Well it has been one hell of a year. I seem to have not written much on the blog at all this year, but believe me it is for a very good reason. I have been so busy not just with “Jack the Ripper” but other projects that I rarely get to sit and update my blog. So here, in one post, is all the weird and wonderful news since my last posting. Forgive me if I go over the same ground again, but the projects are so exciting and it is fantastic to be a part of them all.
This week I had the pleasure of lecturing for a massive marketing company in London at Mindshare’s Huddle event.
Massive thank you to Chris Bourke, for not only booking me, but making me feel very welcome at the event. The lecture which was for Qriously Ltd, looked at “Jack the Ripper” and the media both past and present and was a very popular lecture. Everyone made me feel very welcome and I had a lovely time in London meeting everyone.
This year has seen the release of ten of my books, they are all available to download via Amazon, and two are currently available on paperback. Simply search for “Mike Covell” on the Amazon pages around the world and you will find the products.
At the moment sales are really impressive and I cannot thank the Creativia gang for taking me on board and looking after me and my titles. They are such a small tight nit group and they have worked wonders for me.
As you can imagine I am limited in what I can say about the movies at present, I know I am a tease, but I can only recommend that you visit the Thunderball Films website for updates on the projects that I am involved in. It is a very exciting time, and I look forward to working on some amazing projects as an historical director and executive producer that are heading our way.
I can confirm that there is a television show on the way looking at the “Jack the Ripper” case and other similar cases to ascertain fact from fiction, myth from reality. Whilst I am very limited over what I can and cannot say, I can say that it is a very interesting and exciting project tackled in a way that has never been tackled before in Ripperology. The title for the show is “Jack the Ripper: Reality and Myth.”
Many people will remember that earlier this year I set up AMAZING HULL TOURS. Since that time I had carried out numerous tours, lectures, and research for numerous people. The tours are going really well and recently were featured in the Hull Daily Mail after a number of people caught anomalous objects on camera. I take a back seat and allow people to take photos on the tour and if they capture anything on film I do not sway their opinion. That said, this last few weeks has seen a number of people capture unexplained activity on their cameras.
Earlier this year I met with my good mate John and we recorded a show on Jack the Ripper – The Hull Connection. Since then John and I have recorded more shows that look at the history of Hull. Show two featured a virtual walk around Hull’s Old Town, visiting some of the allegedly haunted pubs and talking about their history.
To listen to the shows simply visit:
HULL’S DARK MUSEUM
Earlier this year I teamed up with local businessman John Hemmingway to create a brand new visitor attraction in Hull. The idea is to showcase 700 years of the darker side of Hull’s strange history, from witchcraft to the hanging of pirates, ghost sightings, local legends and true crime. The project is moving at a great pace and I look forward to releasing news about this very soon. One area we hope to showcase is “Jack the Ripper” The Hull Connection.
I am very pleased to announce that due to the popularity of the URBAN LEGENDS podcasts that next year for the second season we have even bigger plans. Watch out for John and I around Hull filming in locations associated with true crime, Jack the Ripper, and the paranormal.
I am pleased to be the historian at the fascinating project housed within Annison’s Stables, on Witham, above and behind the 24 hour pharmacy. A lot of attention has been paid to this building and its magnificent history and in the future you will see some amazing tours, lectures, and the occasional paranormal investigation at the property. You will also see lectures on Mary Jane Langley being given at the property where Mr. William Mortimer Edmonds had his photography shop!
The “Chocolate Factory” on Wincolmlee, a lovely 19th century tallow mill will also see some magnificent projects taking place there. These will be run in conjunction with local businessman John Hemmingway, who I spoke about in regards to the DARK MUSEUM above.
2015 will see a wide range of new lectures and new tours, taking in aspects of Hull’s history long since forgotten. Among the new lectures will be a new Amy Johnson lecture, a new William Papper lecture, and a new lecture on Hull’s infamous Silver Hatchet Gang of the early 19th century.
New Books!!! Next year will see the release of a series of new books that will explore the darker side of Hull’s history. The series is all but finished and they will be submitted just after Christmas for a steady release through the year. It will mean a year of no “Jack the Ripper” releases from me, but I am saving the new “Jack the Ripper” projects for 2016.
