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One-on-One with Andrew Cook

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  • One-on-One with Andrew Cook

    This thread is for discussion of Rippercast One-on-One episode with author Andrew Cook.

    Available here:

    Thanks to Andrew Cook for participating via telephone for this interview.

    Thanks to all who sent in questions.

    Thanks for listening!


  • #2
    Thanks for posting details of the interview.

    So, apparently, he is agnostic about whether Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes were killed by the same hand, feels that the murders of Chapman and Nichols were the most similar, but considers the circumstances of Eddowes's murder to be different from those of the other two murders.

    Two things surprised me. First that he wrote the book in about 3 months (I think some of the publicity referred to a year's research). And second - if I understood correctly - that although the main focus of his book is the fabrication of the Ripper story, including the "Dear Boss" letter, by Star journalists, he doesn't discuss the allegation that Harry Dam was responsible for the letter.

    And the TV documentary is scheduled for broadcast in the UK on Tuesday 9 June at 8 p.m.


    • #3
      I’m sorry Jonathon but I’ve never heard so much waffle and question avoidance in all my life.

      The defense for the cover seems based on what it isn’t rather than what it is. Am I the only person confused by Andrew Cooks blistering attack on Ripperologist for using mortuary images on a front cover? The apparent reason being they used it for the wrong reason while he has used the image of MJK for the right reason.

      He launches another attack on an author who published his books fifty years ago. And speaks as though nothing has happened in ‘Ripper’ research the last twenty years.

      He totally failed to answer Paul Begg’s question and patronized the audience by suggesting we read ‘Scotland Yard Investigates’. I was left puzzling whether he actually new who Harry Dam was?

      I’m still non-the wiser whether Andrew Cook is saying none of the Ripper victims were killed by Jack the Ripper (serial killer known as) or if some were killed be the same person? His reply about Nichols Chapman and Eddowes seemed deliberately evasive, given that the TV documentary is clearly going to speculate that JtR was an invention of the press…

      As Mr Cook admits himself he was commissioned by the TV company to write a book that already had a theory and it appears…prove that theory in three months?

      Isn’t this precisely the sort of author, and I quote: ‘Small army of peddling phony and fabricated theories” that he claims to be against?

      Why isn’t Cutbush a legitimate suspect? I don’t believe anyone has categorically dismissed him. Cutbush was a paranoid Schizophrenic locked in broadmore and surely a better suspect than many..the only point on which we seemed to agree is that BS killed Stride.

      In short Andrew Cook not only appears to be bringing nothing new to the table but exploiting the work of other authors. And while his attack on Anderson seems touch upon more current and important areas of Ripper debate I cant believe that while giving credence to communications written in private in other instances that he simply managed to ignore ‘The Swanson Marginalia’

      Perhaps there was no mention of it in the books he managed to read in three months.

      Complete hypocrisy and drivel.


      (PS not you obviously Jonathon, many thanks for another great show. You actually got me to throw my copy of the A to Z at the computer screen…


      • #4
        Well, the best bit of the podcast was where you could hear the police sirens as they rushed to arrest him.
        He refers to Sir Robert Anderson as 'nakedly trying to exploit this story to sell his book...'
        Perhaps forgetting that he is the one who has a naked and brutalised woman on the cover of his book.
        Even better is where he reports that the unreported murders of 1888-1891 skew our true understanding of this series of murders.
        I'd like to ask him where he found reports of unreported murders?
        Even, even better, Andrew Cook's sole defence of his despicable cover is that:
        'It says what it does on the tin.'
        And there was little old me thinking that 'it does what it says on the tin'.
        I need a whisky.


        • #5
          Hi chaps,

          I reserve my final judgement until we have seen the book, but the problem with suspect theories has always been "theory-first, evidence-second" thinking. I fear that similar problems may affect no-suspect theories.




          • #6
            Thanks, Jm!

            Hi, Jonathan, thanks for the interview with Andrew Cook, and thanks for trying to get an answer to my questions about 'Penny-A-Liners' and 'Journalistic Profits & Motives'.

