Was Hammersmith's Harold Jones 'Jack the Stripper'?

BBC documentary reveals new evidence about identity of 1960s serial killer

It has emerged that in 1965, Jones was living at 20 Colinette Road in Putney - close to the scene of another murder - using the name Harry Stevens, while at the same time registered as living in Hammersmith under the name Harry Jones.

Harold Jones at 15

As a teen Jones had already murdered two young girls in his Welsh home town in 1921.

He pleaded guilty to the murders in Abertillery, Wales and was sent to Wandsworth Prison where he remained until 1941 when he was released despite concerns within the prison that he showed sexual sadistic tenancies and that he showed no remorse for his crimes.

Modern criminal psychologists in the documentary said in this day he would not be released and that he would receive treatment for his sexual crimes. At this time he was 35 years old, and joined the Army, where he stayed for five years. He then worked and lived in London marrying and changing his name to Harry Stevens - his mother's maiden name.

In 1984, the story of of the two girls murdered in Abertillery caught the eye of Neil Milkins in the local newspaper, the South Wales Argus. Neil went on to write his first in May 2008 called 'Every Mother's Nightmare - Abertillery in Mourning'. All profits from this book were donated to a local charity run care home.

Following publication Neil was contacted in July 2008, by a gentleman called Mark Buchan Jones from Manchester who had read the book. Neil said: "Mark said his father was named Harold Kenneth Jones after his birth in 1923 but was known as Harold Jones. Owing to the raised eyebrows over the name that was still on the lips of many just a few years after the Abertillery murders, Harold Jones was then referred to as Kenneth Jones.

"Mark said that he had read a story on the Internet that I had posted appealing for information about Harold Jones the killer. Mark suggested googling a website about Jack the Stripper which I did. The dates of the murders coincided exactly with the dates that I had been unable to trace Jones in London. The information I was given led me to find Jones living in Putney and filled in vital missing gaps. Not for 1 minute since 23 July 2008 have I had any doubts who Jack The Stripper was".

In 2014 Neil posted on our local websites' forums: "I am convinced that former Fulham, Putney and Hammersmith resident Harold Jones was responsible for 8 unsolved murders in the Hammersmith district between 1959 and 1965, which includes 3 at Chiswick".

Neil Milkins worked with David Wilson, a professor of criminology at Birmingham City University and a former prison governor, as he investigates over 15 months the killings in Wales and those of Jack The Stripper. He said: "It is really important that we try and get justice for the families of these women even if the crimes were committed in the 1960s, and in Harold Jones we are giving to the police evidence that they never had at the time and he emerges as a prime suspect."

In 2011, Neil published his second book, 'Who Was Jack the Stripper?: The Hammersmith Nudes' Murders' with a foreword from Professor David Wilson.

An older Harold Jones

Neil has shared his research and beliefs with the cold-case team at the Met Police who are actively researching Jones' possible involvement in the murder of Ignac Ulycz in Putney in August 1965.

At 10.45 pm on Sunday 15 August 1965, Mr Ignac Ulycz was fatally stabbed outside his own front gate at 323 Upper Richmond Road in Putney and his wife Maddalena Ulycz told the police the assailant was between 50 and 60 years old. At the time Jones was 59.

Another witness said that the attacker had run around the corner into Colinette Road and just seemed to vanish into thin air.

Jones had been living in 20 Colinette Road Putney using the name Harry Stevens while at the same time registered as living at 51 Aldensley Road Hammersmith under the name Harry Jones.

The Wandsworth Borough News on Friday 24 September 1965 reported on the inquest into the death of Mr Ulycz, with the Coroner, Mr Gavin Thurston saying: "The man who killed Mr Ulycz........may have been insane or a psychopath who every now and again feels the desire to attack someone in this way."

South Wales Police are also actively pursuing forensic opportunities to link Abertillery-born Jones to the murder of 12 year-old Swansea school-girl Muriel Joan Drinkwater, three months after he left the army in 1946

Neil's name will be familiar to many of our readers as he has regularly requested local knowledge and informed readers of his investigations on forums on HammersmithToday and our other local websites.

You can watch the documentary on the BBC iPlayer here.

February 14, 2019