The AMAZING HULL TOURS lectures have had a very busy year and bookings are coming well into 2015 with a lecture booked for December next year! All bookings for both tours and lectures can be made through AMAZING HULL TOURS at the following;
Or via emailing us at email@example.com
In the past few weeks I have been busying myself with writing, AMAZING HULL TOURS, working on material for the HULL DARK MUSEUM, and working on some history for Hull’s new LAND TRAIN. Add to this mixture a series of tours and lectures and it has been a very busy time indeed.
On Friday evening, as I was getting ready to go out on a tour I received an email from Brian L Porter. Brian, as many of my blog readers will know, is the author of the Jack the Ripper trilogy, A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper, Legacy of the Ripper, and Requiem for the Ripper.
At the time of the release of the first book I read it and posted reviews online on various websites. With the second book Brian would email me asking for the occasional piece of information with regards to the historical aspects of the case. The same occurred with the third book.
The email on Friday asked me whether I would like to join the Thunderball Films production of A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper as an historical advisor, I, of course, jumped at the chance.
What happened next was even more amazing.
Brian asked me if I would be willing to appear in the movie as Inspector Abberline!
Abberline has appeared onscreen on numerous occasions, notably played by Michael Caine, in the mini-series “Jack the Ripper,” and by Johnny Depp, in the Hughes brother movie “From Hell.”
It is both an honour and a pleasure to play such a character.
I am also pleased to announce that I will be featuring exclusives on the movie, with interviews from the set, as the film progresses. Watch this space!!
Thunderball Films: http://www.thunderballfilms.com/new2_media.php
A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper IMDB page: http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1368869/
Jack the Ripper: Year in Review 2013
Another year has passed, and one that has seen the 125th anniversary of the Jack the Ripper canonical five victims. We have been hit with a bombardment of books; kindle titles, documentaries, audio books, television shows, and much more, so here is a rundown of what I saw in 2013:
Jack the Kindle reader:
The Kindle has gone from strength to strength and it is not surprising considering the cost of books, ease of downloading, and instant availability. 2013 proved to be a massive year for Jack the Ripper titles on the Kindle, both fact and fiction, and here are just a few of the releases that came out during the year:
A Tale from Ripper Street: Inspector Edmund Reid’s Hunt for Jack the Ripper, Joseph Busa,
Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes (Jack the Ripper), Bernard Schaffer,
Severin: A tale of Jack the Ripper, Simon Webb
Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Casebook, Richard Whittington-Egan
In Search of Jack the Ripper, David Pietras,
The Whitechapel Secret: Who was Jack the Ripper? Martin Loughlin,
The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper, Paul Begg and John Bennett,
The Crimson Fog, Paul Halter and John Pugmire,
Whitechapel, Ian Porter,
Jack, Jason Williams,
Wellcome to Hell: Was Sir Henry Wellcome Jack the Ripper? Joseph Busa,
The Whitechapel Murders and Mary Jane Kelly, Peter Caldwell,
Scarlet Autumn: Jack the Ripper, Gian J. Quaser
Jack the Ripper: The Becoming, C. R. M. Gwynn,
The Hunt of a pipsqueak Jack the Ripper, C. Neil,
Jack the Ripper’s Many Faces, Amanda Harvey Purse,
Jack the Ripper’s Streets of Terror, John Stewart,
Jack the Ripper Komplett, S. Leib,
Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History, Paul Begg,
The Curse of Mitre Square and The Lodger: Two Jack the Ripper Classics, John Francis Brewer and Marie Belloc Lowndes,
Jack the Ripper- The Secret Police Files, Trevor Marriott,
Prey Time, Trevor Marriott,
Miller’s Court: The Story of Jack the Ripper and his last victim, James Paul,
Bred in Whitechapel: A novel based on Jack the Ripper, Tom Coleman and Robin Prior,
The Fifth Victim, Antonio Alexander,
Annie and the Ripper, Tim Champlin and Greg Smallwood,
Jack the Ripper Unmasked, Neil Ashford,
Jack the Ripper: First American Serial Killer, Stewart Evans and Paul Gainey,
Prince Eddy and the Homosexual Underworld, Theo Aronson,
Tales of Jack the Ripper, Laird Barron, and others,
Mary Jane Kelly and the Victims of Jack the Ripper: The 125th Anniversary, Neal Sheldon,
