Jack the Ripper - Year in Review 2013

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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
Editorial-For Better Or Worse—-Adam Wood
Guy Logan Vs. Jack The Ripper—-Jan Bondeson
The Fifth Victim; Hand Of A Woman?- Jennifer Shelden
Her Final Days (Catherine Eddowes)–Lynn Cates
A German Policewoman In London–Michaela Koristova
Henri D.T. Lautrec– Greg Alexander
Hunt The Ripper— Colin Saysell
The Men Who Would Be Jack ( The Provincials)–Nina & Howard Brown
Chris Scott’s Press Trawl
Spitalfields Life– The Gentle Author
Victorian Fiction : An Alpine Divorce–Robert Barr

Issue 133 August
Editorial- The Art Of Staying Lucky- Gareth Williams
The Last Breath Of Mary Kelly :The Life Of Sarah
Lewis ( 1865-1941)——-Chris Scott
In The Ripper’s Shadow : The Whitehall Mystery-
-Rob Clack
One Lone Maniac Too Many ( Part Two)–Simon Wood
Francis Tumblety & Yellow Journalism–Mike Hawley
Murder At The Cafe Royal– Jan Bondeson
The Men Who Would Be Jack ( Another Whitechapel
Murderer )–Nina & Howard Brown
Chris Scott’s Press Trawl
Spitalfield’s Life- The Gentle Author
Victorian Fiction– The Sea Raiders- H. G. Wells

Issue 132 June
Editorial : The Daughters Of Shiloh–Eduardo Zinna
Charles Albert Cadosch And His Family- Colin Macdonald
One Lone Maniac Too Many( Part One )- Simon Wood
Mystery At Mr. Cooke’s School of Anatomy - Jan Bondeson
The Men Who Would Be Jack (The Seamen )- Nina & Howard
Trevor Marriott’s The Evil Within- Mark Ripper
Chris Scott’s Press Trawl
Spitalfields Life- The Gentle Author
Obituary- Jess Franco
The Conclusion of Glen Bledsoe’s The Truth
Victorian Fiction : Glamr- Sabine Baring Gould

Issue 131 April
Editorial : If You Have No Daughters, Give Them To Your Sons– Adam Wood
Nature’s Warning Signals- J. Hunt Schooling
Leather Apron : A Persistent Rumour- Lynn Cates
The Mountie And The Cabman’s Shelter– Paul Williams
Evaluating The Suspects– Jennifer Shelden
Chopper Gamble And The Islington Child Outrages–Jan
The Men Who Would Be Jack ( An American Suspect )–
Nina And Howard Brown
Chris Scott’s Press Trawl
Spitalfields Life- The Gentle Author
Obituary- Elsbeth Bothe
Glen Bledsoe’s the Truth
Victorian Fiction- Cheating The Gallows-Israel Zangwill

Issue 130 February
Editorial : Quarter, Half, And Whole– Adam Wood
David Cohen : Talking Points of A Storyline–Scott Nelson
Whitechapel’s Wax Chamber of Horrors, 1888– Mike Hawley
The Village Bobby- Pauline Morgan
The Men Who Would Be Ripper ( Hall Of Shame : the Frank Hall Story)– Nina And Howard Brown
Ripper Fiction–Jack The Ripper Through The Mists Of Time–
Peter Hodgson
Chris Scott’s Press Trawl
Amazing Dogs- Jan Bondeson
Spitalfields Life- The Gentle Author
Glen Bledsoe’s The Truth
Victorian Fiction : Man Overboard !- Winston Spencer Churchill

In my opinion, the two finest articles of the year where:

The Fifth Victim; Hand Of A Woman?- Jennifer Shelden
Trevor Marriott’s The Evil Within- Mark Ripper

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,

Ripper Street:

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:

Murder Casebook:

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.

Inside Broadmoor:

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. 

Four Rooms:

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.

Jack the Ripper At Last? - Review

Books 3 Comments »

At Last….

George Chapman, the notorious “Southwark Poisoner” has deserved a decent book about his life and crimes for years, if not for him, but for the victims he killed and the trail of destruction he left behind. There are other Chapman books on the market, but what sets this one apart is the attention to detail and dissection of every aspect of Chapman’s life, crimes, and representation in the media. It doesn’t regurgitate the old myths surrounding him either, it takes these and demolishes them.

The book is split into six sections, covering topics such as his life, crimes, investigation and execution, motive, myths, and whether or not he was, or even deserved to be called “Jack the Ripper.” Furthermore, each part is split even further into decent bite size chunks for the reader to dip into and devour.

What I found most interesting about the book is the way Chapman is presented. He is not given to us as a continent hopping multiple murderer, but instead as a man who worked his way through life, encountering women, poison, and the ultimately the noose.
The chapter regarding the stories and myths surrounding his life was fascinating, and I was amazed at the number of stories and myths surrounding him, stories that seem to be commonly accepted facts. Helena takes these stories and shows them to be falsehoods by placing them alongside contemporary historical sources.

The chapter regarding his candidacy as “Jack the Ripper” appealed to me most, being a Ripperologist, and I was fascinated by the 15 points set out against Chapman as Ripper. Helena takes these points and discusses them against contemporary historical sources, presenting a fair and balanced argument for her theories.

The overall presentation of the book is outstanding,(hardback edition) from its sleek design, photographic glossy paper, and lavish silk page mark. It is also well researched, well presented, and thoroughly referenced throughout.

The book will appeal to those with an interest in true crime, criminal history, and anyone, like me, with an interest in “Jack the Ripper.”

Jack the Ripper At Last is available from  Hastings Press at the following website: http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/

Full details on the price, postage etc, can be found on the dedicated page to the book:  http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html

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