Jack the Ripper Is Not Unmasked


Before I really get into this subject, I feel I should post a trigger warning. There are actual mortuary photographs in the posts of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Proceed at your own discretion.

This week, I’ve had no less than three people forward me a link or at least bring it to my attention when the Daily Mail broke the “news” about the so-called identity of Jack the Ripper. This is why my friends are the best friends ever; they know exactly what will get my attention. And exactly what will piss me off.

I’ve read the article. And it seems like Russell Edwards did his homework, to a point, and from his tone, wants to put forth an honest account of what he “discovered.” So I’m here to tear great big holes in this. Because that’s what I do. I’ve been studying the Jack the Ripper case for nearly fifteen years; things like this don’t just get an acknowledgement from me without proper tearing apart action.

Now, while it warms my icy black heart to hear of new evidence, modern investigative techniques being applied, and renewed general interest in the case, I’m calling bullshit on this. Straight up. Before I read the article, due to lack of wifi in my shop, I told Vivienne:

Gonna call bullshit on that, straight up without reading it yet. It’s a 126 year old cold case from a time when DNA wasn’t even something they thought would be anything worth noting for criminal investigation. If they’re using DNA found on the letters, it’s still bullshit because they figured out at the time that they were all hoaxes written by first a journalist, whose name they had, then by copycats. Bull. Shit.

Vivienne and I wrote a musical in which Sherlock Holmes looked into the Jack the Ripper case (because Holmes has already graced the stage in at least two separate scripts and a Jack the Ripper musical was already a Thing, so why not combine the two?), so after we discussed the conclusions we came to five years ago, a suspect she still feels very strongly was the Ripper (I have since formed doubts, but he is a compelling suspect), we discussed Edwards’ suspect, Aaron Kosminski:

Alice: Kosminski was disproved as a viable suspect in the late EIGHTIES. My laugh, it is hearty and full of mirth. Poor, under researched fools.

Vivienne: Hearty and full of mirth? Mine as well. I concur wholeheartedly that these poor fellows are no better than we painted them to be.

Vivienne: Bumbling fools!

Vivienne: I’m talking about today’s cops thinking there might only be one or two sets of fingerprints on the 126 year old artifact that’s very important and has crossed many hands.

Alice: Yeah, there’s no way some snot nosed amateur is going to crack it now.

Alice: The thing is, Scotland Yard weren’t idiots at all. They were actually brilliant and did the absolute best they could. I’m satisfied with their investigation. They couldn’t find him because investigative techniques weren’t very advanced and the only thing they could really do was canvass London, which is a nigh impossible task even today. The only complaint I have is that they didn’t utilize photography as much as they should have to preserve the crime scenes.

Vivienne: I just don’t know why it’s being cracked now. The evidence is weird and ill preserved.

Alice: Yeah, no. This long after the fact, the evidence is going to be corrupted due to age and decomposition. I don’t get why people are so determined to find him that they’re completely ignoring science. This has been a problem among Ripperologists from the beginning.

And immediately after Vivienne and I began talking about the article, Handsome James asked my thoughts on it. When I told him I was calling bullshit, he agreed and asked me to elaborate (because my friends are gluttons for my ranting, apparently). The following is the text that never went through to him because my phone didn’t like me that day:

Well, firstly, I don’t know how they can think DNA evidence is even still viable a century after the fact. Age and natural decomposition corrupt it even in cases that are only a decade old. Not to mention that Aaron Kosminski was cleared as a possible suspect in the 1980s due to his demeanor and time line not matching the facts or criminal profile created by John Douglas after he familiarized himself with all the details the Met had on file. I haven’t read the article yet, but if they’re saying they lifted the evidence off the Ripper letters, they’re idiots. At the time of the investigation, H Division found the author of the Dear Boss letter and knew him to be a journalist, I think for the Star. The letters that followed were copycats. There was no consistency in the handwriting and the graphology analysis reported none of the authors’ profiles matched the one based on the crimes themselves. /rant

Our discussion continued despite the lack of the novel-length text:

James: Oh good Lord, the amount of circumstantial evidence is unbelievable, even based just around one piece.

Alice: I should probably read the article before I publicly rip it to shreds. Either way, I’m calling bullshit. Because logic.

James: Essentially, “DNA found on a piece of evidence we aren’t sure is actually from one of Jack’s victims sort of matches the DNA of a different killer’s three times removed ancestor.”

Alice: Facepalm.

James: Might be *slightly* less circumstantial than that.

James: Something about a shawl that belonged to number 5?

