In 1988 Cosgrove-Meurer Productions were producing a TV mini-series about the notorious Jack the Ripper murders of exactly 100 years earlier. Their show claimed to have gained unprecedented access to official files on the case but ended up advancing a commonly-believed theory linking the murders to the British Royal Family.
As part of their research they commissioned the FBI to do a review of the case and produce an offender profile of the killer. To the modern eye, one passage is particularly crude and generic:
The case was never solved, and has been the subject of much speculation. What this FBI document shows is that the relationship between intelligence and policing agencies and culture producers is distinctly international. The FBI had no involvement in the Ripper investigation – they didn’t even exist at the time. Their only involvement was, a century later, to assist a production company making a TV show advancing a popular conspiracy theory about perhaps the most brutal serial killer in British history.
You can download the FBI case review on Jack the Ripper here (PDF, 600KB).