Synopses & Reviews
The name 'Jack the Ripper' is instantly recognised throughout the world, yet many people probably don't know that the famous nickname first appeared in a letter or that this was where the whole legend of Jack the Ripper really began. Addressed to 'Dear Boss' and dramatically written in red ink, it claimed to be from the killer and was signed 'Yours truly, Jack the Ripper'. The letters teased the efforts of the police to catch the killer and predicted further murders; many were apparently smeared with blood and one even arrived with a piece of human kidney - allegedly from one of the victims' mutilated bodies. The authors are the first to have read, examined and photographed every letter. Woven into the letters is the complete story of the Whitechapel murders, tracing the hysteria and misconceptions which dogged both the police and Fleet Street during 1888-9 and providing valuable and revealing insights into the Victorian psyche at the time. An original and responsible look at a case which has been hackneyed by so many authors, the story of the Ripper letters ends by posing a controversial question: was 'Jack the Ripper' merely a press invention?
Between August and November 1888, 6 prostitutes were found mutilated in Whitechapel in the east end of London. The murders provoked massive interest in the press, and dozens of letters appeared, all of which claimed to have been written by the killer.
This is the first publication of the 208 surviving letters, all allegedly from the killer with all the key letters reproduced for the first time in colour. It will allow the reader to solve the Ripper mystery by comparing handwriting.