A New York Times Bestseller Between August and November 1888, at least seven women were murdered in London's Whitechapel district. The gruesome nature of their deaths caused panic and fear in the East End for months, and gave rise to the sobriquet that was to become shorthand for a serial killer -- Jack the Ripper. For over a hundred years the ...
A New York Times Bestseller Between August and November 1888, at least seven women were murdered in London's Whitechapel district. The gruesome nature of their deaths caused panic and fear in the East End for months, and gave rise to the sobriquet that was to become shorthand for a serial killer -- Jack the Ripper. For over a hundred years the murders have remained among the world's greatest unsolved crimes, and a wealth of theories have been posited which have pointed the finger royalty, a barber, a doctor, a woman and an artist. By applying her formidable range of forensic and technical skills, Patricia Cornwell presents us with the hard evidence that the perpetrator was the world-famous artist Walter Sickert. Using techniques unknown in the late-Victorian age, Cornwell exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters. She also examines how his birth defects, genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing become a casebook example of ho a psychopathic killer is created.
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One of the best books yet written on Jack the ripper.
Jan 15, 2009
far from a case closed
The Whitechapel murders intrigue us because they were particularly brutal, occured on city streets, and because they remain unsolved. Ms. Cromwell settles on a particular suspect, and links him through DNA evidence and "profiling" to the crimes. (I will not spoil the book by naming her suspect.) In doing so, she chooses to brush quickly past the fact that her supect was out of the country at the time of the crimes. Her DNA evidence is based on certain infamous "ripper letters," although the police at the time, like modern experts, considered all of these letters hoaxes. Her profiling is flawed because much of what she says about her suspect is simply not true. A fascinating case, but there are many better books on the subject.
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