It wasn’t Jack the Ripper? Patricia Pickett,
Jack the Ripper: From the Cradle to the Grave, Peter Rutt,
Jack the Ripper: Letters from Hell, Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner,
Jack the Ripper: The Celebrity Suspects, Mike Holgate,
Jack the Ripper: The Suspects, The Whitechapel Society,
Ripper Hunter, M. J. Trow,
The East End Murders: From Jack the Ripper to Ronnie Kray, Neil R. Storey,
Jack the Ripper Papers: Part 1, Michael Bowman,
Cold Case Mysteries – Volume 1, Sascha von Bornheim,
The Welsh Ripper Killings, Gary M. Dobbs,
Ripper, Jael Gates,
A Grim Almanac of Jack the Ripper’s London 1870-1900, Neil R. Storey,
I am Jack…A biography of one of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers: Thomas Neil Cream, Wallace Edwards
Dark Streets of Whitechapel, R. Barri Flowers,
Murder in Whitechapel: The Adventure of the Post Mortem Knife, Donald and Kyle Joy,
Inquests Jack the Ripper, C. Neil,
Inquests Jack the Ripper, C. Neil,
Jack the Ripper Doesn’t Exist, Paul Juser,
Jack the Ripper- The Facts, Paul Begg,
The Seduction of Mary Kelly – The Final Victim of Jack the Ripper, William J. Perring,
From Hell: The Final Days of Jack the Ripper, Rob Thompson,
Abberline: The man who hunted Jack the Ripper, Peter Thurgood,
Dracula meets Jack the Ripper, Michael B. Druxman,
Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates, Stewart P. Evans,
The Death of Jack the Ripper: Whitechapel Kittehs 2, Kitty Glitter,
Jack the Ripper vs Sherlock Holmes, Philip Duke,
Ritual in the Dark, Colin Wilson,
The Ripper Trilogy, Shawn Weaver and Donnie Light,
Jack the Ripper: The Terrible Legacy, The Whitechapel Society,
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper, Frank Morlock, and others,
The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook, Stewart Evans and Keith Skinner,
Ripper, Seamus Winchester,
Jack the Ripper: The Theories and the facts, Colin Kendell,
The Man who hunted Jack the Ripper, Stewart P. Evans,
Victorian Lives behind Victorian Crimes: The women who made Jack the Ripper famous, Amanda Harvey Purse,
Ripper’s Wrath, Donnie Light and Shawn Weaver,
Jack the Book reader:
Luckily for book lovers, hardback and soft-back books are still being released; the following is a short list of some of 2013’s releases.
Jack the Ripper at Last? The Mysterious Murders of George Chapman, Henela Wojtczak,
Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Casebook, Richard Whittington Egan,
Jack the Ripper’s Streets of Terror: Life During the Reign of Victorian London’s Most Brutal Killer, Rupert Matthews,
Jack the Ripper: In My Blood: Normal Kirtlan, Dianne Bainbridge
The True History of Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten 1905 Ripper Novel, Guy Logan,
Jack the Ripper: From the Cradle to the Grave, Peter Rutt,
The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper, Paul Begg and John Bennett,
Abberline: The Man who hunted Jack the Ripper, Peter Thurgood,
Fifth Victim, Antonia Alexander,
The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper: As revealed to Clanash Farjeon, Alan Scarfe,
Jack the Audio Book:
Audio books make an entry in this year’s review for the first time. Kindle’s and tablets all have audio options, and many downloadable Kindle titles have text to audio, however, audio books are becoming very popular again. Here is a short list of some of 2013’s releases,
Ripper Hunter, M. J. Trow and Terry Wale,
Dracula Meets Jack the Ripper, Michael B. Druxman, and Fred Frees,
Jack the Ripperologist:
Ripperologist Magazine is still going strong, and what follows is a rundown, compiled by Howard Brown of Jtrforums.com of what each volume contained,
Issue 134 October
Issue 133 August
Issue 132 June
Issue 131 April
Issue 130 February
In my opinion, the two finest articles of the year where:
The Fifth Victim; Hand Of A Woman?- Jennifer Shelden
Jack the Blogger:
This year also saw one of Ripperology’s hardest workers, and excellent hoax-buster, Jenni Sheldon launch her Jack the Ripper blog Jack the Ripper Investigations, the blog can be viewed here: http://jacktheripperinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/
Jack the Television Viewer:
The following is a rundown of fictional television shows regarding Jack the Ripper that were aired in 2013,
BBC’s Victorian crime drama came back with a second series, new characters, more intense storylines, and “The Elephant Man” but the elation was short lived as the BBC have announced that the show will not get a third series. Watch this space, however, as a number of online polls and petitions hint that the viewers want more of this unique drama.
