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  • Why are you drawn to the case?

    What is it about the Whitechapel case that so appeals to you? Is it a desire to unmask the killer? Unearth information relating to the victims? Uncovering a grand conspiracy that has been hidden all these years or just a general interest in History? Maybe the sense of community on this site?

    I think for me its a particular interest in time period and history in general, combined with a bit of a childhood fascination with the case and the fact I used to live in the area a few years back.

    How about you? Would love to hear some replies!

    Tristan
    Best Regards,

    Tristan

  • #2
    Hmmmmmm!

    I too have wondered to myself about the source of my fascination with this case.

    For me, I think it is to do with my childhood obsession with Agatha Christie novels.

    I grew up thinking that all mysteries had a nice, neat and ingenious solution.

    It was a bit of a revelation to me when the centenary hit in 1988 and at 12 years old, I learned of this huge, famous, intricate UNSOLVED case.

    It irked me that we didn't know who was responsible, and it has left a stone in my shoe ever since.

    The more I read about the case, the more interested I became in it's backdrop; London in the LVP ,as well as the lives of the victims and suspects, the history of the police force, the political climate of the time etc.

    That stone is still there though, and I would be eternally grateful if someone would remove it!




    Comment


    • #3
      My gt gt grandmother,Mary Ann Jane Ellett died (suicide ) in the east end in 1888 the coroner was Macdonald. A google search of any of those details always leads to an entry for Jack the Ripper. My ancestors lived in Thomas street Whitechapel some were baptised in Christchurch Spitalfields and others at Saint Leonards Shoreditch another had a pub in Fieldgate street .This site gives me an insight into the times and places they lived in and for all I know one of them may have known the ripper or have unknowingly walked past him one day

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by magoo View Post
        My gt gt grandmother,Mary Ann Jane Ellett died (suicide ) in the east end in 1888 the coroner was Macdonald. A google search of any of those details always leads to an entry for Jack the Ripper. My ancestors lived in Thomas street Whitechapel some were baptised in Christchurch Spitalfields and others at Saint Leonards Shoreditch another had a pub in Fieldgate street .This site gives me an insight into the times and places they lived in and for all I know one of them may have known the ripper or have unknowingly walked past him one day
        Pretty much the same for me, Magoo.

        My maternal grandmother was born in Breezers Hill in 1896. Her sister attended Berner Street school. She (my grandmother) married a man who, as a child between March, 1888 and December, 1890, had lived in George Yard Buildings and then, after his father died in the Whitechapel Infirmary, moved to nearby Angel Alley. When they married, she was living in Pinchin Street and he was living in Mary Ann Street.

        On my dad’s side, my Barnett ancestors were horse slaughterers who lived and worked in and around Winthrop Street (then Little North Street) from 1810 to 1860, and who later worked for Harrison, Barber in Islington.

        There’s lots more...

        I read Stephen Knight’s book when it first came out and for a while I was very interested in the case, but eventually that waned - until I started doing family research and kept finding myself on Casebook. At first I thought, ‘What a bunch of weirdos!’ but I was gradually drawn into the mystery of the case and even more so became fascinated by its context - the abyss of the late Victorian East End.



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        • #5
          That's really interesting Magoo / Mr Barnett.

          I always find it fascinating when people reveal a personal connection to the case.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unlike Gary and Magoo I have no link to the East End. I’m from Catherine Eddowes/ William Bury territory though, so maybe one of my ancestors knew one of them? Yeah, probably not.

