Produced & Directed by Mark Duffield, of Demon House pictures, in 2017, 'Francis Thompson: Priest Poet Ripper' is currently in production. The documentary is about my theory that the English poet was the uncaught East End murderer, of 1888, Jack the Ripper. The film will present the theory, the author and the evidence to a strong solution of one of the world's greatest murder mysteries.
In November 2016, during week in which the Jack the Ripper Conference was held in London, I was interviewed on location and in the studio.
Film director, Duffield, is used to working on subjects that focus on the Victorian Era, as is shown in his 2012 film Demon. This gothic horror, set in the late 19th century, tells the tale of a young man cursed by a love that transforms him into a blood thirsty monster.
Duffield has gained praise for his work and his brilliant cinematography. To gain some idea of Duffield's skill, here is a link to a trailer for his award winning film.
With the documentary on me and my book, Mark intends to produce a work that is a matter of fact and objective examination my theory. Included in the documentary will be interviews with, the use of actors to re-create episodes of my suspect's life and to narrate his written work and the opinions of many well known figures in the Ripper field.
These include Mick Priestly who is considered an expert on the Ripper murders and whose new book, 'Jack the Ripper One Autumn in Whitechapel' has earned deserved praise. Also appearing is Amanda Lloyd, who is the administrator of the much sought after, Jack the Ripper Book of the Year award. Also a feature of the documentary will be an interview with Neil Storey. He was the Master of Ceremonies for the 2016 Ripper Conference. Storey is a consultant to TV, radio and film documentaries and dramas, and the author of more than 40 books on subjects ranging from Jack the Ripper, to the Battle of Britain. I would like to thank all these who consented to take part in the making of the film.
The film is still not complete, but Mark Duffield has already released two samples from it.
The first clip has me speaking at the front of the Providence Row night refuge. I explain how that Thompson was living there, during the time that Mary Kelly was murdered a few meters away, is significant to my theory.
The second shows the actor Jason Ryall reciting a poem by Thompson, written before the murders, in which he describes hunting down a 'corrupt' woman on the London streets and killing her. Ryall's performance was nuanced and very well paced, allowing the audience to see the meaning of Thompson's gruesome, 1886 poem, 'The Nightmare of the Witch Babies.'
Mark Duffield has long been interested in the Jack the Ripper mystery and knows the details of it very well. As we worked together in my part of the filming, I was impressed by his professionalism, courtesy and patience. I am sure that his documentary will prove fascinating viewing.
Well, congratulations on your film project, Mr. Patterson.
I see one error in your title, though. "Priest" would refer to someone who had been ordained as a Catholic priest, but I believe that Francis Thompson only attended seminary school, and did not complete his vocation, correct?
Do you think you might convince your film producer to delete this word from the title, since it isn't completely accurate? Try "Francis Thompson: Mystic, Poet, Ripper."
--------------- Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
Thank for the congratulations Pcdunn. I understand what you mean by the title and the use of the word Priest. Thompson never completed his seminary training and was not ordained. I think the Director choose to put the word in the title because, like poet, it is such a contrast to the Ripper. The film is Mark Duffield's project. My part in it is only that I was interviewed. I have no say in its production. You might wish to write to Duffield and advice him on correcting the title. I feel uncomfortable doing so because I want the documentary to be free of my interference in the creative process, to ensure it remains an unbiased account of the story.