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 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