An attempt to locate the remains of the final 'official' victim of infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper has spawned a new mystery of sorts.
Author Patricia Cornwell enlisted the team of experts credited with discovering the remains of King Richard III in 2012 to see if they could find where the body of Ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly had been buried.
An investigation by the cadre of scientists and historians, however, indicates that such a task appears to be impossible.
In a newly-issued report on the project, the team explained that, while they are fairly certain of the cemetery where Kelly was buried, there is no way of knowing the precise location of her final resting place, despite memorial markers honoring the Ripper victim.
Therefore, attempting to exhume the remains would result in disturbing the graves of possibly hundreds other individuals, which would complicate the legality of such an endeavor.
Additionally, they shared this macabre note, "her remains are highly likely to have been dug through when the communal gravesite she was buried in was reused in the 1940s."
As such, they concluded that "a successful search for Kelly's remains would require a herculean effort" involving exhaustive research into the genealogy of the other denizens of the graveyard as well as an enormous financial cost to conduct such an investigation.
Based on that, the group expressed considerable doubt that the British government would issue a license to excavate in the area in search of Mary Jane Kelly and concluded that concept was a lost cause.
Putting a solemn final note on the study, one of the researcher mused, "most human remains found during excavations remain stubbornly, and forever, anonymous and this must also be the fate of Mary Jane Kelly."
Unfortunately, the futility of the idea is another indication that the Ripper mystery, itself, is falling victim to the sands of time.
Coast Insiders looking to learn more about the infamous Whitechapel murder mystery can check out the 9/15/2005 edition of the program featuring retired British Police Detective Trevor Marriott.
Not a Coast Insider yet? Sign up today.
Source: Eureka Alert / Image: Findagrave.com