Whitechapel, 1988: a spate of brutal murders becomes the most notorious criminal episode in London's history. The killer, chillingly nicknamed 'The Whitechapel Murderer', 'Leather Apron' and, most famously, 'Jack the Ripper', is never brought to justice for the slaughter and mutilation of at least five women in the slums of East London. But the mystery is deepened by a letter sent "From Hell" to Scotland Yard, accompanied by half of a preserved human kidney...
In this comprehensive account of London's most infamous killer, the foremost authorities on the case explore the facts behind the most grisly episode of the Victorian era. Setting the scene in the impoverished East End, the authors' meticulous research offers detailed accounts of the lives of the victims and an examination of the police investigation. The Complete Jack the Ripper is the definitive book by Paul Begg and John Bennett, exploring both the myth and reality behind the allusive killer.
Paul Begg and John Bennett are researchers and authors, widely recognized as authorities on Jack the Ripper. Paul Begg's books include Jack the Ripper: The Facts, Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History, and he is a co-author of The Jack the Ripper A to Z.
John Bennett has written numerous articles and lectured frequently on Jack the Ripper and the East End of London. He has acted as adviser to and participated in documentaries made by television channels worldwide and was the co-writer for the successful Channel 5 programme Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story. He is author of E1: A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields and co-author of Jack the Ripper: CSI Whitechapel.
Ripperology--a sometimes obsessive interest in studying the crimes of Jack the Ripper--is a subject of timeless interest that has suffered from confusion, exaggeration, and hyperbole for over a century. Jack the Ripper was probably the first serial killer to appear in a large metropolis at a time when the general populace was literate and the press was a force for social change. The press was also partly responsible for creating many myths surrounding the Ripper.
Robin Odell's Ripperology is the first study to present a sequential history of literary investigations of Jack the Ripper's crimes and to address the seven principal phases of Ripper speculations: the initial wave of journalism that followed the 1888 murders; the "revelations" of highers-up in Scotland Yard who pretended to know more than they actually did; the period between 1925 and 1949 when sensational and factually shaky book-length "solutions" were proposed, including the theories that Jack avenged his son's syphilis or was a female midwife in disguise; the dawn of more responsible study, between 1950 and 1975, in which the author himself played an important role; better documented studies spurred by the opening of Scotland Yard files in 1976; the explosion of new Ripper hypotheses in the 1990s; and current theories, including Patricia Cornwell's DNA-based accusation of artist Walter Sickert.
Ripperology does not attempt to give a detailed, encyclopedic account of the murders. Rather, its aim is to tell the story of the extraordinary literary efforts directed at solving the mystery. While there are no formal conclusions, and this book does not seek to saturate the reader with minutiae, exaggerated claims are debunked and misconceived ideas are dispelled. Author Odell, having studied these unsolved serial killings for four decades, guides the reader in his easy narrative rich with documentation. Ripperology will be welcomed by true crime aficionados.
Lock the doors. Draw the curtains. Settle down in your armchair. Pour yourself a drink. And enjoy ten stories by masters of the genre. Georgian England. 1960s and 1980s England. Twenty-first-century Africa, Canada, the USA. Murder by meat-hook, piano-wire, scarf, knife, hammer, golf-club, bullet, syringe … Dear, oh, dear.
And naturally all the classic motives: blackmail, revenge, disappointment in love, greed, anger, a perverted sense of duty ... Murders of men by women, and of women by men. Murders committed on impulse and murders carefully planned. A catalogue of weakness, hatred and villainy. It’s all here, at your elbow. And there’s more! Humour, intrigue, history, suspense … and of course Christmas sparkle!
So, cheers! And Happy Christmas!
Annie Coyle Martin, Julius Falconer, Peter Good, Peter Hodgson, Neal James, Andrew Malloy, James McCarthy, Steve Morris, Harry Riley, Derek Rosser
P. S. The writers are all published crime authors who have contributed a new story especially for this Pneuma Springs anthology.
Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.