The Rum Diary moviemaker has spent 15 years investigating the mystery and has concluded the murderer was never caught or officially identified because of a Masonic conspiracy.

He has named the killer as singer/songwriter Michael Maybrick, who has previously been linked to the crimes, and alleges he was "shielded by servants of the Victorian state".

Robinson makes the claims in his new book, They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper, which will be published next week (beg05Oct15) and cost him $800,000 (£500,000) of his own money to research and produce.

He tells British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, "Even if the book sells well I'll never see the money back... There were moments where I was thinking, I just can't face another day with this repugnant man and his repugnant protectors. I hated them all. But by then I was 500 pages in, so what do you do?"

Robinson also admits he is prepared for his theory to attract some criticism, adding, "Anyone that attacks this book better be on their toes. But I also think there's going to be a lot of people saying, 'This is it'."

Jack the Ripper is believed to have slaughtered at least five prostitutes in east London during his reign of terror in 1888.