            I was first introduced to the case by reading the same book that introduced Colin Wilson to the case. The Fifty Most Amazing True Crimes Ed. Parrish and Crossland ( I think that’s the title but I’m not at home at the moment) which had a chapter on the Ripper. It belonged to a Great Aunt and I was hoping that she’d let me have it but a family rift put an end to that. Years later I bought a copy which I still have. I then went to WH Smith to see if they had anything on the case. They had two books but I could only afford one so I bought Summing Up And Verdict by Wilson and Odell. A couple of weeks later I returned with the money for the other which was Knight’s Final Solution. Brilliant story....case solved! Not quite. I just grew more and more interest in the different theories and how people interpreted the same evidence differently. Being a Sherlock Holmes fan the era held a certain magic for me but I was reminded that it wasn’t all rosy-cheeked ladies of the night saying “hello dearie” and chirpy cockney costers tipping their caps and saying “Gor blimey guv’nor.” I had a period where I was buying new books on the case every week (including pamphlets, facsimiles and magazines.) I only buy certain books now.
            Regards

            Herlock



            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
              Unlike Gary and Magoo I have no link to the East End. I’m from Catherine Eddowes/ William Bury territory though, so maybe one of my ancestors knew one of them? Yeah, probably not.

              I was first introduced to the case by reading the same book that introduced Colin Wilson to the case. The Fifty Most Amazing True Crimes Ed. Parrish and Crossland ( I think that’s the title but I’m not at home at the moment) which had a chapter on the Ripper. It belonged to a Great Aunt and I was hoping that she’d let me have it but a family rift put an end to that. Years later I bought a copy which I still have. I then went to WH Smith to see if they had anything on the case. They had two books but I could only afford one so I bought Summing Up And Verdict by Wilson and Odell. A couple of weeks later I returned with the money for the other which was Knight’s Final Solution. Brilliant story....case solved! Not quite. I just grew more and more interest in the different theories and how people interpreted the same evidence differently. Being a Sherlock Holmes fan the era held a certain magic for me but I was reminded that it wasn’t all rosy-cheeked ladies of the night saying “hello dearie” and chirpy cockney costers tipping their caps and saying “Gor blimey guv’nor.” I had a period where I was buying new books on the case every week (including pamphlets, facsimiles and magazines.) I only buy certain books now.
              Interesting, Herlock.

              I have many books on the subject, but "Summing Up & Verdict" seems to have passed me by.

              Is it any good?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

                Interesting, Herlock.

                I have many books on the subject, but "Summing Up & Verdict" seems to have passed me by.

                Is it any good?
                I enjoyed it at the time as a good introduction to the case. It’s been years since I read it though. There are so many books being churned out these days that you could spend every bit of spare cash on them. Some of them are awful but we do get some worthwhile ones (Jacob the Ripper and The Escape...for eg). I’ve got around 320 or so but I think that I only bought 3 or 4 last year. I’ll get Fisherman’s book but I don’t know of any others on the horizon? I’ve been buying a few historical true crime books recently, all reasonably priced. Plus there’s a new one on the Wallace case out on Wednesday which I pre-ordered.
                Regards

                Herlock



                Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                  I enjoyed it at the time as a good introduction to the case. It’s been years since I read it though. There are so many books being churned out these days that you could spend every bit of spare cash on them. Some of them are awful but we do get some worthwhile ones (Jacob the Ripper and The Escape...for eg). I’ve got around 320 or so but I think that I only bought 3 or 4 last year. I’ll get Fisherman’s book but I don’t know of any others on the horizon? I’ve been buying a few historical true crime books recently, all reasonably priced. Plus there’s a new one on the Wallace case out on Wednesday which I pre-ordered.
                  Ahhh! Yes!

                  I've been meaning to give Jacob the Ripper a go.

                  I'm very much looking forward to Fisherman's book too!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I was about 10 or 11, a family friend died and left me some boxes of old books. My father, in his wisdom, decided we didn't need that many more books in the house and scrapped many of them, leaving just the children's books.

                    Tucked in one of the previous remaining books was a yellowed newspaper article, from the early 1890s, talking about Jack the Ripper. I was very intrigued and had to find out more!

                    My local library had given me adult library cards (totally against the rules, of course, heh) so I was able to get my paws on a couple of books with more about the case.

                    And now, 40 years later, I still have "the bug".

                    Whilst I have never had a "pet suspect", nor felt that the murderer will ever be identified, that didn't matter.,

                    For me, it is that studying "all things Ripper" has opened so many doors and introduced me to so many other fascinating things.