Alice: Mary Jane Kelly was destroyed to the point she was barely recognizable as a woman. Her blood soaked everything in that room. They can’t sit there and tell me that they were able to extract DNA that wasn’t hers after 126 years. Doesn’t work like that.

James: I may be wrong on it being the fifth then. We shall see upon further inspection.

James: Catherine Eddowes, not Mary Jane Kelly. So not #5.

At James’ mention of Catherine Eddowes in conjunction with a shawl of questionable ownership, my heart sank further. I’ve been studying the Ripper case for years, there’s no way I’m not familiar with Catherine Eddowes and her shawl.

Russell Edwards holding the infamous shawl

Russell Edwards holding the infamous shawl

I hate that shawl.

Really, there are no words to adequately express how much I hate that shawl. It was featured in the Sickert Accusations, but I won’t get into that here. I have major issues with this shawl.

Mostly because everyone should stop calling it a shawl. It measures 8’x2′; it’s a bloody table runner. And while I will concede that it could have been used as a shawl, it’s been dated to the Edwardian period, which began in the early 1900s, at least ten years too late to belong to anyone at the time of the Ripper scare.

There are people who say it was Catherine Eddowes’ possession. There’s no way. The woman was destitute. The day before she died, she pawned a pair of boots. If she actually owned this large piece of expensive silk, she would have pawned that before the boots since it would have gotten her a better profit and it wouldn’t have left her to freeze in the winter considering all the other clothes she had on her.

As the legend states (yes, I consider this all legend), the “shawl” was removed from the scene of Eddowes’ murder by Acting Sergeant Amos Simpson. If this is true, Simpson was acting outside his jurisdiction. He was stationed at Islington and was a member of the Metropolitan Police. Eddowes was murdered in Mitre Square, falling perfectly in the jurisdiction of the City of London Police. So why was Simpson there at all? I don’t accept “special duties” as an adequate explanation. Because that tells us absolutely nothing.

The second point of the legend that doesn’t make sense is the fact it states Simpson asked his superior if he could have the “shawl” as a gift for his dressmaker wife. Aside from remembering this thing is bloodstained and he wants to give to his wife, there’s no reason he would have been granted such permission. They treated a scrap of bloodied apron found that same night near the infamous graffito as gold, as their most valuable clue of the night. If the “shawl” was found near the body of the murdered woman and it was bloodied, no officer in his right mind would ever let that piece of evidence go home with a man acting outside his jurisdiction. Sorry, does not stack.

That’s just the legend.

Let’s examine the lists of clothing and possessions recorded to have been on Eddowes at the time of her death, things that were meticulously cataloged.

Catherine Eddowes, a contemporary illustration

Catherine Eddowes, a contemporary illustration

Wearing at the time of her death:

  • Black straw bonnet trimmed in green and black velvet with black beads. Black strings, worn tied to the head.
  • Black cloth jacket trimmed around the collar and cuffs with imitation fur and around the pockets in black silk braid and fur. Large metal buttons.
  • Dark green chintz skirt, three flounces, brown button on waistband. The skirt is patterned with Michaelmas daisies and golden lilies.
  • Man’s white vest, matching buttons down front.
  • Brown linsey bodice, black velvet collar with brown buttons down front.
  • Grey stuff petticoat with white waistband
  • Very old green alpaca skirt (worn as undergarment)
  • Very old ragged blue skirt with red flounces, light twill lining (worn as undergarment)
  • White calico chemise
  • No drawers or stays
  • Pair of men’s lace up boots, mohair laces. Right boot repaired with red thread.
  • One piece of red gauze silk worn as a neckerchief.
  • One large white pocket handkerchief
  • One large white cotton handkerchief with red and white bird’s eye border
  • Two unbleached calico pockets, tape strings
  • One blue stripe bed ticking pocket
  • Brown ribbed knee stockings, darned at the feet with white cotton.

And her possessions:

  • Two small blue bags made of bed ticking
  • Two short black clay pipes
  • One tin box containing tea
  • One tin box containing sugar
  • One tin matchbox, empty
  • Twelve pieces white rag, some slightly bloodstained
  • One piece coarse linen, white
  • One piece of blue and white shirting, three cornered
  • One piece red flannel with pans and needles
  • Six pieces soap
  • One small tooth comb
  • One white handle table knife
  • One metal teaspoon
  • One red leather cigarette case with white metal fittings
  • One ball hemp
  • One piece of old white apron with repair
  • Several buttons and thimble
  • Mustard tin containing two pawn tickets, one in the name of Emily Birrell, 52 White’s Row, dated August 31, 9d for a man’s flannel shirt. The other is in the name of Jane Kelly of 6 Dorset Street and dated September 28, 2S for a pair of men’s boots. Both addresses are false.
  • Printed handbill and according to a press report–a printed card for “Frank Carter, 305 Bethnal Green Road.”
  • Portion of a pair of spectacles
  • One red mitten

Nowhere in those lists is a shawl, is there? Nope.

