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Jack the Ripper Special Branch Index Ledgers

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:17 am by Admin

Where would a book on Jack the Ripper conspiracies be without mention and an adequate assessment of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch Index Ledgers?

For those who do have a personal interest in these developments on the case, details on their existence and relevance was first published in the foundational reference work on the Whitechapel murders in 2006, Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard …

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Secret Files on Jack the Ripper?

Wed May 18, 2011 3:36 pm by auspirograph

Breaking News?

Hi all,

Yes, this is a breaking story on Jack the Ripper historical sources but it has been an on-going saga for some time with the UK Information Tribunal. The story is a bit more involved than the press are reporting, or as Trevor Marriott is describing. There are certainly some details of a Victorian Special Branch investigation of Jack the Ripper, however, because suspects …

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Ripper Writers RSS Feeds

Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:56 pm by Admin

As a service to members and guests of Jack the Ripper Writers who would like to subscribe to updates and news displayed on this website blog, please go to the menu right and choose your favorite option.

Thanks for your continued interest and support of a site specific for writers, authors and crime historians on Jack the Ripper and the iconic Whitechapel murders.

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Jack the Ripper Writers


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Writing Reviewed

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Writing Reviewed

Post  Admin on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:20 pm

Reviews on the latest, best and worst of Jack the Ripper or Victoriana books by writers, historians and guests.

Read a good book or article lately, seen a movie, event, documentary or musical on the Whitechapel murders, why not write an objective, entertaining review on it...


Last edited by Admin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:13 am; edited 2 times in total

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Jack the Ripper Exhibition

Post  Admin on Sat May 24, 2008 10:04 pm

The opening of the new Jack the Ripper and East End exhibition at London’s Docklands Museum has been welcomed with both controversy and excitement.

Although the event is not a book launch as such, a brief overview may be of interest to valued guests and readers of Jack the Ripper Writers.

An exhibition of this type was never going to please all purists of the Whitechapel murders story but it does have something to offer for those in London during the event with an interest in the history of the period and area.

There is a balanced news report at this link with a few pictures on what may be expected at the exhibition.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,357701,00.html

Curator Julia Hoffbrand is quoted as saying that, "There’s nothing glamorous about Jack the Ripper and there’s nothing glamorous about what happened. I hope people will leave contemplating that.”

That is fair comment on the nature of these historical unsolved crimes and a realistic one in terms of the contemporary police efforts to catch the culprit limited by resources and evolving methods of detection within East London slums.

The exhibition will run for six months until the 2nd of November 2008.

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Words and Images

Post  Admin on Mon May 04, 2009 5:47 pm

Well, the cover of Andrew Cook’s new book, Jack the Ripper: Case Closed, has certainly brought home the view that the Whitechapel murders are anything but a jaunt through musty draws of a genealogist’s picnic.

The gentle reminder that this remains an unsolved story of historic true crime appears to have been missed and I gratefully have noticed that Chris P has attempted to bring the debate back to the actual contents of Cook’s book, which is really the point I suppose.

What is wrong with the reading public today when it judges a book by its cover and a theory by its title, as in the purported Diary of Jack the Ripper? Has it lost all sense of common sense and is deemed so incompetent to form rational opinions that it is to be saved by the scare campaigns of the likes of Mr. AP Wolf. Scare campaigns that argue against the bringing of awareness to the treasured values of opposing the portrayal of motiveless sexual serial murders, Wolf claims to uphold.

Mr. Wolf employs the term ‘pornography’ in its modern sense and has forgotten that this is 2009, readers are far more educated and discerning than in the days of his own book on the mythologies of Thomas Hayne Cutbush served up as a ploy to stare into the mirror that only sees the face of Colin Wilson in drag. Although Mr. Wolf is admirably gaining some offshore capital of his own from attacks upon Mr. Cook’s study and yes, perhaps unfortunate and sensational cover decision, any new and reasonable book would of course suffice for the purpose to a frustrated writer.

Recently, a television advertisement was banned in the UK because it was deemed ‘too violent’ for British audiences. It featured the fine actress Keira Knightly who portrayed the abused woman of a jealous boyfriend. Keira said that she was drawn to do the ad for a British charity because, “Domestic violence kills two women every day but we rarely hear about it.”

Chris Hirst, of the Grey London ad agency explained, “Part of the campaign is to raise awareness about domestic violence, and spark debate, which the advert has done, even if it doesn’t make it on television.” The London Sun reported that the clip, titled “The Cut,” has been viewed by more than a million times on YouTube – not Susan Boyle numbers, but it hopefully gets the message across.

It is a wonder that the cover of a book would draw such an emotive response from least of all readers purportedly interested and involved with the study of historic true crime. It would be understandable for those who have not seen the crime scene photo of Mary Kelly or the bolster supposedly in it before, but for an image that has appeared countless times in print and cyberspace without a modicum of distress, it is strange.