ITV’s modern crime drama took a weird and wonderful turn through the darker side of Whitechapel and treated us to curses, ghosts, zombies, cannibalism, books made of human skin, and all other manner of macabre storylines, sadly, the plot was more messed up than Mary Kelly’s room on Miller’s-court, and ended on a convoluted cliff hanger that will never be answered as ITV announced that no more series will be made.
Sky Living’s American/British Horror television show featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers began on October 13th 2013, and whilst it wasn’t directly related to the Jack the Ripper murders, good old Saucy Jack did get a mention.
Jack the Documentary viewer:
This year has seen its fair share of Jack the Ripper documentaries, here are just a few:
Fred Dinenage returned with another series of crimes and misdemeanours and looked at Jack the Ripper in this 45 minute show. The crime scene recreations were very bloody, and the show was all round quiet interesting.
This documentary covered the history of Broadmoor and was very interesting. It featured some fascinating contemporary sources, stories, and photographs, and featured a small segment on Jack the Ripper with Thomas Cutbush being proposed as a suspect.
The popular auction show returned and with it the alleged watch owned by James Maybrick. Sadly the experts did not want to buy it and the watch vanished again.
Jack the Ripper: Revealed:
The Mei Trow/Robert Mann documentary got another run this year, it was a fascinating documentary but for anyone wanting to know more I would suggest tracking down a copy of Trow’s book on the suspect.
Jack the Ripper: The German Suspect:
Trevor Marriott’s Karl/Carl Feigenbaum show got another showing this year, with Trevor travelling the globe trying to link Feigenbaum to the crimes in Whitechapel.
Jack the Ripper: Prime Suspect:
The Prospero Productions documentary on Frederick Bailey Deeming got another airing this year. I missed it, but was made aware by numerous posts on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks guys!!
My Year with Jack the Ripper:
My year got off to a bang with a photo shoot and interview with the Hull Daily Mail for an article on Jack the Ripper on January 8th. By January 9th the article appeared in the Hull Daily Mail, and later that night the Yesterday Channel also showed the documentary I featured in, Prime Suspect: Jack the Ripper. More interviews followed, and more stories both in the newspaper and online and a number of photo shoots followed.
January 22nd saw me lecture at Hull Central Library and on February 5th I appeared at the Ings Library talking about Jack the Ripper – The Hull Connection.
February 7th saw me appear on the Hull Community Radio Station with John Hutchinson talking about my research and work in Hull. Jack the Ripper filled a huge segment of the two hour show.
I was back at Ings Library on April 2nd for another lecture and back again on May 7th for another!
On May 6th I met with David Reeves on BBC Radio Humberside to discuss Jack the Ripper the Hull Connection, and on May 20th another lecture followed at Bilton.
May 23rd saw me lecture on Jack the Ripper at Hull University, a first for me, and a great honour to be asked.
June 10th saw another meeting with David Reeves at the BBC Buildings to discuss Jack the Ripper, and on July 12th I was back on Radio Humberside discussing the case, with a follow up slot on July 19th. On September 4th I was back, this time on the David Burns show discussing Jack the Ripper – The Beverley Connection, and on September 5th I was at the East Riding Archives lecturing on the same topic. It was a first for me, and another great honour to be invited.
On September 11th I was at the Hull History Centre giving a speech on the importance of volunteering when the centre won an award for the WWII and other volunteering projects. It was a lovely day, and I had my photos taken with the Lord Mayor of Hull. That night I was at the George Hotel lecturing on the history of the public house.
October 12th saw another Jack the Ripper lecture at the central library in Hull, it also allowed me to meet with Ricky Cobb and show him around Hull.
The year also saw the production of BBC Radio Humberside’s From Whitechapel to Whitefriargate, a one hour special on Jack the Ripper’s connections to Hull. The show, created by David Reeves, saw us recording a lecture at the Hull Heritage Centre, recording on location at the Hull History Centre, Hull Prison, and at my house, as well as on location around Hull at night with the wind in our faces and the screams of hovering menacing seagulls! The show will air on Radio Humberside on December 27th between 1 and 2pm, and again on January 1st between 6 and 7pm.
In terms of research I have uncovered new material on Frederick Bailey Deeming, Frederick Richard Chapman, Robert D’Onston Stephenson, and James, Florence, and Michael Maybrick. I also came across a gentleman, who had worked in the medical profession in 1888, who was based in Whitechapel that year, who had links to the Maybrick family.
