The Little Book of Jack the Ripper by the Whitechapel Society (2015)
The Little Book of Jack the Ripper
by the Whitechapel Society
The History Press, 2015
More than a century after his heinous crimes, Jack the Ripper still demands an audience unparalleled by any other serial killer. The nature of the crimes, the identity of the murderer, and his ability to avoid detection all feed the interest of true-crime enthusiasts across the globe. Volumes upon volumes have been published, detailing each crime, examining each suspect. The latest offering from the Whitechapel Society is another entry into the large bibliography related to Jack the Ripper.
More than ten members of the Whitechapel Society contribute to The Little Book of Jack the Ripper, with five chapters dedicated to the victims and another two chapters focused on the suspects. Much of this information has been available in other publications, though recent research has contributed some new information. There is no mention of James Carnac, the supposed author of the 2013 The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, though other fairly recent suspects are included among the names.
One of the most interesting chapters in The Little Book of Jack the Ripper deals with the letters sent to the police and the press. Some of those letters were purportedly sent by the killer himself, though the veracity of their claims is dubious. Others were sent by well-meaning individuals, such as “A Country Doctor” who suggested the police round up “all cases of ‘homicidal mania’ which may have been discharged as ‘cured’ from metropolitan asylums.” Some of the writers, though well-intentioned, were downright unintelligent. One woman opined that the killer “may be a large animal of the Ape species belonging to some wild beast show.” Certainly entertaining to us today, but the original recipients of such letters must have been frustrated at the time wasted reading them.
The quality and organization of The Little Book of Jack the Ripper makes it a worthy addition to any true-crime or Ripper collection. The Whitechapel Society has done an excellent job with this publication.
Posted on March 13, 2015, in books, horror, reviews and tagged History Press, Jack the Ripper, serial killer, The Little Book of Jack the Ripper, The Whitechapel Society, true crime. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.