Archives, Books, E-Books, Events, Hull Press, Libraries, Movies, National Press, Podcast, Research, Ripper Fiction, Ripper Non-Fiction, TV/Documentaries, bloggs 1 Comment »

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. 
Show three featured a similar virtual tour around some of the pubs a little further afield.

To listen to the shows simply visit:










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 amazinghulltours@hotmail.com



A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper

Books, E-Books, Events, Movies 3 Comments »

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

Books, E-Books, Events, Opinion, Ripper Fiction, Ripper Non-Fiction, TV/Documentaries 5 Comments »

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.

The Mystery Behind Jack the Ripper – Serial Killer – Vickie Britton – Kindle Review.

Books, E-Books, Opinion 3 Comments »

  Format: Kindle Edition

  File Size: 90 KB

  Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

  Language English

  ASIN: B006Y0CMO2

  Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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.

iMinds: Crime, War and Conflict: Jack the Ripper (Audio) – Kindle Review

Books, E-Books, Opinion No Comments »

  Audio Download

  Listening Length: 8 minutes

  Program Type: Audiobook

  Version: Unabridged

  Publisher: iMinds

  Audible Release Date: 30 Oct 2009

  Language: English


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!

iMinds: Crime, War and Conflict: Jack the Ripper (Text) – Kindle Review

Books, E-Books, Opinion No Comments »

  Format: Kindle Edition

  File Size: 33 KB

  Publisher: iMinds (31 Jan 2010)

  Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

  Language English

  ASIN: B0036Z9ZV6

  Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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- Kindle Review

E-Books No Comments »

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.

  Language English

  ASIN: B0071DERJ4

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
• The Whitechapel Murders
• Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols (murder victim of Jack the Ripper)
• Annie Chapman (murder victim of Jack the Ripper)
• Elizabeth Stride (murder victim of Jack the Ripper)
• Catherine Eddowes (murder victim of Jack the Ripper)
• Mary Jane Kelley (murder victim of Jack the Ripper)
• The Whitehall Mystery (an unsolved murder, assumed to have been
committed after Jack the Ripper stopped his killing spree)
• Jack the Ripper Suspects (including some unlikely ones, such as Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland; and the Duke of Clarence (a grandson of Queen Victoria)
• Jack the Ripper in Fiction
• The “From Hell” Letter, widely regarded as from Jack the Ripper. It was delivered with a human kidney.
• The “Saucy Jacky” postcard
• The “Dear Boss” Letter
• The Openshaw Letter / Biography of Dr. Thomas Openshaw
• The Goulston Street Graffito
• Police Commissioner Thomas Arnold
• Detective Chief Inspector Walter Dew
• Frederick George Abberline
• Sir Robert Anderson, KCB
• General Sir Charles Warren, Commissioner of Police
• Donald Swanson, Chief Inspector
• George Godley
• Whitechapel, Then and Now
• Jack the Ripper, The Final Solution, by Stephen Knight (1976 book)

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!

The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper- Review

E-Books, Opinion 7 Comments »

Ripper Books – Kindle – Reviews

The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, James Carnac, Kindle Review

  Pages: 320

  Publisher: Bantam Press (19 Jan 2012)

  Language English

  ISBN-10: 0593068203

  ISBN-13: 978-0593068205

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 [1] is listed but at a much earlier date and in a different district.  The next James Carnac to be registered is James William Carnac [2] 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. [3]  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.  

The murders.

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. [4] 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

Jack and the Kindle

E-Books, Opinion 2 Comments »

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
Content: Books, newspapers, magazines, audio books, games, docs
Display: 6″ E Ink Pearl
Battery Life: Up to 2 months
Storage: Up to 3,500 Books or 4 GB
Dimensions: 190 mm x 123 mm x 8.5 mm
Weight: 247 grams

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.

Year in Review 2011

Archives, Books, Deeming, E-Books, Events, Hull Press, Jack the Ripper Doc's, Libraries, National Press, Opinion, Podcast, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family, TV/Documentaries, Theories No Comments »

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.

