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It reads like it was written by a fourth-grader In that first part you also get a selection of the eywhitness-reports which seems rather random I think for each canonical victim there is one whitness-statement and the coroner-reports on the victims. The largest part is the second, a collection of various essays on the identity of the Ripper and before I read this I had no idea how special Ripperologists were. It's a bit like reality shows where the contestants call each other stupid just that they call each other's theories stupid.

A lot of essays don't start with the authors own theorie but by pointing out how wrong the others are. Sometimes just a general 'oh these conspiracy-theories are so stupid' and sometimes they pick on two or three authors and explain why their theories just have to be wrong. If you ignore all that you are left with some theories that are on the spectrum somewhere between 'Yeah, these are good points' and 'What exactly is this doing in a non-fiction book? I kind of want to do an in-depth rant about at least half of the theories but I give you an abridged version: One - at least aptly called 'A novelists speculation' - doesn't even get the basic facts right: not all Ripper-victims had fingers or an ear missing.

One guy seems far too busy pointing out how awesome he is, how many tv-appearances he made and how much the others suck so that there's not much space to flesh out his theory. Another rightly points out that it's hard to find information about possible suspects that were 'everyday people' because there aren't many records about them. He then goes on to give a fascinating - totally fictional - account about his suspects mental state, how desperate he was, how madly in love, only very little of it is verified by outside-sources. This is especially stupid as there is another essay, suggesting the same suspect Mary Kelly's boyfriend which gives more facts and actually managed to convince me that he might be one of the likelier candidates.

I could go on and on about this. From all the essays there's only a small number that managed to convince me that this theorie might be worth looking at more cloesely. But after all, that's the point of a collection of essays. It's just that I'm now wondering if all Ripperologists are that mad and self-centered or if that was a bad selection.

The last part throws some more semi-facts at us. It contains one chapter about possible other victims and one chapter is called 'Other suspects?

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Finaly we get a rather extensive Bibliography and Filmography of works dealing with Jack the Ripper. Overall a good starting-point if you're interested in the Ripper but I had expected more. Recently watched Murder by Decree and From Hell almost the exact same movie, except one has Sherlock Holmes and read Anno Dracula, in which Saucy Jack figures prominently albeit as vampire killer , and I wanted to read some of the history. This book certainly delivers, with lots of witness statements and such at the beginning and then a raft of essays positing a raft of suspects.

A lot of these are interesting from the point of view of persuasive writing. I really might use some excerpts with Recently watched Murder by Decree and From Hell almost the exact same movie, except one has Sherlock Holmes and read Anno Dracula, in which Saucy Jack figures prominently albeit as vampire killer , and I wanted to read some of the history.

I really might use some excerpts with my students because some of these are great examples of how to sound authoritative even if you don't have authoritative facts behind you. So why only 3 stars? Well, let's just say that devoting your life to studying grisly killings from another era does not necessarily make you a good writer.

Many of these essays are poorly written to the point of being distracting. And by the time we got to the second round of essays for some of the suspects, I started feeling like this book was in fact a little too mammoth for its own good. Still, a great intro to the facts of the case. An interesting book, but I found it to be quite repetitive. Understandably each of the essays were individually written so there was bound to be some repetition. However, even the introductory passages, 'Undisputed Facts' and 'Key Texts' sections seemed to be repeating themselves to the point where I just skim-read past those bits.


The individual theories presented range from the almost believable to the completely absurd. There was also a few contradictions between the different theories and it An interesting book, but I found it to be quite repetitive. There was also a few contradictions between the different theories and it made me wonder how many of the so-called facts were actually facts at all or if the authors had simply invented them to support their own theories and boost their own egos!

Overall this book gives a fascinating insight into the evidence and myths surrounding Jack the Ripper and allows the reader to form their own opinions about the enclosed theories. May 10, Yassemin rated it did not like it Shelves: couldnt-finish , american-or-canadian , kindle-books , reviewed , crime-non-fiction , memoir-journal-biography , read-in I find the subject matter and the constant debate about who Jack the Ripper was, fascinating and therefore try and read whatever comes up about the subject.

However, this is such a dull read I can't be bothered to continue. The initial section is the work of the editors yet I don't see any evidence of editing. I can only imagine the rest of the book is extremely unedited and boring so off I go to find a Ripper book actually worthy of my time. This isn't it! This is a terrific addition to the collection of anyone who is interested in the Autumn of Terror and the state of so-called Ripperology. Along with a case overview of the murders, this volume collects seventeen different arguments about the identity of the Ripper from the world's leading researchers, scholars, and author celebrities.

As a historian, I am fascinated by what the Whitechapel murders and the media sensation around them tell us about the time. I don't have a "pet suspect," and I'm s This is a terrific addition to the collection of anyone who is interested in the Autumn of Terror and the state of so-called Ripperology.

