Are we looking at a photograph of Jack The Ripper? Or is this just a good way of selling a new book?
And if it were Sickert why did the Metropolitan Police fight so hard to keep the file secret after 123 years -Sickert was dead. Other murderers have been revealed over the years. What was the Met worried about -increasing the value of paintings by a world famous killer?
Why? "refused because the ledgers contain the identities of police informants – and the Metropolitan Police insist that revealing the information could compromise their attempts to gather information from “supergrasses” and other modern-day informants." Seriously -after 123 years when there are well written books and TV documentaries on informers and super grasses? Yeah, that sounds....stupid.
And Special Branch holds the files? That's Secret Police if you have no idea who deal with terrorism and "political stuff". Why would Special Branch hold secret criminal investigation files?
Special Branch usually steps in when high government officials, politicians or incidents involving the Royal family crop up. All the excuses given over maintaining the identity of an informer after 120+ years tend to fall apart as soon as you think of them. So was Sickert important enough that there would be a good reason to cover up the fact that he was Jack The Ripper?
He was never a vital part of some British Intelligence scheme or anything else that warranted his protection by Special Branch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Sickert
Anthony Blunt, with a connection to the British Royal family was granted immunity in the 1960s because he evasively gave evidence on others. In 1979, Blunt was publicly accused of being a Soviet agent by journalist Andrew Boyle, in his book Climate of Treason. Eventually, in November, 1979, the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher admitted to the House of Commons that Blunt had confessed to being a Soviet spy fifteen years previously. Just checked....here:
And there have been other such scandals. No special Branch fight to keep every name secret.
I once had a long discussion with Frank Barrell on this subject as well as my late friend, Franklyn Davin-Wilson. Every time we could only reach one conclusion and that was that the killer was very well connected with a family who were still high profile today and to whom the scandal of having such a killer in their family history could be devastating as well as having very serious political repercussions.
The British Royal family. That would call for Special Branch and keeping files secret. Not some painter.
You work it out.
Oh, and Sickert adapted press and other photographs into paintings and if you look at his history you will see WHY he might have adapted "Ripper" photos to paintings...maybe.