(XLIV A.S. by Gavin Baddeley & Paul Woods. Ian Allen Publishing. Genre: Crime, History)
The legend of Jack The Ripper explained!
I have had the pleasure of receiving this wonderful book recently, and it has been an enriching experience throughout. Theories by various Ripperologists range from an archetype arising in a repressive time representing stifled libidos in the Victorian era, to several killers collectively comprising the phantom, to certain interesting individuals shrouded in mystery...
The pages open to a gloomy world of both exquisite beauty and memorable ugliness, sometimes melting into one intoxicating dreadful vision. Dare to walk the cobblestone streets with The Ripper!
Gored By Gaslight
The year is 1888... several chilly, Autumn nights will resonate into timelessness, as bloody as the birth of this character and his grotesque exploits...
The first chapter relates the actual case history of the murders which spawned the legend in all of its bloody reality, setting the tone neath flickering gas lamps as a shadow nears an unsuspecting denizen of East End London who never thought The Grim Reaper would come calling on her this night. He would soon strike again.
Penny Dreadfuls and Tupenny Bloods
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
The mystery spreads by macabre pages rustling in the shadows. The emergence of various street publications which appeared to capitalize on the crimes, the paranoia they spread, plays, films, music inspired, and the delicious fears engendered in the populace. The amusing tabloids of the day.
The nightmare comes alive...
The archetypal composite of the phantom in the fog developed through urban legend, including a patchwork of attributes integrated, inspired by other preceding crimes, which in turn inspired subsequent cases. Also Includes tales of the zoomorphic Spring heeled Jack, parallels with Dracula, werewolves, even Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, and their relation to JTR.
Tales which have arisen from the legend, contributing to the urban mythology therefrom, from the probably feasible to the utterly fantastic, where the lines between fantasy and reality are obscured by the glow of the firelight.
The Double Event
It always happens in multiples....
Compelling parallels made with copycat killers both in America and overseas. Features several gruesome descriptions of evisceration, cannibalism, and comparisons with various other more contemporary criminals including The Hillside Stranglers, Charles Ng, The (French) Ripper of The Southeast, and others.
Explores the psycho-sexual underpinnings of the oppressive social climate of the time, organizations reminiscent of the PMRC, which arose to stifle carnality. Yet the flesh wills out every time, fetishistically related by some of the rather ingenious methods of expression by indulgent libertines.
Abstinence breeds frustration. Frustration breeds resentment. Resentment breeds anger. Anger breeds violence or desperate depression colored in the source of twisted desire.
The psychology of the killer. The history of those professional and amateur sleuths devoted to the case, agreeing and disagreeing with each other, creating a niche in some fascinating conspiracy theorems, and variations on hypotheses, examining certain suspects such as one Walter Sickert.
Also features a visit to Madame Tussaud's infamous Wax Museum, and Comparisons with various other murderers are examined, in both modus operandi and motivating factors.
Cutthroat Conspiracies and Royal Rippers
Could The Ripper have been a member of royalty? Stemming from the previous chapter, suspicions unsurprisingly developed to include the aristocracy.
Central Casting Seeks Ripper Victims: Only Those With Own Teeth Need Apply
In the gloom of this ornate auditorium, the silhouettes prepare of an evening of chills and thrills, as they explore their own shadow sides.... please take your seat...
Begins with a poignant scenario setting the atmosphere for a plethora of relative plays, literature, artistry, the proprietors, and their psychological analysis, sometimes leading to a suspect, sometimes leading to a plunge into the dark subconscious where all is possible, yet few are those who cross the threshold into materializing their nightmares and dreams, and where one may sometimes become the other.
I Rave; and I Rape, and I Rip, and I Rend: The Occult Ripper
My favorite chapter in this tome. Was The Ripper a Black Magician? Were the corpses of his victims actually sacrifices, arranged in a mystical configuration? These questions and more are discussed in this thrilling chapter.
Herein is related supposed occult and Masonic connections and theories on The Ripper postulated by various Occultists including Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi, Madame Blavatsky; even Magus LaVey is briefly discussed, and his Curse on the vile hippie bowel movement successfully eradicated by the Manson Family murders, essentially killing two two birds with one stone, as it were.*
Ripping The Silver Screen
Cue the cinematograph, the presentation is about to begin...
Accentuating a previous chapter on show business multimedia arising from the legend, this chapter concentrates primarily on the history of cinematic adaptations and variations of same, from horror to erotica, providing most entertaining resources for enjoyment in ones darkened lair. From the atmospheric creations of Alfred Hitchcock, to the Gothic Horror of Hammer Films, to slasher flicks like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and many others.
A Pestilence of Rippers
Enhancing and greatly expounding on The Double Event chapter, many other intriguing cases are highlighted the world over in which the perpetrators have been labeled as Rippers by the police and the media.
In this grim gallery of rogues, covered are The Dusseldorf Ripper, The Ripper of The Blitz, Jack The Stripper (who preferred strippers), The Rostov Ripper, The Camden Ripper, The Ipswich Ripper, and The White Chapel Murderer (a modern day revisitation). All with their own particular peculiarities.
Your Own Personal Jack The Ripper
...someone to hear you scream, to watch you bleed...
This is quite a treat. This chapter is like beneficially sitting in on elucidating conversations between Criminologists Professor Laurence Allison and Jon Ogan in a study, perhaps enjoying a pipe and a bit of cherry, whiskey, or tea, as they chat about suspects Montague John Druitt, Aaron Kosminski, George Chapman, Joseph Barnett, Dr. Francis Tumblety, William Bury, James Maybrick, Carl Feigenbaum, and "Walter"...
Additionally, explicit case photos of the victims are included, as well as the tourist attractions, relics, and the lurid illustrations from periodicals to enhance speculation and historical elucidation. Also considerately includes relevant cross referencing, select bibliography for further study, and an extensive index. The book itself is as aesthetically elegant as the subject studied, with the authors providing sharp wit, a delightfully grim, gorily detailed, morbidly descriptive, and thorough writing style in which to assure the reader a most rewarding contemplation on this intriguing and infamous personage.
In My estimation, Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper makes for valuable resource material for law enforcement officials and criminology students alike, and otherwise those who appreciate the true crime genre.
Overall, one thing is certain. The sinisterly sanguine legend has spawned a plethora of multimedia materializations tantalizing the imagination, many darksome entertainments, whether or not the case is ever solved. The looming specter of Jack The Ripper will remain a fascination, and continue to haunt the brains and sinews of those whose fears he has gained.
* Of note: The Devil's Histories series will subsequently feature none other than Magus Anton Szandor LaVey as the subject!