The Big Book of Jack the Ripper

I don't have a "pet suspect," and I'm skeptical of all claims of proof of one candidate or another. That said, this collection proved fascinating. I appreciated the opportunity to sample the depth and breadth and differences in approach represented by these various theories. Mar 17, Shan Ellis rated it liked it.

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Well it did what it said on the cover! It's a collection of evidence and then ripperologists essays speculating the identity of good old Jack.

The Book of Jack

I read it for reference but found myself drawn into the world of late 19th Century London. Depravity, poverty and gin. Lots of gin. It's well worth a look at if you're interested in Ripper history, but the truth is still out there, not that we'll ever find it now! Apr 06, Jenae rated it really liked it. If you ever wanted to know anything about the Ripper murders, this book is for you! It presents the hard evidence pertaining to the cases and discusses the many, many theories of what actually happened. This book does a very good job of not being overly biased regarding one particular theory or another.

Aug 01, Suzushii rated it really liked it. Well researched, extensively even. Detailed without being ghoulish. Shows points of view from plausible to questionable but lets the reader make up his mind. The extensive factual introduction puts the subsequent articles in the frame of cold facts so any exageration or insinuation by the author becomes clear.

Oct 03, Leisa rated it liked it. This is definitely interesting and a really quick read. My only problem with it is that while it boasts itself as a fully comprehensive look into the murders, the book may be just a little too comprehensive if that makes sense. It just felt like a lot of information that was there for the sake of being there. Overall it was just okay. May 08, David Vinther rated it it was amazing Shelves: owned.

Very good book, although it does tend to become repetitive with the rehashing of the victims over and over as each person makes their case for who they think the killer was. That said, I've read the book twice, and continue to debate with myself over who's theory i like best. A must for anyone interested in Jack the Ripper and his crimes. Feb 10, Paul rated it liked it. It needs an exclamation point on it, so I put it there. Feb 13, T. Interesting and varied essays This book is a collection of essays covering the pertinent facts of an enduring mystery, as well as several theories and suspects.

All are readable, and often enjoyable. None of the theories can be an absolute conclusion, but many are intriguing. A compilation of essays by various writers that detail the possible identities of Jack The Ripper. Some are far-fetched, and poorly argued, others have me convinced they know who the real killer was. A very interesting read that approaches Jack The Ripper from numerous angles. May 24, Kim Jones rated it really liked it.

The Book of Jack

This book described so much detail of all the suspects who could of been known as Jack the Ripper. I really enjoyed reading this book, I was so fascinated in this book, I managed to read it within three days. For example, it rewrites his origins by making John London his father, and underplays the role of the African American Prentiss family in his upbringing. It is fascinating for its inclusion of original letters and accounts of episodes in JL's early life that were likely as told by him to Charmian, thus somewhat hyperbolic.

She admitted it wasn't a definitive biography, yet it has a lot of worthwhile information nonetheless. Read with a critical eye. American Libraries. What he does do, is to take the reader through what it was like to be a police officer in Victorian London, and, of course, at the time that the Whitechapel murders were taking place.

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Don't read this book expecting to be bombarded with wild speculation and endless theorizing about why a particular suspect must have been Jack the Ripper. Bell doesn't do wild speculation! What he does do is give the reader a thorough grounding in how the Metropolitan Police came into being; what sort of crime prevention measures the average Bobby on the beat would have had at his disposal; and, when crime prevention had failed and crime detection was called for, what the investigative techniques that were available to the likes of Inspectors Reid and Abberline as they tried desperately to hunt down jack the Ripper and stop him killing again.

The result of the authors approach is that, by the time you come to reading about the murders, in part two of the book, you are truly au fait with how the police forces operated, and are, therefore, able to comprehend not only the shortcomings of the detectives who worked on the case; but you are also able to approach the case with fresh eyes, having dispensed with many of the inaccuracies, distortions and misrepresentations that have come to plague modern day reporting of the ripper crimes.

Philip Sugden's book is an in depth study of the Whitechapel Murders, and he succeeds admirably in bringing together many of the facts that emerged from the press and police reports at the time of the murders, as well as from the testimony of the various witnesses who appeared at the inquests into the deaths of the victims. Meticulously researched, the books tells the story very well, and gives a lot of information on periphery characters, who often get relegated to the sidelines in books on the case.

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In so doing it helps the reader to build up a picture of the main players in the case, and gives a great insight into how they fit in to the story of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders. My only real criticism of the book is that he does, occasionally, resort to trashing writers and researchers that went before him, albeit this doesn't happen that often. There is a detailed section on suspects in which it becomes apparent that Mr. Sugden does have a favourite, but then that hasn't stopped writers before or since and, on the whole, he does present a nicely balanced view on the various suspects.

I would say that, if you are looking for a book that provides a good overview of the case, then this is certainly up there with the top three to go with and I've found it an invaluable resource in my own researches on the Whitechapel Murders. There are thousands of books on Jack the Ripper, in fact it is probably the most written about case in criminal history..