Anyway, Simpson’s descendants maintain it’s Eddowes’ shawl. It was never washed, but was kept in a box in someone’s attic when it wasn’t being stored in London’s Black Museum (a place I very much wish to visit, by the way). But they can’t prove that.

The provenance on something like this is extremely important. If you can’t prove where it originated and its subsequent owners, all you have is a beautiful, yet slightly damaged, piece of silk. The entire reason it was never on display in the Black Museum’s Jack the Ripper exhibit was because the provenance could never be proved with 100% certainty. Everything is just oral tradition passed through this family.

“The ‘shawl’ was up for auction at the premises of Lacy Scott & Knight, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (in which town I was a police officer for many years), on Saturday 17th March 2007. Yes, for my sins I was there (with Neil Storey), and so were the Parlours, who were friends of the buyer.

The ‘shawl’ was lot 235 described as ‘A late 19th century brown silk screen printed shawl’ and the provenance given as ‘According to vendors’ family history this shawl is purported to have belonged to Jack the Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes, and was removed from her body by his great, great uncle Acting Sergeant Amos Simpson who was based near Mitre Square in the East End of London [sic, it was in the City as we know]. However, there is some controversy surrounding the authenticity of this story and interested parties are advised to do their own research before bidding. The shawl spent some time in The Metropolitan Crime (Black) Museum, and in 2006 was subject to inconclusive forensic testing for a programme on Channel 5.’

Apropos of the price it eventually sold for, the East Anglian Daily Times of Monday, April 30, 2007, reported ‘In the original auction there had been a huge amount of interest in the item being sold…but bidding failed to meet the secret reserve price. The apparently mundane shawl reached £5,200 in open bidding – not enough for the owners to sell.

“A spokesman for Lacy Scott and Knight said: “A shawl like this would normally go for about £100 without any story, but this has now sold for several thousands of pounds.

“‘It is impossible to say how much it is worth because it is the story behind the item which brought the interest and you can’t put a price on that.’

The shawl sold despite some experts admitting there was no definitive proof of the item’s authenticity. Its history has been hotly debated and it grabbed the attention of people logging on to various Ripper enthusiast websites…'” — Stewart P Evans, author of several Ripper books on Casebook.org forum

I’m not trying to discount the import of the Simpson’s oral traditions. Quite the contrary. Every family needs to have their storied and legends to know where they’ve come from. My family probably would have been rather different if we didn’t have our stories. I know I wouldn’t have been so comfortable with my own eccentricities if I had never heard about Aunt Susie putting the pies to bed so they could cool.

So I’m not calling the Simpson family liars. I’m really not. They tell this story, this family legend because it is the truth they know. I’m saying we can’t use it as viable evidence because it cannot be proven.

“But, Alice, wait,” you say. “Didn’t Edwards find DNA on it linking it to Eddowes?”

Yeah, he did. Or so he claims.

I will admit that there are curious stains on this “shawl.” But, honestly? They look more like normal aging discoloration rather than suspicious staining that would be produced by blood. Edwards, though, is positive it’s bloodstains and even seminal fluid. But he had to use an infrared camera to locate all of this staining. The camera even told him that the spatter pattern of the blood was consistent with arterial spray, such as the wound Eddowes sustained during the attack.

Kate Eddowes in the mortuary after post-morten stitching

Kate Eddowes in the mortuary after post-morten stitching

As I mentioned earlier in the text conversations with Vivienne and Handsome James, using DNA evidence in a case this old is seriously sketchy. There are reports of cold cases only a few years old in which the DNA evidence isn’t viable due to corruption or cross contamination with other trace evidences. Trying to defend this evidence on a case this old is asking for rampant skepticism if you ask me.

And therein lies the controversy surrounding this particular “discovery.” The stains were so old that the normal methods of swabbing for the DNA or blood or semen or what-have-you wouldn’t work. So Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a Finish forensic scientist and leading expert in genetic evidence from historical crime scenes, was required to use a new technique that he personally developed, called “vacuuming.”

