The infamous Victorian murderer Jack the Ripper was in fact a ventriloquist's dummy, it was claimed yesterday. Dr. Archie Mysteron, a forensic psychologist and part-time historian, yesterday revealed evidence which, he alleges, shows beyond doubt that the killer had ‘ventriloquian tendencies'. "The murderer needed a disguise in order to escape capture; what better camouflage than an actual dummy? No one would suspect a harmless piece of wood", he declared. Speaking before an audience of criminologists and voice-throwers at the Fiftieth Annual Convention of Criminologists and Voice-Throwers in London, he proffered the additional view that the dummy was controlled by none other than the Prime Minister of the day, Mr. Gladstone. "Gladstone, as every schoolboy knows, was famous for his bag, and the assassin would need a good, strong bag in which to keep his dreadful instruments. This would also explain why not a single cheap, useless bag was ever found at any of the crime scenes".
Chief Inspector Ronald Suspicion of the Metropolitan Police, who was a member of the audience, suggested a reserved endorsement of Dr. Mysteron's position: "Records kept at the time show that my Victorian colleagues did indeed suspect the Prime Minister. Since such a prominent person would need an accomplice he could trust I see no reason why a dummy should not have been employed during the execution of these foul deeds. And they're cheaper to feed".
Dr. Mysteron's evidence includes a remarkable recording made on an early phonograph on which someone is heard to utter, "Now, Little Jimmy, we're going out on to the streets tonight and I don't want to hear a squeak out of you while I'm a-murdering-o. Got that?" A second voice is then heard to state, "Gorl grite. GI'll ge quiet". This is followed by the sound of a glass of water being drunk whilst the second person recites Tennyson's ‘Ode To A Knuckleduster'. Chief Ronald Suspicion: "Drinking a glass of water at the same time as a mannequin articulates is a common Ventrilonian practice, and Mr. Gladstone was known to be particularly fond of Tennyson. Combine the two, and you have a good prime facie case in favour of the ‘malevolent mannequin' hypothesis"
Further backing was given to the theory by Mr. G. Risly-Macabre of the London Back Streets Society For Sneaking In A Stealthy Fashion: "I suppose he's right. I often do that myself", he said.
The Commander Of Old Massacres at Scotland Yard was unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson asked if we'd been taking drugs.