Jack the Ripper copycat murders spark call for sex worker protection

Feb 1, 2014
Crime
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Victim’s mother says that adopting the Merseyside policing model nationwide could prevent more killings

The nearest thing Jackie Summerford has to a grave for her murdered daughter is a small pine bookshelf in her front room. It is covered in poems, candles and trinkets – her way of remembering  her youngest child, Bonnie Barrett, who was murdered by a serial killer who police believe was imitating Jack the Ripper.

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“They reckon he chopped up the bodies and disposed of them”, Jackie, 54, says of her daughter’s killer, Derek Brown. “I want to have somewhere to go and lay her to rest. At the moment all I’ve got is this shelf.”

Bonnie, 24, had already been missing for several weeks before her mother knew for sure that she had been killed. It was late 2007 and the police knocked on her door in Walworth, south London.

“When they introduced themselves as homicide, I knew what that meant,” Jackie recalls. They had found Bonnie’s DNA in traces of blood in Brown’s flat, along with that of a Chinese DVD seller, Xiao Mei Guo.

Bonnie worked as a prostitute. She was addicted to crack and had been making money for several years as a sex worker in Whitechapel – the area of east London where Jack the Ripper preyed on his prostitute victims in 1888.

Bonnie Barrett was murdered by Derek Brown; a man emulating Jack The Ripper (PA)

Bonnie Barrett was murdered by Derek Brown; a man emulating Jack The Ripper (PA)

Read more about the copycat Whitechapel murders and the Merseyside Model

 

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