Essentially, for DNA vacuuming, one must inject a liquid “buffer” into the fabric of the “shawl” to dissolve the genetic material trapped in the depths of the cloth without damaging the cells, then suck it out using a pipette. In the article, he doesn’t name the liquid buffer or what it is made of, only that he used it.

From that, he was able to create two distinct genetic profiles, one he believes to belong to Catherine Eddowes (found in the blood sample) and another to the Ripper suspect (in the seminal fluid). However, the nuclear DNA, which is required to make a 100%-this-is-absolutely-the-person-without-any-doubt match no longer existed because the samples were too old.


Instead, they were able to create the profiles from the mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed down through the female line of a family. Which meant they could make a somewhat accurate match for Eddowes seeing as she had a daughter who also had a daughter, who also also had a daughter, resulting in Ms. Karen Miller. For the suspect, they chose to follow the family line of the Kosminskis down through Aaron’s sister to a living descendant who chose to remain anonymous, which is her right and I can see why she would make that decision. And apparently, she was a match for the mtDNA found in the seminal fluid.

And there’s a problem with even that. Prosector of Casebook.org posted in the forums:

“I have not yet had an opportunity to read the book by Russell Edwards but as someone who deals in DNA on a daily basis perhaps I can make a few cautious observations.

“Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down in the female line. Although it is possible to analyse the mtDNA of a male it will have been acquired from his mother. Therefore for any comparison of the putative mtDNA from the Eddowes shawl with present day relatives to be valid they must be related in an unbroken female line to common ancestors of either Kosminski or Eddowes as the case may be. I don’t know if that is the case with either Karen Miller or the anonymous relative of Aron Kosminski but if there is any descent through the male line it would immediately and irrevocably invalidate the comparisons.

“The only way to prove with 95% confidence (the normally accepted level of statistical proof) that the samples on the shawl came from either Kosminski or Eddowes would be by a direct comparison with samples known to be from either of them. As far as I know such samples are not available. Even then, as in the Cornwell comparisons, there is only a between 0.1 and 10% chance that matching samples came from the same individual. Given a gap of at least 4 generations to common ancestors of either Eddowes or Kosminski, the chances of being able to say with certainty that the mtDNA is definitely that of either of them is even smaller. The population of London in 1888 was about 5 million and therefore a ‘perfect’ mtDNA match with someone alive at the time would mean that it could have come from anywhere between 5,000 and 500,000 other Londoners.

“Then there is the question of the epithelial cells. Edwards asserts that they came from Kosminski’s urethra. The urethra is lined with squamous epithelium but so is the skin, the nose and the mouth. Anyone touching or even breathing on the shawl could, and most probably would, have left such cells behind.

“Finally the kidney cell. I have a good deal of experience of histology. I certainly could not identify a single cell as having come from a kidney. I would need a cluster of tens or hundreds of such cells to be able to identify their origin as being the kidney.

“I will suspend my final judgement until I have read the whole book but I thought it might be of some interest to make a few preliminary observations.”

Ah, science, it bears no matter on the subject these days it seems.

And that kidney cell? Oh, the kidney cell. Just reading him talk about it made my teeth hurt. I’m not a scientist and even I knew that it would take more than a single cell to identify which organ it originated from. Claiming it came from a kidney feels like a complete stretch to attempt to further support his “findings” that this was indeed Eddowes’ “shawl.” Because what could be more conclusive than a kidney cell when it’s on something that could belong to the victim whose kidney was stolen by the Ripper?

At this point, having heard the above, there’s no possibility that any jury would convict Kosminski on the evidence Edwards provides. There’s a large a margin of “well, obviously, we can’t get an exact match, but this is pretty darn close, don’t you think?” Actually, I don’t think so. All Edwards has proved, if anything, is that he discovered the genetic material of two people who share a common ancestor with two other living people. You can say that about a million other artifacts and so-called evidences.

But, moving on, let’s talk about Aaron Kosminski. Seems unfair to discuss this at all without giving him the opportunity to defend himself with the facts of his situation.

This is not Kosminski. There are no surviving photos or sketches of him, but this is generally used to depict him. Doubt he actually looked like this, though.

This is not Kosminski. There are no surviving photos or sketches of him, but this is generally used to depict him. Doubt he actually looked like this, though.

Kosminski was first considered a suspect when his name was mentioned in the Macnaughten Memoranda. I hate this document almost as much as I hate that shawl.

