THE Wearside Jack hoaxer was caught many years after he began taunting the police, as officers used state-of-the-art DNA techniques which Ripper Squad detectives could only have dreamed of.
But a breakthrough came when the force set up a specialist new Homicide and Major Enquiry Team in 2004.
It is headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg, of Huddersfield, who worked on the Ripper case.
Part of the new squad's remit was to re-examine unsolved `cold cases'.
It looked at the Wearside Jack hoax and a tiny part of the seal of the envelope in which the hoaxer posted the third letter in 1979 turned up.
DNA samples were taken and matched one from Humble, taken during an arrest for being drunk and disorderly in 2001.
The most recent high-profile use of the new DNA techniques was in the case of Bradley John Murdoch, who was found guilty of murdering Huddersfield backpacker Peter Falconio.