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TGtS Meets...Trevor Marriott

Ahead of his show at the Swindon Arts Centre, TGtS spoke to Trevor Marriott, the retired Murder Squad Detective who's been using his knowledge and expertise to re-investigate the Whitechapel murders in an attempt to finally identify the real killer.

When you first joined the police, was it your ambition to work in the murder squad?

Not at all, when I first joined the police service I was quite happy just being a uniformed constable.  However it would appear that my senior officers saw skills in me that perhaps I hadn’t seen and I was invited to join the criminal investigation department.  From then on I progressed through various specialist departments including the murder squad.

How did your experience as a murder squad detective help in your investigation into the Whitechapel murders?

I think my experience as a detective was invaluable.  I was able to use all my knowledge experience and expertise I had gathered in trying to assess and evaluate the evidence relating to the Whitechapel murders, which many people have readily accepted without question for over 125 years.

What was it about the Jack the Ripper case that fascinated you so much?

As a working detective I had always had this fascination with the mystery of Jack the Ripper but had never had the time to sit down and study it in any great detail.  When that time became available to me, it soon became apparent that much of the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper was made up of wild speculative uncorroborated theories championed by researchers, authors, and film makers alike over the years for their own agendas.

In a case like this, where do you possibly start?

The starting off point was obviously the murders themselves, we have been led to believe that this killer killed five and five are only prostitutes.  However that is not the case as there were other similar murders before and after the five murders and other similar murders in Europe and the USA following the cessation of the Whitechapel murders.

What do you feel like your most shocking find has been?

I wouldn’t say there was a shocking find.  My cold case reinvestigation I now believe has dispelled many of the myths that has surrounded this mystery, for example the number of victims attributed to this killer, the fact that the killer is supposed to have removed organs from victims at the crime scene.  And most importantly the fact that there may not have been a person such as Jack the Ripper but he may have been nothing more than an urban myth created by an overzealous newspaper reporter in 1888.

Why do you believe the Ripper was never caught?

This is a question I get asked many times.  Many people have blamed the police and their incompetence for not apprehending this killer.  But to be fair to the police they did the best they could given what investigative methods were available to them in 1888 and given the fact that they had never had to deal with the serial killer of this magnitude before. Whitechapel was an easy place at night time for the killer to kill and to then be swallowed up in many of the dimly lit fogbound back streets and alleyways of Whitechapel without fear of apprehension.

Have you ever watched any dramatisations of the murders that you found to be accurate or enjoyable?

Over the years I have watched many documentaries and films made about Jack the Ripper.  A problem I have is that the filmmakers and documentary makers seem to always want to stick to the same format five victims and five victims and a small number of what had been regarded as prime suspects being responsible for these crimes.

I am of the opinion that the facts surrounding this mystery therefore as they are, hover over the years being totally distorted by the press the media and publishers all of which has totally misled the general public and how they perceive the killer too have been and how he committed the crimes.

How do audiences react to your show?

The reaction from the audience’s has been a very good.  Part of this is due to the fact that they have come into the theatre with a specific perception on this case.  Because my investigation has thrown a different perspective into the mystery many go away from the theatre having now been able to look at this mystery in a totally different light

Are there any modern-day cases that interest you in the same way as the Whitechapel murders have?

I think as far as today’s crimes are committed we tend not to have as many serial killers in the 21st century as we had perhaps 25-30 years previous.  This is due to modern forensic and new investigative methods which tend to catch killers before they are allowed to reach serial killer status.  So it’s at times difficult to become deeply involved in the modern-day killings to the extent that we did in past years.

How do you switch off from working with such grizzly material?

Believe it or not it’s very easy.  Although there are many horrific and disturbing pictures and images which are part and parcel of murder investigations.  I have a job to do and although initially what is put before me sometimes does have an impact after time the you have to accept that you are there to do a specific job and try to catch the perpetrator of the crime in question so it is then easy to become engrossed in that role.

You can win tickets to Trevor's Show at Swindon Arts Centre by clicking here. The competition closes on Wednesday 25th September 2013.

Swindon Arts Centre

Swindon Arts Centre

The cultural hub of Swindon, the Swindon Arts Centre plays host to exhibitions, live music, theatre productions, film screenings and much more.

6 Devizes Road, Swindon, SN1 4BJ

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