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Old 06-14-2008, 01:06 PM
kensei kensei is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 934
Default A Sherlock Holmes type appearance?

Of the handful of witnesses who probably or may have described Jack the Ripper, the most common description seems to have been of a man wearing a dark overcoat and a "deerstalker" or "peaked" cap. There are of course variations, such as a sailor-like cap or a salt-and-pepper colored coat. But with the nature of eyewitness testimony and the fact that these observations were made in brief moments at night with low light, might it be that all or most of the witnesses were in fact describing the same outfit, the clothes that Jack chose to wear when out searching for victims? Might it be that instead of the tophat and long cloak usually depicted in fiction (which no one really takes seriously), Jack actually presented a rather Sherlock Holmes-type silhouette as he skulked about the backstreets?

Then there is George Hutchinson's story, which I know many people dispute because it is just too detailed to be true for a quick observation. But playing devil's advocate here, IF his account of Astrakhan Man is true, it's always struck me that by that time, if the most wanted man in the world was still going to go out and do his thing, surely he would have altered his appearance. Hence the new heavily made-up look.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:54 PM
Ben Ben is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,024

if the most wanted man in the world was still going to go out and do his thing, surely he would have altered his appearance.
Not to the extent that he makes himself much more conspicuous, Kensei, especially not if press and public (and possibly police too) were already angling for the capture of a suspicious-looking foreigner with medical knowledge - a popular generic suspect-type that the "Mr. Astrakhan" amalgamation perfectly pandered to.

If the killer wore a deerstalker (as opposed to the single-peaked cap seen by other witnesses), it was probably the only point of similarity between Jack and Holmes, since the latter was rarely depicted as rough and shabby, or having a sailor-like appearance. If I were to single out a famous character from Victorian fiction for a possible physical/attire comparsion with Jack, I'd probably opt for someone more like Bill Sykes.

All the best!
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