In January I was cast head first into the world of Frederick Bailey Deeming when it was revealed that a skull had turned up in Australia and was possibly his.  The find caused mush debate and discussion and was covered in blogs, newspaper reports, and even made its way onto TV.  At the time I was fortunate enough to have quiet a large collection of newspaper articles that showed the passage of Deeming’s skull, from the hanging in 1892, it being buried, dug up, allegedly stolen and through various hands of ownership.  It has to be the most talked about skull in Australian history, second only to Ned Kelly, and I am pleased to say that the skull turned out to be that of Ned Kelly’s and not Deeming as previously thought.  The case did mean that several members of the Deeming family came forward, and I certainly got a lot of messages and emails from people wishing to know more.

February saw me visiting Hedon and Preston in search of material for a book and articles on the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  Mary Jane was murdered in 1891 and at the time Frederick Bailey Deeming had just been released from Hull Prison.  His name actually came to light in relation to the investigation in 1892 when Deeming’s links to Hull and Yorkshire were explored in both the Hull and Beverley press and so it would only be a matter of time that I explored the case.  What was weird about this, is that some of the descendents of Mary had actually previously been in touch and mentioned the case to me, and asked if I knew anything, so it was lovely to be able to send them material and news every time I researched Mary and her family and to be able to answer some of the question and queries they had regarding the case.

March saw a trip to Beverley’s East Riding Archives, where I secured newspaper cuttings on Frederick Bailey Deeming and his frauds in 1890/1891, and the Rainhill and Windsor Murders of 1891/1892.  I also visited several locations associated with Deeming, and Helen Matheson and her family and secured interviews and photos of some of the locations.

April saw the discovery of Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes.  These proved invaluable as it put a price on the manhunt for Deeming after his frauds in 1890 in Hull.  Many of the books and publications mention Deeming in relation to Hull in only a passing manner, many of which erroneously state that he was married in Hull, and stayed at the Station Hotel in Beverley.  The Hull Watch Committee Minutes are a great find as they finally reveal how much was spent on following Deeming to Southhampton and Monte Video, and then returning him to Hull.  With this information I was able to find shipping manifests that showed Deeming on board with Detective Grassby of the Hull Police as well as several other documents that were created at the time and show the events that transpired.

May was filled with another Deeming related file. The Hull Watch Committee Minutes books also helped me discover the massive Hull Trial File, which is packed with primary sources from his time in Hull, and features letters, telegrams, and eyewitness statements.  It also made me realize that as well as Deeming and his alias Lawson, I should be aware that sometimes the authorities get it wrong and can often misspell names!  It also saw an exciting visit to the Hull Prison Exhibition which was fascinating.

June saw some newspaper based research, tackling Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson from a different angle and helping me uncover 40 new articles associated with them, their lives in Hull, and the people whose lives they affected.  It also saw me get my hands on another Frederick Bailey Deeming file, the Home Office Files.  These featured 43 pages filled with material on Deeming and his life and the legal wranglings that were going on over his arrest in Monte Video.  This year I visited Whitby with my wife and took in the Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker/Dracula locations.  I also managed to obtain several books on the duo, including one that links Stoker to the murders!  Stoker, it is claimed, was inspired by the Ripper Murders and stated so in an Icelandic Edition of Dracula.

July saw some research trips to the East Riding Archives in Beverley where I uncovered material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson, Frederick Bailey Deeming, and the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  I was also back in the Hull History Centre and found yet another file on Deeming, this time it was in the Hull Watch Files and covered Thomas Reynoldson and his quest for justice against Deeming.  Also at the Hull History Centre I found several reports on Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes, and Hull Finances Committee Minutes.  At the Hull Reference Library I discovered information pertaining to the ships that Thomas Sadler had sailed on.  This month saw the discovery that Deeming had been discussed in the House of Commons, and that police officers were sent to Australia from Scotland Yard, and asked to help with the Rainhill Murders.  Despite these snippets being mentioned in the local and national press to date there have been no files that cast any light on who went and why.

