Author: D Michelle Gent
I must admit that I do like to occasionally purchase Paranormal Magazine. The publication is currently on its 57th issue and covers a wide range of phenomena and mysteries. In the past we have been treated to a number of articles by believers and sceptics alike, and covering a wide range of topics from cryptozoology to ufology, ghost, haunting’s, myths, and legends. The articles are always well written, well presented, and feature stunning, often full page, glossy photos. Despite this it is not a magazine I get as often as I would like.
This issue featured “Jack the Ripper” written across the front cover, and it was enough to gain my attention and purchase the publication. Despite having a bag of shopping I tried in vain to read the article on the way home, but with the wind, and bag of treats pulling down my arms, I opted to wait until I got home.
I was quiet surprised when I finally arrived home to read that the article that I assumed was to be an overview and/or discussion regarding the identity of the Whitechapel Murderer, was instead, nothing more than a plug for a fictional book written by D Michelle Gent, entitled, Cruel and Unusual.
The four page spread, featuring 2 large full page images and a page and half of text, features a short introduction to Gent’s work, and brief snippet from her new release. Despite being disappointed by the feature, I will be looking at getting hold of Gent’s work to read and review. Watch this space.
Michelle’s blog, http://deadlier-than-the-male.blogspot.com/
Ginger Nut Books, http://www.gingernutbooks.co.uk/
Paranormal Magazine Site, http://paranormalmagazine.co.uk/ (under construction)
http://www.barryanddistrictnews.co.uk/news/latestnews/8902557.Barry_film_maker_gives_hospice_a_helping_hand/Michael J Moore is currently working on his second and final graduation film about Detective Inspector Walter Dew, who was involved in the hunt for Jack the Ripper and who arrested Dr Hawley Crippen for the murder of Cora Crippen. Walter Dew was Mike’s great-great-great-great-grandfather’s cousin.
After making enquiries on Andre Price’s website, I was sent the following email from Mr. Price, who kindly accepted my requests to post it here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Price for getting back to me on some of the issues raised on my earlier blog post.
Dear Mike Covell,
Thank you for the query regarding the placement of Kelly’s intestines via email. It would have been nice if you had emailed me about ALL of these different issues before unfairly criticising and maligning me on your blog. I will now address the different criticisms that you raised.
a) The question of the Ripper’s identity.
Unlike many other documentaries, I deliberately chose not to spend most of the program discussing endless theories as to who Jack the Ripper may have been. The Whitechapel Killer was never caught and so a large part of Ripperology when it comes to theories and suspects is simply conjecture. I wanted to focus on the victims instead. Hence why the documentary ended at the Fifth victim’s grave. However it would have been remiss of Karen Fransden not to have at least asked me the question and I responded only briefly by highlighting some of the more comon theories. However, this is a very small part of the actual programme. Needless to say criticism would probably have been levelled at myself and Karen at Eerie Investigations if the question had not been asked at some point during the programme!
b) Murder Locations at odds with the victims.
In the documentary we visit three of the five murder sites, Hanbury Street (Second victim), Mitre Square (Forth victim) and what was formerly Dorset Street (Fifth victim). For logistical reasons as well as time constraints during filming we were unable to visit the site of the First murder at Durward Street (formerly Buck’s Row) or the Third murder at Berner Street (now renamed Henriques Street). For completeness sake I needed to describe these murders in the program, which I did at convenient locations. AT NO POINT during the documentary when speaking of the First and Third murders did I claim that we were standing on the ACTUAL murder sites of Mary Nichols and Elizabeth Stride. Durward Street (the site of the First murder) has changed tremendously since the days of Jack the Ripper and the site of the Third murder is now a Primary School and so unaccessible. Little value would have been gained from filming the brick school wall!
c) ‘Silly’ claim that insides were hanging from picture frames
Let me make it absolutely clear that I did not personally create the claim that the intestines were “hanging from picture frames like Christmas Decorations!”. The claim is mentioned in a number of different places. I simply quoted what’s often been regarded as a fact by many Ripperologists.
It is mentioned in the book “Jack the Ripper 100 Years of Investigation” by Terence Sharkey. P63 “Draped around the room from every picture rail the bloody entrails hung suspended like some awful yuletide decoration…He retched violently”.
Also in “Jack the Ripper, In Fact and Fiction” by Robin Odell. P85 “The whole room was described as looking like a slaughterhouse, and there were actually pieces of flesh hanging from the picture-nails in the walls.”
It is also mentioned online:
http://www.toughcases.net/ripper1.html “Besides his obvious butchery of this woman, he draped her intestines over a picture frame”
http://www.skcentral.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=353&rowstart=80 “Her entrails were hanging over a picture frame.”
You should also be cautious about taking Dr Thomas Bond’s word as gospel. In his report he claims “The body was lying naked in the middle of the bed” If you look closely at the photo taken of Mary Kelly lying on the bed at Miller’s Court it is clear that she is wearing some form of chemise.
d) Dispute over whether Thomas Bowyer was sick
I have no way of ultimately proving that Thomas Bowyer was sick, although a number of different authors including Terrence Starkey quoted above claims that he was, and confronted with such unexpected brutality on peering through the window, I do not feel it implausible that he did vomit.
e) Over enthusiasm, untruths and conjecture
I am a dedicated, qualified graduate historian, lecturer and guide. I have spent over twenty years researching the Jack the Ripper Murders. Yes I am very enthusiastic about my subject, but as far as I am aware that is not a crime! I especially resent the claim that I let the program “down by filling in the blanks with untruths and conjecture”. Such a statement is in my opinion unfair and unwarranted. Perhaps in future you should consider much more carefully what you write on your blog.
Mr Andre Price.
Last night I was informed that a documentary about Jack the Ripper was on Sky Channel 200, known as Controversial TV. The show, called Eerie Investigations featured Karen Frandsen, who also acted as a researcher on the show, interviewing Andre Price. The show, including advertisement breaks ran for just under 58 minutes.
The idea was to present a solid account of the lives of the victims without getting bogged down in the endless list of suspects, but despite this Price was asked on several occasions, “Who is Jack?” and on each occasion he gave a list of some of the more popular theories, from the Royal Conspiracy, to Druitt, and Sir William Gull.
The locations that the duo visited were at odds with the victims they were discussing. At one point they were talking about Bucks-row (Durward-street) whilst standing in what looked like the Court-street.
The show then became rather silly, with Price claiming that Mary Kelly’s insides where “hanging from picture frames like Christmas Decorations!” despite neither the Dr Thomas Bond and George Bagster Phillips noting such a display. Price then goes on to claim that when Thomas Bower discovered the body, he stepped back from the window and was sick. Luckily for us Bower gave his testimony to Inspector Abberline, who wrote down his statement which can be found at the London Metropolitan Archives, MJ/SPC, NE1888, Box 3, Case Paper 19.
The show had a really good idea, but sadly the over enthusiastic interviewee let it down by filling in the blanks with untruths and conjecture.
Eerie Investigations home page
Andre Price home page