                    Some topics I have enjoyed learning more about, thanks to this case, are early photography, the history of the police force, everyday life in 19th Century London, the poor (Booth, social welfare etc), women's suffrage, sex workers, all sorts of aspects of forensics, 3d modelling, map studies, numerous 19th century jobs, schools (Board, National etc), printing techniques, various aspects of the English language, architecture, the media and SO much more.

                    Jack the Ripper is a lens through which we can study, in remarkable detail, a particular location at a particular moment in history.

                    As well as the fascinating stories of how people have been affected by the case over the years - not just victims, their families and local people, but its long term effects on the media, social reform, attitudes to women, police practices, pop culture and again, so much more.

                    So as well as a nice little collection of books specifically about JTR, I have many more on all sorts of related subjects.

                    My father's culling of my little book inheritance all those years ago, ironically led to my current, ridiculously large, collection.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I’ve told the story before but my Great Grandmother, on mums side was born in 1888 and always said she was the reason behind it all, jokingly.

                      My great uncle on Dad’s side, told me that our family knew who Jack was, I was about 10 or 12 at the time, and had no interest, now wish I had followed up. There are, that I have found 2 possibilities that could fit. But of course it could still be Mr U. N. Known.
                      G U T

                      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        An interest is that I might have known and met him or passed him in the street.Quite possible ,as age,his old, mine young might have provided this possibility.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am attracted to things regarded as unsolvable. This case bing the most historically famous.

                          I have a tenacious stubbornness that wants to understand and learn the truth. Often we regard things as unsolvable as we choose not to see or miss the things that show us that truth.

                          During the height of his own murdering spree, Bundy was reported to the police on numerous occasions as being a potential lead but he was dismissed because of his political and educational background. It was impossible for a smart good-looking man to commit such horrific crimes. Well he did. And he was one of the worst and most prolific of all.

                          Yet we still persist with this pre-conception that only someone insane or with an obvious history of similar violence could be capable of this. History since has shown us this not to be so, but the crazy eyed Jew myth persists even to this day.
                          "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                          - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Azarna View Post
                            When I was about 10 or 11, a family friend died and left me some boxes of old books. My father, in his wisdom, decided we didn't need that many more books in the house and scrapped many of them, leaving just the children's books.

                            Tucked in one of the previous remaining books was a yellowed newspaper article, from the early 1890s, talking about Jack the Ripper. I was very intrigued and had to find out more!

                            My local library had given me adult library cards (totally against the rules, of course, heh) so I was able to get my paws on a couple of books with more about the case.

                            And now, 40 years later, I still have "the bug".

                            Whilst I have never had a "pet suspect", nor felt that the murderer will ever be identified, that didn't matter.,

                            For me, it is that studying "all things Ripper" has opened so many doors and introduced me to so many other fascinating things.

                            Some topics I have enjoyed learning more about, thanks to this case, are early photography, the history of the police force, everyday life in 19th Century London, the poor (Booth, social welfare etc), women's suffrage, sex workers, all sorts of aspects of forensics, 3d modelling, map studies, numerous 19th century jobs, schools (Board, National etc), printing techniques, various aspects of the English language, architecture, the media and SO much more.

                            Jack the Ripper is a lens through which we can study, in remarkable detail, a particular location at a particular moment in history.

                            As well as the fascinating stories of how people have been affected by the case over the years - not just victims, their families and local people, but its long term effects on the media, social reform, attitudes to women, police practices, pop culture and again, so much more.

                            So as well as a nice little collection of books specifically about JTR, I have many more on all sorts of related subjects.

                            My father's culling of my little book inheritance all those years ago, ironically led to my current, ridiculously large, collection.
                            I think I am with you on this one, JtR has been the lens through which to see so many different things. Never really been set on one particular suspect, though of late I have become more and more interested in finding who MJK really was.

                            Tristan
                            Best Regards,

                            Tristan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For me it’s the mystery!! Also do love the architecture the cobbled streets alleys also quite interested in social history!!And love collecting the books and photos of the East end!

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