�Jack The Stripper� continues to haunt victim�s son

30 years on mystery remains over West London serial killer


Back in the mid 1960�s the infamous serial killer dubbed �Jack The Stripper� by investigating officers terrorised west London preying on prostitutes.

On July 14, 1964 the body of Mary Fleming was found in a driveway of a garage in Berrymeade Road. She had been strangled and her clothes and handbag were missing. Now, forty years on, Mary Fleming�s son, Robert, is desperately seeking any information about his birth family, a quest prompted by the loss of both his foster parents.

The first time that Robert Fleming became aware of his birth mother was when he spotted a photograph of a family in his local evening paper and was struck by how much the baby resembled him. The caption under the photograph read 'Mary Fleming Murdered � any information to the original police'. When he questioned his foster parents about the circumstances surrounding his mother�s death, they confirmed that indeed she had been murdered.

Robert Fleming is still searching for that photograph in the hope that it may provide a clue as to his own family background since it also featured his father and another small child who was holding on to her mother's hand. Born on February 11th 1956, his birth certificate shows his mother's name as Mary Teresa Veronica Fleming, formerly known as Betty, and gives her address as Heigham Grove, Norwich.

Jack The Stripper, who was never caught, is also believed to be responsible for the deaths of Hannah Tailford who was fished from the River Thames at Hammersmith, Irene Lockwood, 26, who was found on the foreshore at Chiswick, and Helen Bathelemy who was dumped in a Brentford alley. Later that same year police found the naked body of Margaret McGowan, 21, buried under rubble in a Kensington car park, and in February 1965 Bridie O'Hara, 28, was found naked and hidden under bracken on an embankment in Acton.

Nobody was ever charged with these murders but police ceased their investigations following the suicide of a security guard. Since then, as with the original Jack the Ripper, conspiracy theorists have come up with ever more colourful explanations for who was the killer.

Alfred Hitchcock is believed to have loosely based his thriller �Frenzy� on these gruesome events.

February 5, 2004