They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper
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The iconoclastic writer and director of the revered classic Withnail & I—"The funniest British film of all time" (Esquire)—returns to London in a decade-long examination of the most provocative murder investigation in British history, and finally solves the identity of the killer known as "Jack the Ripper."
In a literary high-wire act reminiscent of both Hunter S. Thompson and Errol Morris, Bruce Robinson offers a radical reinterpretation of Jack the Ripper, contending that he was not the madman of common legend, but the vile manifestation of the Victorian Age's moral bankruptcy.
In exploring the case of Jack the Ripper, Robison goes beyond the who that has obsessed countless others and focuses on the why. He asserts that any "gentlemen" that walked above the fetid gutters of London, the nineteenth century's most depraved city, often harbored proclivities both violent and taboo—yearnings that went entirely unpunished, especially if he also bore royal connections. The story of Jack the Ripper hinges on accounts that were printed and distributed throughout history by the same murderous miscreants who frequented the East End of her Majesty's London, wiping the fetid muck from their boots when they once again reached the marble floors of society's finest homes.
Supported by primary sources and illustrated with 75 to 100 black and white photographs, this breathtaking work of cultural history dismisses the theories of previous "Ripperologists." A Robinson persuasively makes clear with his unique brilliance, The Ripper was far from a poor resident of Whitechapel . . . he was a way of life.
lies than Goulston Street. ‘Very numerous and searching enquiries have been made’, wrote Warren on 25 October 1888, explaining to his worthless little pal of a Home Secretary that ‘these have had no tangible results so far as regards the Whitechapel Murders, but information has been obtained which will no doubt be useful in future in detecting cases of crime’.4 So it all turned out rather well, then? This letter was written about a fortnight before a significant amount of Mary Kelly was carried
belief that the murderer is not of the class to which “Leather Apron” belongs, but is of the upper-classes of society’. This went down like a rock, and Winslow was virtually in a minority of one.37 Not so in the United States. With no predisposition to protect certain class interests, the American newspapers took a more inquisitive view. Interviewed by the New York Herald in early October, a physician called Dr Alan Hamilton demonstrated a remarkably modern understanding of the serial killer. In
was now obliged to include fingernails in his evidence – or, I hazard, Dr Bond might have wanted to know why he had not. Bro Phillips must thus dissemble, once again perverting the course of justice. ‘There were some marks on the abdomen which he didn’t mention before,’ he admitted at the 14 August inquest. The vicious stab to McKenzie’s vagina was presented as: ‘The small one was exceptional, which was typical of a finger-nail mark.’ Nothing specified, and nothing in context. The average punter
‘Y’, creating ‘Yack Ripper’. Thus we have Yubela, Yubelo, Yubelum and Yack. Postmarked 4 October 1888, this envelope is important because it reveals knowledge of the writing on the wall almost a week before the press got wind of it. The earliest significant mention of anything untoward at Goulston Street began to leak about 8 October – this, by way of example, from the Pall Mall Gazette: A startling fact has just come to light. After killing Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square, the murderer is
the original ‘Dear Boss’ came into the hands of Commissioner Henry Smith of the City Police, The Times commenting, ‘No doubt is entertained that the writer of both communications, who ever he may be, is the same person.’ That didn’t do a lot for The A to Z, and I can guarantee it didn’t do a lot for Warren. Twenty-four hours earlier he’d ruffled not a few feathers in the City, Smith being particularly sour after Warren’s failure to protect the writing on the wall. Irritability among the City