An individual of stable origins and moderately opulent background, Montague John Druitt was born in Dorset, England, on August 15, 1857. Son of a notable physician, called William Druitt – well known as an active and respected member of the community – he had a normal childhood, and was a devoted student, revealing his diverse talents in sports like cricket, upon which he would be an ardent player throughout his short life, and disciplines like debate.
In the beginning of the 1880’s, Druitt acquired a law degree, and qualified as a barrister –a specific category of layer –, beginning his professional career in 1885. To earn an extra income, Druitt worked as the principal’s assistant in a school in Blackheath. Until this point, everything in his life was normal as usual, and he was an applied young man, with a future ahead of him, as well as terrific personal and professional perspectives.
Everything in his adult life went perfectly normal, until he took a turn for the worst in late November, 1888, when Druitt was dismissed from his activities at the school, for reasons that never came to be known. Soon after, he was reported missing.
Ultimately, his body was found floating in the river Thames, more precisely in the last day of the year, December 31. With no hard evidence directly relating to his death – or pointing to a culprit –, speculations would run wild from the moment the investigations began, until the modern times. Suicide has long been a favorite prevalent option among scholars of the Jack the Ripper case. His family had an extensive and troubled background on issues like psychiatric illnesses and suicide. In a letter found in his room, addressed to his brother, Montague John Druitt expressed concerns that he was becoming ill like their mother, who long suffered from mental illness, and was institutionalized, dying in 1890, only more than a year later than Druitt himself. Eventually, his official cause of death was ruled as intentional drowning.
After some time, Montague John Druitt was connected to the Jack the Ripper cases, as a consequence of a rumor spread, affirming that the Ripper’s body was found on the Thames. By this time, however, several other men were considered suspects, a lot of them with consistently more preferable evidence than Montague John Druitt.
Apparently, everything that implicated Druitt in the case as the murderer was unbiased and unsubstantiated information, related solely to his time of death coinciding with the abrupt end of the Ripper murders, that took place between August and November, 1888. Absolutely anything beyond that was found, leaving Montague John Druitt as anything, but circumstantial; an “option” that had no feuds, register or any contrivances concerning law violations whatsoever, below expectations when compared to more preferable contemporary suspects, like Michael Ostrog or Seweryn Kłosowski, who were inveterate criminals, with a disturbed record history of law violations.
Despite the fact that the death of Montague John Druitt was an unsolved mystery, he had no history in breaking the law, and everything that attached him to the case was based on the coincidence of his death occurring nearly a month after the last murder related to the Jack the Ripper case took place. Nevertheless, for some time, Druitt was seriously considered as a suspect for at least some scholars, who elaborated theories concerning on how he could have committed the murders. Although he lived too distant from Whitechapel, he could have traveled by train – as he was a regular – and had places to stay in the city. But this theory is usually dismissed, as it is widely believed that Jack the Ripper was more possibly a local resident, with a great degree of knowledge into the area. And with no solid evidence implicating him in the murders besides the time of his death, Montague John Druitt became an improbable consideration.
As more than a century had passed, it is now practically impossible for the Jack the Ripper case to find a definite resolution. Nevertheless, it became a fascinating subject to a lot of researchers and scholars, who find stimulating to find evidence, crossing information and elaborating speculations that, more or less, create new perspectives and directions inside this more than a century old dark mystery.