There have also been business meetings with some of Hull’s most notable business folk, lectures for some of Hull’s most distinguished private groups, and lots planned to ensure that 2014 will be an even bigger and better year.
All that is left for me to do is to wish my readers a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous 2014.
Special thanks to Howard and Nina Brown at JTRForums.com, Stephen P. Ryder at Casebook.org, David Reeves of BBC Radio Humberside, as well as all the other presenters that have had me on their shows this year, to the team at the Hull History Centre, Hull Central Library, and Hull Reference Library, Hull University, Carnegie Heritage Centre, Ings Libraries, Ricky Cobb, and Mr. Palin for all their help this year.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 90 KB
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Download price £1.34
One of the benefits of the Kindle is that you don’t always see the book cover, which in this case features a vampiric looking man with goatee, top hat, and eye liner on! That said this little offering by Vickie Britton is a nice read which I would recommend to any beginners wishing to quickly dip their toes into the mystery. The book features chapters on the victims, locations, Macnaghten’s suspects, other likely suspects, suspects ruled out a the Ripper, the Investigation, the Ripper letters, the theories, suspects later proposed, and a brief look at Jack the Ripper in Fact and Fiction. My only problem with the book, other than the length, is that much of the material seems to be nothing more than the opinion of Wikipedia articles. There are no new debates, no new facts as uncovered by the dilligent researchers that post on the message boards, and it seems as though the author has chose to play it safe rather than investigate further. As mentioned earlier the book is very brief, running at 42 pages which includes contents, list of websites, and selection of books for further reading.
Listening Length: 8 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Audible Release Date: 30 Oct 2009
Download price 52p
The text edition of this book features the text to speech function to allow the reader to listen should they feel the need to. With this in mind it seems odd that the publisher would also release an audio version of the book to be downloaded separately. The audio version is 52p and whilst the quality is much better than the text to speech version, it is still very basic and runs for just 8 minutes!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 33 KB
Publisher: iMinds (31 Jan 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Download price for this edition: 77p
The book is a short essay and overview of the “Autumn of Terror” discussing the five canonical victims and touching briefly on ripper letters and Walter Sickert. It covers just 7 pages of text on the kindle and most of the information is featured on Wikipedia.
The Case for Jack the Ripper, Ira Krakow and the Contributors to Wikipedia.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1523 KB
Publisher: The Krakow Press, LLC (23 Jan 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Prior to the release of the Kindle a number of books were released that were essentially collections of Wikipedia entries. These included such titles as The Mysterious Jack the Ripper and Profiling History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers: Jack the Ripper. Now the digital age is upon us similar titles are making their way onto the Kindle and this is the latest. Released in January 2012 it features entries on the following topics,
• Jack the Ripper
It is useful if one doesn’t have access to Wikipedia, but I prefer the Casebook Wiki pages over the Wikipedia entries which are only as true as the people that contribute.
On the plus side, the download is free!
Ripper Books – Kindle – Reviews
The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, James Carnac, Kindle Review
Publisher: Bantam Press (19 Jan 2012)
The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, (TAJTR) it is claimed, was written by a man by the name of James Carnac. It is claimed that the item was found in the possession of the late Sydney George Hulme Beaman, an artist, actor, and creator of Toytown and Larry the Lamb. The collection of Hulme Beaman was donated to Alan Hicken, who discovered the alleged Autobiography.
The book is a fascinating read and follows the life of Carnac through childhood, teenage years, then as he stalks the “slums of the East End.” The book doesn’t finish when the Ripper murders conclude though, instead it continues to inform the reader of what happened next, which is just as exciting as the lead up to and carrying out of the murders.
That said there are several problems with the book.
James Carnac, in TAJTR, claims to have been born at Tottenham, but searching the British BMD index fails to turn up a James Carnac born in the UK that matches, never mind any born in Tottenham. James Henry Sproule Carnac  is listed but at a much earlier date and in a different district. The next James Carnac to be registered is James William Carnac  but he is born in 1891 and thus after the murders. In TAJTR Carnac reveals that he was 69 years old shortly before his death. He also claims that the murders took place between 40 and 42 years previously, thus giving us a birth date of around 1859 and 1861. Again, there are no births during this period bearing this name. Another major event in Carnac’s life is the death of his parents who died between 1877 and 1879 when he was nearly 18 years of age, but searching the British Death Registers fails to show any Carnac’s registered in the vicinity of Tottenham during this period.
