By Dick Kirby
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Additional resources for Laid Bare: The Nude Murders and the Hunt for ’Jack the Stripper’
The typed statements were all collated and put into chronological order. Supt Mitchell prepared a report and the original statements, photographs and maps were attached to the rear of the file. It had been allocated reference 201/59/167, made its way to the Yard’s repository for correspondence (it was known as General Registry) and there – for a bit - it stayed. If Figg’s murder was the first in a series of murders – and an open mind should be kept as to whether this was the case or not – then there was a long lapse of time before the perpetrator committed a further homicide.
The numbers of prostitutes in that area started to decrease at about that time, either by falling prey to the man who became known as ‘Jack the Ripper’ or by going on to pastures new, to avoid his depredations. But the Whitechapel Murders were a stark reminder to those who made prostitution their precarious living of the dreadful risks that were allied to their occupation. During the 1920s, fierce criticism of police by the judiciary and Parliament followed a number of high-profile arrests involving prostitution and although 2,291 arrests for that offence in London were made in 1922, the following year the number of arrests fell sharply to 650 due to the reluctance of police to take action through fear of censure, unjustified or not.
Rees was last seen wearing a full-length brown and grey imitation leopard-skin coat with a wide collar on 29 September 1963, getting quite willingly into a Ford, which might have been a Zephyr, close to the junction with Commercial Road and New Road. Nothing more was heard or seen of her until two o’clock on the afternoon of 8 November 1963 when Patrick Cyril Dineen, the driver of a Richmond and Barnes Council digger truck, was loading a lorry with clinker from the refuse tip at Townmead Road, Mortlake, on the south side of the Thames, less than a mile away from Duke’s Meadow.