August was the month of Mary Jane Langley, with my article appeared in Ripperologist Magazine, on my blog, and the case attracting attention in the local media.  It also gave me a chance to finally meet Mary Jane’s descendants in a rather touching moment at her graveside.  This month some some material on Annie Deary/Stephenson surface.  I had been researching the events leading up to and surrounding her death and not only traced the location, but several other primary sources from the period.  I also managed to secure a photo of the building in which she died.  David Knott had found Annie Stephenson’s death certificate some years ago, and from the information contained within I was able to search the logs that were written when Annie died.  They proved quiet interesting and showed what she was up to in the latter years of her life in Lincolnshire.  August was also the annual Heritage Open Days and I once again visited the Customs House in Hull, filming and taking photos of the visit.

September saw a visit to London for material on both Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  I had the pleasure of visiting the British Library and searching numerous books, periodicals and correspondence and came away with pages and pages of new material.  These included material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Grant Richards, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Theosophy, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Workhouse, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Betty May’s Tiger Woman, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Highgate Hill Infirmary, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Islington Board of Guardians,   It was a lovely trip and I also had time to visit the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  This month also saw some fascinating finds on Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s Religion that I posted on jtrforums.com.  Sadly the registers never had him down as a Black Magician!  Despite this numerous books have been released since that still claim he was a black magician!

October was devoted to researching some paranormal material that I had been working on for some time. I was able to secure interviews with key witnesses and appeared on West Hull Radio to discuss some of my research.

November began with an appearance on BBC Radio Humberside discussing the Central Library Lecture.  The interview went really well, and the lecture at the library was packed out.  I also met and spoke to a number of people that helped with my research, and got more bookings for 2012!

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.

Other projects:
This year has seen Jack the Blogger, in Ripperologist Magazine, go from strength to strength, sadly the computer outage has stopped me for a while, but the column will be back in 2012 bigger and better than ever.  I cannot thank the gang at Ripperologist enough for their ongoing support.
The year also saw some new lectures at both the Hull History Centre and the Hull Central Library, both of which were well filled with every seat taken and great fun.  I have more lectures booked into 2012 so it should prove to be another good year.  I do not charge for any of my lectures and my time is free.
This year also saw me meeting with a film production crew making a documentary on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  Hopefully the show will air soon so I can discuss the matter in detail.  All that I can say it that it was great fun and the team that I had the pleasure of working with were all a lovely bunch and it was nice to have them in Hull and show them the sights.
I have also been approached about other possible future projects but cannot divulge what they are!!!
The books
This year has seen a number of developments with the writing projects, and a number of fantastic names are on board to write the forewords of some of the titles.  The first quarter of the year was devoted to the writing and research on the Mary Jane Langley project, which was a by product of the work on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  The same occurred with the Deeming newspaper book, and the Dawber history book which was created when editing the Robert D’Onston Stephenson book.
The decision to split the paranormal book into three was made when it was discovered that at its present phase it was just too big, so it was split into three.  Earlier this year a lot of the material was lost when a computer outage took over 100 pages of work, luckily I still had the research so it is being typed up again.

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:
All the staff at Hull City Council’s Hull History Centre, including the Local Studies and Archives.  All the staff at Hull’s Central Library, Reference Library and Holderness road Library for putting up with me.  All the staff at Hull Museums and the staff at the East Riding Archives in Beverley. Rob Nicholson of Her Majesty’s Prison, Hull.  Adam Wood and Chris George at Ripperologist.  Howard and Nina Brown at Jtrforums.com.  Ray from the Hedon Blog, All the staff at the Nags Head, Preston, the staff at the Hedon Museum, All the staff at the British Library, British Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, for putting up with my emails and requests and for providing a brilliant service.  And a thank you to all my Facebook and Twitter friends that have supported me through what has been a tough year.  Here is to 2012!!

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