A letter written by James Berry two days after he executed William Bury was recently made available at an auction in the United Kingdom. The Courier reported that the letter sold for £1,300, about two or three times what was estimated. A reproduction of the letter and information about it is available through this link. Stewart P. Evans, the world’s leading authority on James Berry, helped to authenticate the letter.
While James Berry does not discuss the Jack the Ripper case in his letter, he does provide some interesting observations about William Bury. He describes Bury as a “full develloped man,” which suggests that Bury, who was a short man, was strong enough to overcome and murder the victims in the case. Berry also writes, “I never was so taken in before with such a cool and collected thought to the last all that saw his end was astonished at is nerve.” This coolness under pressure is just the sort of trait we should expect to see in the man who carried out the daring murders in the East End of London in the summer and fall of 1888.