7. Several Ripper letters considered genuine later were revealed as hoaxes
On October 3, 1888, Scotland Yard distributed handbills containing a reproduction of the Dear Boss letter. Officially the reason for the distribution was a hope that someone would recognize the handwriting, helping to identify a suspect. Several senior police officials continued to doubt the letter being genuine, but by that point they were committed to following every potentiality. Less sensationalist newspapers also condemned the letter as a hoax, generated by a journalist at a less than ethical newspaper to boost circulation. Long after the Ripper investigation closed, Chief Inspector John Littlefield identified Tom Bullen, a journalist, as the author of the Dear Boss letter, and a contributor to the Saucy Jack postcard. If true, Bullen coined the name Jack the Ripper, possibly inspired by a legendary British character known as Spring-heeled Jack.
Shortly after the investigation into the Ripper murders closed, the Dear Boss letter vanished from the files of Scotland Yard. It remained missing for nearly a century. In 1931 a retired journalist, Fred Best, admitted the letter had been written by Tom Bullen, assisted by himself, while both were employed by The Star, a London newspaper. He also announced the pair had written numerous hoax letters, including the Saucy Jacky postcard. He did not include the From Hell letter in his list of hoaxes. Finally, in 1987, the Dear Boss letter returned to Scotland Yard, in an unmarked package as an anonymous message. Numerous ripperologists and conspiracy theorists continued to regard the Dear Boss and Saucy Jacky documents as genuine letters from the Whitechapel Murderer, using them to support various theories as to his true identity.