In 1894, Sir William Macnaughten wrote the memoranda in response to the Sun‘s reports of a man called Thomas Cutbush was Jack the Ripper. Cutbush was brought in for stabbing young women in the rear and was never considered a Ripper suspect as far as my research has proven, but he did prompt what is oftentimes considered one of the most important documents ever written regarding the Ripper case.

In it, Macnaughten discusses three possible suspects for Ripper: Monatgue Druitt, Aaron Kosminski, and Michael Ostrog. He completely disregards Cutbush as Ripper, so we can ignore him and his tendency to stab lady bums.

About Kosminski, Macnaughten wrote:

Kosminski — a Polish Jew — & resident in Whitechapel. This man became insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices. He had a great hatred of women, specially of the prostitute class, & had strong homicidal tendencies: he was removed to a lunatic asylum about March 1889. There were many circumstances connected with this man which made him a strong ‘suspect’.

Would it be insensitive of me to completely disagree with the former Chief Constable? If so, prepare yourself for blatant insensitivity.

Aaron Kosminski, firstly, was admitted to Colney Hatch Asylum in 1891 rather than 1889 as some police memoirs report, and instead of dying soon after admittance, he lived until 1919 when he died of gangrene. So there’s no reason to believe that the murders ended because the Ripper was locked safely away in an asylum.

And while he was certainly mentally disturbed (though I don’t think it was brought on by excessive masturbation, else many people today should be equally disturbed), none of his medical records, save one, ever mention any sort of violent tendencies from him. They report him to be “incoherent, apathetic, unoccupied,” and “incoherent; usually quiet; health fair.” The only mention of violence after his admittance to Colney Hatch reads, “Incoherent; at times excited & violent–a few days ago he took up a chair, and attempted to strike the charge attendant.” Unfortunately, there’s no mention of what brought on this chair attack.

Kosminski was examined by Dr. Houchin, who recorded his findings:

“He declares that he is guided & his movements altogether controlled by an instinct that informs his mind; he says that he knows the movements of all mankind; he refuses food from others because he is told to do so and eats out of the gutter for the same reason.”

And Jacob Cohen of 51 Carter Lane, St. Paul’s reported:

“[Kosminski] goes about the streets and picks up bits of bread out of the gutter & eats them, he drinks water from the tap & refuses food at the hands of others. He took up a knife & threatened the life of his sister. He says that he is ill and his cure consists in refusing food. He is melancholic, practices self-abuse. He is very dirty and will not be washed. He has not attempted any kind of work for years.”

Setting aside the threat against his sister, the circumstances around which are never reported, Kosminski doesn’t seem to be the sort of man capable of the rational thought that was necessary to perpetrate the Ripper crimes. John Douglas, a former special agent with the FBI and a pioneer in the art of criminal profiling, compiled a profile on Ripper from the facts of the case in preserved reports. In it, he mentioned that the Ripper exhibited learned behavior, which resulted in a change in his modus operandi from the gained experience from each subsequent murder. Kosminski’s mental state, the fact he was unable to differentiate the real world from the “instinct” he took orders from, was incapable of learned behavior.

In the section regarding the offender’s traits and characteristics, Douglas wrote:

“This offender does not look out of the ordinary…at the time of the assaults [this] is not his everyday dress. He wants to project to unsuspecting females [prostitutes] that he has money…this relieves him from initiating contact.”

I seriously doubt the dirty, unwashed man eating food from gutters was able to set aside those behaviors long enough to trick the victims into thinking he would be a profitable client for their time. Any woman, prostitute or not, would most likely do her very best to avoid coming into contact with such a man, merely to avoid the smell if nothing else. They would not willingly lead him into dark alleys or secluded streets to spend time with him alone as these women must have done.

There really is no logical reason to take Macnaughten’s accusation seriously or to look at Kosminski as anything other than a man who suffered greatly from the tortures of his own mind. I can find no convincing evidence against the man and I hate to see his name come up time and time again, mentioned by people who refuse to look at the facts of his case.

Yes, he was identified as the man seen near Mitre Square on the night of Eddowes’ murder. But he wasn’t identified early in the investigation, certainly not early enough for anyone to truly feel the identification could be considered reliable. But there’s no concrete record of the name of the witness. He is mentioned to be a Jew, which could lead us to believe it was Joseph Lawende. Some may argue for Israel Schwartz, but it seems unlikely as he was witness to the confrontation between Stride and the unknown man.

What’s really important about the identification is the timing of it. Chief Inspector Donald Swanson made a statement that it occurred at the “Seaside Home,” a reference to the Convalescent Police Seaside Home at 51 Clarendon Villas, Hove. This home was opened in March 1890, and gives us a window between March 1980 and 4 February 1891, when Kosminski was last committed to the workhouse.

