that with its police provenance, it is a unique Ripper item for sale, and no one can prove it is the Ripper himself, but equally no one can prove it is not,” the auction listing said.
The Jack the Ripper murders remain the most notorious unsolved mystery in British criminal history.
Speculation about the Ripper’s identity was rife at the time and remains so to this day.
Some theories suggest the killer was a butcher, a doctor or even the Queen’s surgeon.
The mystery has fuelled countless books, television shows and films — some starring renowned actors like Michael Caine and Johnny Depp.