Dr. Carnac, it is claimed, was James Carnac’s father and a doctor in the Tottenham district. Searches of the UK Medical Register failed to turn up any mention of a Carnac in any capacity in the medical profession. Searches of the UK Census collection failed to turn up any mention of James Carnac or his father. Searches of the 19th Century British Press failed to turn up any mention of James Carnac or his family. Searches of the Times Online Archives failed to turn up any mention of James Carnac or his family.
Dr Styles, it is claimed, ran a school which Carnac was sent to when he was 12 years old. He was religious and overbearing. Searching the UK Medical Register failed to turn up any Dr. Styles for the period in question. The 1899 edition did feature an Australian by the name of Arthur Styles Vallack but this gentleman did not gain his qualifications until 1893.  Searches of the British 19th Century Newspapers, Times Archives, and Historical Trade Directories failed to find a Dr. Styles at a school in Tottenham.
Mr. Pearson, it is claimed, taught Carnac on occasion at Dr. Styles School.
Dr. Sims, it is claimed was a doctor that operated in the same district as Dr. Carnac. There are numerous entries for “Sims” in the UK Medical Registers, 88 to be precise, but of these 88 several names appear over and over again and not one of them is registered as practicing in the district of Tottenham. The Times Archive found numerous Dr. Sims, but none working in Tottenham.
Dr. Norcote, it is claimed, was the father of both Julie and John Norcote and a doctor. Searches of the UK Medical Register fail to turn up any mention of a Norcote or any spelling variation which is odd given that John Norcote, it is claimed, is said to be partners with his father at their family run surgery.
Julie Norcote, it is claimed, met James Carnac in the early stages of 1888,
John Norcote, it is claimed is Dr. Norcote’s son and partner in the family run doctors surgery. There are no records of a Norcote in the UK Medical Registers.
Norcote family: Searching the entire United Kingdom Census collection reveals no such family as the Norcote’s. The Times Archives did reveal Norcote’s but none working in the medical profession.
Dr. Short, it is claimed, gave evidence after the death of James Carnac. Searching the UK Medical Register failed to find a Dr. Short practicing in the time frame suggested in the book, nor any bearing that name registered in the UK other than two New Zealand doctors … residing in New Zealand. The Times Archive did reveal a Dr. Short, but none giving evidence at any inquests pertaining to gas leaks and/or fires.
Mrs. Hamlett, it is claimed, was Carnac’s landlady who had a property “not far from Russell Square.” Searches of the British Death Registers failed to find a Hamlett who had died in the district. Searches of the Times Archives also failed to find a Mrs. Hamlett.
Minnie Wright, it is claimed, was Mrs. Hamlett’s maid. A search of the 1911 Census showed several people by the name of Minnie Wright, but none of them in the district suggested, none working for a Hamlett, and none in any property with a Carnac. Searches of the Times Archive failed to find a Minnie Wright.
Carnac claims that Tabram, or in his case Tabron, is the first true victim of Jack the Ripper. He describes how he met her and took her life, using the two knives, but the problem here is that he quotes from the press of the period, mentioning the autopsy reports by Drs Killeen and Phillips. Information that was readily available at the time and after. It is further claimed that the writer had press cuttings from the events. With this in mind it reads as though the writer has read the press cuttings and created their own story around them.
The murders of Nichols and Chapman follow, and Carnac claims that Chapman had a pet canary that was eaten by a cat. Nothing of this has ever been discussed before but I find it highly unlikely that she could afford a bird. Of Elizabeth Stride it is claimed that Carnac bought grapes from Matthew Packer. The issue of grapes has been debated for some years and will continue to be debated. The problem here is that Carnac gives a description of himself early in the book, and we know historically that Packer gave a description of the alleged murderer, but this doesn’t fit in with Carnac’s self description. Carnac then describes how he killed her, and how he was disturbed.
Eddowes is tackled next and again the known eyewitness statements do not match the events described. It does mention that the couple went into “a cul de sac” but other than that it does not match the known eyewitness accounts, and statements made by the police of the period who were patrolling the streets that night.