“If Swanson is to be believed we can narrow it down still further. For his statement that Kosminski was committed to the workhouse, and from thence to Colney Hatch, ‘in a very short time’ after his return strongly suggests that we should place the identification nearer the latter than the former date. The upshot of all this is clear; Lawende did not identify Kosminski until two years or more after his original sighting.” — Sugden, 409

Two. Years.

That’s an obscene amount of time to have between original sighting and suspect identification. My problem with people firmly believing Lawende’s identification is good enough to convict is that when Lawende saw Eddowes with a man outside Church Passage at Mitre Square, there was no reason to look at the man closely. He and Eddowes were not arguing, were not in a disagreement. They were cordially heading to a private, secluded location to conduct business. There was no reason for Lawende to take any note the man. He could give a description of him and possibly make an identification within a few days of the murder, but that’s not what happened. Lawende even admitted at the Eddowes coroner’s inquest two weeks after the incident that he could not recognize the man if he saw him again.

It’s been proven in scientific studies (whoo, my friend science is back at it again!) that the human memory is a terrible thing. Okay, they haven’t come out and said that exactly, but near enough. There have been studies on how quickly details leave the human memory and the results depended on how closely the details were examined by the subjects before being removed. If they had only a fleeting glance, such as the one Lawende had of the man with Eddowes, the subject remember significantly fewer details within an hour of being removed from the item in question.

There’s no reason to take Lawende’s identification as conclusive proof that Kosminski was the man seen with Eddowes that night. Especially, when later questioned on his identification, Lawende recanted and refused to give evidence against Kosminski. It’s stated that he didn’t wish to give evidence against a fellow Jew, which could be considered an invitation for bad luck, but most likely it was because he was less than confident in the identification itself. He did say he couldn’t be certain he would recognize the man if he saw him again, after all. We should take that as fact if nothing else.

Taking the article posted on the Daily Mail‘s website at face value without looking into the facts of the case behind it, it comes off as exciting news regarding the Ripper case. Finally, we have a 126 year old cold case solved! Let’s break out the champagne and make sure this gets in all the history books.

But knowing the case as I do, and having just recently reread some of my favorite books on it, when I read the article, I knew immediately something was up. And I was determined to find out what. Because I’m a killjoy like that.

In his article, Edwards wrote, “No doubt a slew of books and films will now emerge to speculate on [Kosminski’s] personality and motivation. I have no wish to do so.” Such a noble intent, right? Awesome, I love noble intent.

That noble intent dissolves, however, if you keep reading until the very end, where you find this lovely little gem:

Naming Jack the Ripper, by Russell Edwards, will be published by Sidgwick & Jackson on September 9, priced £16.99

Edwards wanted to discover Ripper for the sake of simply solving the mystery of the ages. But now it seems this entire article was simply publicity for his book, his–I don’t want to say cash cow, but I can’t think of anything else.

It’s been unearthed by the forum posters over at Casebook.org that Edwards is the owner and propriety of the Jack the Ripper the Official Store where you can get tickets for the location tour or buy top hats and yoyos. And now a book by the man himself.

Super tired of the opera cape and top hat cliche, btw.

Super tired of the opera cape and top hat cliche, btw.

I don’t know why I thought that this was just for the sake of the case itself, but it really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me when I learned he was promoting a book that now has had 24 hours to sell hundreds of copies. But it did and I’m disappointed.

Someday the case might be solved and I hope it is for the sake of just knowing, not to line someone’s pockets.


“Casebook: Jack the Ripper.” Casebook: Jack the Ripper. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2014.

Russell Edwards For Mail On Sunday. “WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Jack the Ripper Unmasked: How Amateur Sleuth Used DNA Breakthrough to Identify Britain’s Most Notorious Criminal 126 Years after String of Terrible Murders.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 09 Sept. 2014.

Sugden, Philip. “20. Caged in an Asylum: Aaron Kosminski.” The Complete History of Jack the Ripper. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002. 397-423. Print.

USA. FBI. National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. Jack the Ripper. By John Douglas. N.p.: n.p., n.d. FBI Records — The Vault. FBI, 1988. Web. 9 Sept. 2014. <http://vault.fbi.gov/Jack%20the%20Ripper&gt;.


About alicegracey

Writer, Actor, Advice Nerd. At least, that's what it says on my business card these days. Mostly, I just write in order to try to get my brain to shut up. I like to share what I write, but be warned, I don't do happy.
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