            I listened carefully, but I'm still not sure as to the answer... When you asked if the journalists actually made money on the increased newspaper sales, I believe Mr Cook remarked something to the effect that ''It went higher than that.'' Hmmmm... I'll listen again.

            You did a great job, as ever, and I'm impressed you got the interview up as a Podcast so quickly!
            Thanks again for all your efforts; they are much appreciated! -Archaic


            • #7
              Indeed, Pirate, you highlight many of my own concerns here.
              I particularly enjoyed the way Mr Cook toyed with Macnaghten, in that when it suited his purpose, like in the murder of Tabram, Mr Cook blessed Macnaghten with peculiar insight, and then roundly damned him for everything else that didn't suit his strange purpose.
              And then he compounds all of that by claiming that the Littlechild letter is a better primary source than the Macnaghten memo.
              I need anothet whisky, and a gun.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cap'n Jack View Post
                And then he compounds all of that by claiming that the Littlechild letter is a better primary source than the Macnaghten memo.
                Jonathan can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think what actually happened is that he was asked whether private correspondence like the Littlechild Letter and perhaps the Macnaghten Memoranda were more credible than Anderson's memoirs, and he agreed that private correspondence was more reliable than things written for publication.

                I don't think your characterisation of his treatment of Macnaghten is very accurate either.


                • #9
                  Then why ignore the marginalia?


                  • #10
                    Well, Chris, you wouldn't, would you?
                    This is all old camp to me, I was there almost twenty years ago, when dinosaurs like Cook strolled the planet, and 99% of the world, and London, didn't believe they ever existed.
                    What a crazy notion that is.
                    Almost as crazy as a man who is offended by a Victorian top hat on the cover of a book, but quite happy with a naked disremembered (deliberate sp) woman on his cover.
                    Do you not think, old boy, that his contention that the press were responsible for the creation of the Ripper, rather falls down when it was in fact a London coroner that first linked the series of crimes?
                    He likes Tumblety.
                    I warned you.


                    • #11
                      Yes interesting that for a man wishing to cut through the Jack the Ripper myth that he choose to eliminate Stride with a myth. There is, as he probably well knows, no evidence that Liz Stride was cut with a different knife to Catherine Eddowes.

                      It’s a Myth.

                      The source of this story appears to come from the discovery of a rounded blade. However there is no proof what so ever to connect it as the murder weapon in either case.

                      If your going to start criticizing other authors perhaps its best to get your own facts straight in the first place.



                      • #12
                        A. P.

                        I'd be a bit more impressed by your "simple sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play" act if, just once, when you got your facts muddled and accused someone of saying something they hadn't, you acknowledged that you'd got it wrong. Instead of trying to cover it up with another set of dubious accusations.


                        • #13
                          Hi everyone

                          I have now been scratching my head all morning over Andrew Cooks reply to Paul Begg’s question in which he asks us to check Scotland Yard Investigates by Evans and Rumblow? For an answer.

                          I have been digging through for a couple of hours now and can find no reference to Harry Dam’s supposed confession. Indeed checking through the index at the back of the book I can find no reference to either Dam, Best or Springfield.

                          Did Andrew Cook simply make this up? Did he actually not have a clue what the question was about? Did he reference the wrong book?

                          I am now total confused and puzzled and would welcome any explanation or pointers in the right direction to which page I should be looking at in Scotland Yard Investigates..

                          Many thanks for your help casebook.



                          • #14

                            I thought he said "Letters from Hell".


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pirate Jack View Post
                              There is, as he probably well knows, no evidence that Liz Stride was cut with a different knife to Catherine Eddowes.

                              It’s a Myth.
                              Hi Jeff

                              To be fair, Dr Phillips did state at the inquest that due to the position of the body, and the angle of incision, it is unlikely that a long bladed knife was used. Noting that Eddowes was killed by a knife with a 6-8 inch blade.
                              Last edited by Jon Guy; 05-18-2009, 12:59 PM.