When Carnac tackles the murder of Mary Kelly is where a lot of falsehoods are discovered. Carnac claims that the room in the house where Mary Kelly resided was at the front of the property, but this is wrong. Millers Court was at the rear, not the front. He then claims that Kelly was flashy, her clothes were flashy and that she had face powder on. These descriptions do not match descriptions that were given at the time of Mary Kelly’s death. Carnac then claims that as he entered Kelly’s room, at the front, he noticed that the window was covered by a thin muslin curtain. We know from contemporary reports and photographs that Mary’s room had two windows, one of which was covered by an old coat, and the other appears to have a thick curtain hanging on the left hand side.  Carnac then claims that Kelly had a lamp which was lit but again we know of no lamp in the room, certainly none were mentioned in the reports of the period with the press discussing the fire and a penny candle as the only means of light available. Carnac also draws attention to the bed and claims that it was metal, but contemporary crime scene photos show the bed to be wooden in appearance, not metal with contemporary press reports backing this up. Carnac also claims that Mary Kelly had a mirror in her room, a fact that is not backed up by contemporary descriptions. A search of the British 19th Century press failed to turn up any mention of such a mirror. As did a search of the Times Archives. A search of the Casebook Press Reports also fails to turn up any mention of a mirror in Millers Court.
All in all as a piece of detective fiction it is a cracking read. It gives us an idea of the mentality of a murderer and suggests motives and themes for why the crimes was committed. As a genuine confession/autobiography it fails to connect tangible primary sources with the information it is trying to put across as the truth.
1 Born 1846, Lymington, Vol 8, Page 175
2 Born 1891, Windsor, Vol 2c, Page 442
3 1893 UK Medical Directory, Page 1756
4 See here http://wiki.casebook.org/index.php/Image:13MillersCourt1888.jpg
This morning I took delivery of the Amazon 3G Kindle, a beautiful piece of technology that will allow me to read and take delivery of new Ripper Kindle releases on the move!
The specs of the model are as follows,
Connectivity: Free 3G and Wi-Fi
The ability to download books directly onto the Kindle is a bonus and as many Ripper related titles are available on Kindle, and much cheaper than their print releases, I thought it a good idea to check out some titles. The following is a list of titles sent today to my Kindle:
Bloody London, Morgan, R.G
Dracula Meets Jack the Ripper and Other Revisionist Histories, Druxman, Michael B.
Inspector Frederick George Abberline and Jack the Ripper The Reality behind the Myth, Thurgood, Peter
Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum, Stevens, Mark
A Handbook for Attendants on the Insane: the autobiography of ‘Jack the Ripper’ as revealed to Clanash Farjeon, Farjeon, Clanash
In Miller’s Court, Andrew Hoffman
Jack the Ripper: The 1888 London East End Serial Killer, Ashley, James
Jack’s Place, steve kenning
Jack the Ripper - Through the Mists of Time, Hodgson, Peter
A Criminal Investigative Analysis of Jack The Ripper, Douglas, John
Dark Streets of Whitechapel (Jack the Ripper Mystery), Flowers, R. Barri
The Whitechapel Murder Mystery, Hamilton, RobI have also downloaded a number of free titles covering Jack the Ripper, Local History, Ghosts, Hauntings, and the Unexplained. I will be following this post with reviews of some of the Jack the Ripper Kindle titles that are available.
Every year around this time I always post a Year in Review, showing the books, magazines, articles, TV shows and research that other Ripperologists have done throughout the year, but this past year has seen so many changes and I have been so busy that I have not really kept up with the latest developments. Plus a major hard-drive explosion and the loss of several files didn’t help. Luckily much of the material was on pen-drives. So this year I thought I would write a year in review based on my research, rather than other peoples work, to show what has been done locally and nationally.
Sadly in early November I was back in hospital with my heart, investigations are ongoing, and hopefully next year the cardiologists will get to the bottom of it.
Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol I Robert D’Onston Stephenson 261,423 words over 362 pages
Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol II Frederick Bailey Deeming 207,113 words over 259 pages
Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol III 66,493 words over 101 pages
Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? - Newspapers From Hull 104,379 words over 133 pages
Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Murder of Mary Jane Langley 101,831 words over 136 pages
Frederick Bailey Deeming in the International Press 175,320 words over 200 pages
Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull 133,521 words over 217 pages
Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - The Press Perspective 31,256 words over 43 pages
Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - Paranormal Hull 108,087 words over 155 pages
Emily Dimmock Camden Town Murder Project 37,633 words over 35 pages
The History of the Dawber family in Hull 1700-2000 15,296 words over 31 pages
Untitled Fact vs Fiction Project 161,669 words over 165 pages
Thank you for a great year: