The body of Jack The Ripper's Irish victim is set to be exhumed following the release of a new theory on the identity of the mysterious Victorian serial killer.
After examining new claims in August of last year, Britain's Ministry of Justice has indicated it would grant an exhumation licence for the grave of Limerick-born Mary Jane Kelly, also known as Marie Jeanette Kelly.
Kelly, a prostitute, was just 25 when she was butchered to death in 1888 in London's Whitechapel area and is believed to be the fifth and last of the shadowy killer's victims.
It was the first time the remains of any of the Ripper's victims have been exhumed.
The move follows claims in a new book, 'The Real Mary Kelly,' that the Ripper was a man called Francis Spurzheim Craig, a journalist who reported on police courts in the East End of London at the time of the murders.
As reported in The Telegraph, the book's author, Dr Wynne Weston-Davies, believes Craig killed Kelly, his wife, as an act of revenge after she secretly returned to prostitution shortly after they married in 1885.
He argues that the murders of the four other women acted as "cover" for his act of vengeance – and that his intention was to make the crime appear like the work of a serial killer, rather than a spurned husband.
Dr. Weston-Davies also believes that Kelly – who was raised in Wales after moving from Limerick – was his great-aunt, something he intends to confirm through DNA tests on her remains.
The British Ministry of Justice has said it would be willing to give the green light to the licence on the condition that Dr. Weston-Davies can produce a letter from a laboratory willing to do the DNA testing and that a notice of the exhumation is posted on the grave for three months.
He said he hopes that by proving Kelly's identity through DNA testing on her remains, the link between her and Francis Craig will be more certain and help reinforce his theory.
Of all the Ripper's victims, the least is known about Kelly, despite repeated attempts to trace her long-lost Irish relatives.
Another Ripper expert, Keith Andrews, believes Kelly was deliberately targeted because she had Irish republican links and may have been plotting a revolution.
The Ripper's identity still remains a mystery – and more than likely will never be known.
One theory is that the serial killer was not so much a psychopath as a trained assassin hired by the British establishment to carry out the brutal murders in 1888.
*Published August 2015