Unfortunately, murders happen, a warped minority kills women, it is the responsibility of media to raise awareness and spark debate; copycats and domestic abusers are held responsible for their own actions.

Andrew Cook’s work appears a step in the right direction in examining the press sensation that was and is Jack the Ripper. Along with other studies on Victorian press coverage of the Whitechapel murders, this new book is a welcome addition to the corpus in my view as it places under the microscope the press persona and newspaper reports, which are heavily relied upon as primary sources.

That is, the communal creations to remain commercially viable of Victorian journals beginning with the Star and Pall Mall Gazette running through the conservative columns of The Times and its associated newspapers that kept a Victorian society informed of the conditions existing in the East End and of the administration responsible for its maintenance and safety.

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Jack the Ripper: Tabloid Killer?

Post  auspirograph on Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:00 am

And here's the documentary to follow the book by Andrew Cook, which has since changed the title to simply "Jack the Ripper". Any work which claims to have the answers to the Whitechapel murderer's identity should really be taken with a pinch of salt.

http://www.liontv.com/London/Productions/Jack-the-Ripper---Tabloid-Killer

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Reader Beware

Post  Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:28 am

Jack the Ripper Suspects
by Frederic P. Miller (ed) et al


In an otherwise useful thread on reliable new books of interest to readers, this book is published by 'Alphascript Publishing', an imprint of 'VDM Publishing', a German print on demand company.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDM_Publishing

The UK newspaper The Guardian in August 2009, interviewed 'Alphascript' and in answer to the question, "...do all of Alphascript’s books take their content from Wikipedia?", replied, "Yes, since we believe that the quality of the Wikipedia-articles is so good that it is worthwhile creating books with them. Wikipedia themselves give an impulse for this. The articles published on their sites are free in every respect and without any limitations as to further use. All authors participating in texts of Wikipedia know this or should at least know it."

Further reading can be found here:

http://www.doink.ch/a-warning-about-alphascript-publishing-and-betascript-publishing/

http://www.chrisrand.com/blog/index.php/2010/02/27/odd-tale-alphascript-publishing-betascript-publishing/comment-page-1/#comment-16090

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript_Publishing_sells_free_articles_as_expensive_books

So, what this book is, is a print on demand poor quality reproduction of the material that can be found here freely:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper_suspects

In this regard, there exists a needed role of Ripper periodicals and some web sites in informing readers of new and reliable books on the subject of Jack the Ripper, the Whitechapel murders and Victorian treatments of East End London.

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Jack the Ripper and Black Magic

Post  Admin on Tue May 15, 2012 6:09 am

JACK THE RIPPER AND BLACK MAGIC: VICTORIAN CONSPIRACY THEORIES, SECRET SOCIETIES AND THE SUPERNATURAL MYSTIQUE OF THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS

by
Spiro Dimolianis

With a foreword by Stewart P. Evans


Jack the Ripper; a name that still conjures up images of horror and the supernatural as the Victorians imagined it.

But how widespread and to what extent was Victorian London's view of Jack the Ripper, the occult, spiritualism and the supposed use of psychics by Scotland Yard. Many conjectures and theories have grown since the Whitechapel murders took place on these subjects but they have never been fully addressed before or considered in a Victorian context.

My new book, "Jack the Ripper and Black Magic: Victorian Conspiracy Theories, Secret Societies and the Supernatural Mystique of the Whitechapel Murders", is the first attempt to fully examine the sources and influence of these theories from a Victorian point of view.

What I found was remarkable. Not only were Victorian London's spiritualist and occult subcultures widely interested in the Jack the Ripper murders but that Scotland Yard had considered the use of psychics to catch him. With the absence of clues, numerous suggestions were also made to the police in letters, newspaper columns and obscure journals of most notably the Theosophical Society and the London Spiritualist Alliance.

Jack the Ripper, to mainstream Victorian society, was eventually seen as an invisible monster who lurked his East End haunts with stealth and cunning. A living vampire who terrorised the city with horrific acts of blood lust and the taking of organs from his poor prostitute victims.

For some, only supernatural means could locate him and solve the mystery. People like Stuart Cumberland whose celebrity status as a Victorian medium and his offers to Scotland Yard to help catch the culprit compares to the modern day efforts of Derek Acorah.

Such recorded stories have given the mystery of a Victorian serial killer a horror genre that has inspired countless books, films, games, theories and has entered mainstream school and university studies.

The extensive horror genre in particular on Jack the Ripper has its source in the documented Scotland Yard consideration of suspect Roslyn D'Onston, who was supposedly a practising black magician. Fuelled by the newspaper edited by spiritualist W.T. Stead, the Pall Mall Gazette, D'Onston's occult story influenced notable writers such as Arthur Machen and Aleister Crowley.

While the supernatural mystique of Jack the Ripper was growing in the press, populace and in novels, Scotland Yard and the Home Office were promoting quite different stories on the identity of the killer. Royal Masonic and other conspiracy theories have too been a fixture of the Whitechapel murders that have grown as a direct result of senior police ambiguity over time.

My book also considers the source and influence of these conspiracy theories and why they have emerged. The recent release of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch files on the Whitechapel murders are fully examined for the first time and in their Victorian context. What they reveal is extraordinary.

No, Jack the Ripper was not a leprechaun, but he was investigated as an Irish Fenian sympathiser. Today, this is the mother of all conspiracy theories on Jack the Ripper and may yet hold the key to solving the case. It also offers a clue as to why Scotland Yard officials gave conflicting stories in their memoirs.

As Sir Melville Macnaghten put it, in "Laying the Ghost of Jack the Ripper".

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Jack the Ripper and Black Magic

Post  John Spanek on Tue May 15, 2012 1:28 pm

I think people who read it for the first time will be impressed and maybe pleasantly surprised with the wide variety of interesting topics the book delves into. There are some rare photos and cool newspaper articles included as well. People will learn a lot by looking this book over.

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Re: Writing Reviewed

Post  Joe Chetcuti on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:58 pm

As Spiro pointed out, Scotland Yard's interest in the use of psychics during the Ripper murders is a remarkable story. It sort of showed how desperate the investigation was, and it was somewhat reflective of the mind-set of the people in those days in regards to occult belief.

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Jack the Ripper and Black Magic

Post  John Spanek on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Hitler and some of his followers were into astrology and the occult, too. It must have been an alluring field back then.

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The Dracula Secrets

Post  Joe Chetcuti on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:18 pm

I am currently reading Neil R. Storey's The Dracula Secrets: Jack The Ripper And The Darkest Sources of Bram Stoker.

The History Press put together this book very well. I could tell right from the start that the book will happily attract fans of the Whitechapel Mysteries, Dracula, and Bram Stoker. People will be pleased with their purchase. Neil is a very talented and experienced writer.

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The Dracula Secrets

Post  John Spanek on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:28 pm

I saw Joe last night, and he couldn't put the book down. I had a chance to browse at the picture images. It was a very impressive collection. You may end up staring at the images for 30 minutes without realizing it.

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Whitechapel Society Journal April 2013

Post  John Spanek on Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:08 am

Congratulations to Mike Hawley for writing an article which became the cover story in the current issue of the Whitechapel Society Journal.

I think Mike is only the second American writer to have the honor of a cover story for that East End journal. That's a fine achievement. It's nice to see a member of the Jack the Ripper Writers web site do good.


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Re: Writing Reviewed

Post  Mkl Hawley on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:14 pm

Thanks John. Just as Spiro had once said, my goal is to produce material useful for examination. ...and if we're going to blame anyone for me doing all of this research, it's Joe. He got me interested!

Sincerely,
Mike

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Whitechapel Society Journal April 2013

Post  Joe Chetcuti on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Of course, Goulston Street Mike lives by the motto:

The Maltese are the Ones who will be Blamed for Everything.

The April 2013 journal was Frogg's initial launch as the new editor. He had about seven or so contributors to this issue including Robin Odell and Mike. It was an impressive list of writers.

In his article, Mike did well to explain the two definitions of "woman-hater" in the 19th century. One being homosexual and the other being misogyny. Mike's quote from the British psychologist (Henry H. Ellis) helped distinguish the difference between the two definitions.

I liked it when Mike explained that the Littlechild Letter showed how Tumblety's man-lover desires did not make him a suspect, but his hatred of women did.

I will go over a few more points about the article tomorrow.


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Whitechapel Society Journal April 2013

Post  auspirograph on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:37 am

Joe certainly has a lot to answer for, he got me interested in a few things too it's all his fault for all this useful research...

And well done Mike, I'm with Joe and John here on this achievement in what is becoming an influential periodical. It's great to hear that Frogg is on board and with his first issue, good things to come no doubt.

I agree that a lot of Victorian definitions cause so much confusion so it's great to see articles like this. And also how easily UK and US history can vary so much such as in that Dunham affair and of course with Tumblety. There are aspects of the American side of the Whitechapel murders investigation that Americans know better I think.

So good work and I'm glad we have Ripper Writers to encourage and support research and writers.

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Whitechapel Society Journal April 2013

Post  Joe Chetcuti on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:13 pm

Yes, it's good to see the journal continue to get printed, and Frogg will do a fine job as editor.  Folks should be encouraged to keep submitting their work to all the Ripper magazines.

Mike used excellent sources in his article.  The information from The Sheffield and Rotherdam Independent, The Liverpool Leader, and Neil Storey's current book were properly inserted into the text.  It enhanced the suspicion that this Ripper Suspect had misogynist views.

The article flowed well, and the concluding paragraph was memorable.  I especially liked the part where the sociologist was quoted in regards to how "misogyny can manifest itself through violence."

This article goes to show that a writer doesn't have to type up a long saga to thoroughly look into a particular aspect of Ripperology.  Mike's article wasn't long, but it smartly covered an interesting topic.

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