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  • Name your best-worst Ripper documentary

    Here is a forum to name your favorite and worst Ripper documentary. Also, if you could, name the reasons why you don't like them

    For me, for both, it's a tie:

    Best:

    1. Secret Identity of Jack the Ripper (1988): a very good long documentary filled with recreations and commentary from well-known British and American crime officials on the case. Well worth watching

    2. National geographic's Is it Real: jack the Ripper: Very creepy hour long documentary featuring a good overview of the case and filled with pictures, actors, experts, and theorists (including Cornwell and Ivor Edwards)

    Worst:

    1. Stephen Knight's Royal Conspiracy documentary: Besides the theory itself being total B.S., the documentary contains numerous factual errors:

    A. The map used to show the locations of the bodies in Whitechapel is completely wrong. It makes Whitechapel look like a series of dead ends and the names of the locations are in the wrong spot. I laughed when I saw that.

    B. The use the wrong pictures when talking about the victims (For example, they show Catherine Eddowes when talking about Liz Stride, or maybe it is vice-versa)

    C. They use Sickert's "Mrs. Barrett" painting as a depiction of Mary Kelly. I mean, come on!!!

    2. The MysteryQuest Hisory Channel documentary: Although it was interestign to watch, I kept track of the numerous errors this show had:

    A. Although fairly recent, they claim Tumblety (their preferred target) is presented as a "Brand-new" suspect.

    B. No mention is made of the murder of Mary Kelly...not even her name or the famous murder scene photo. Could it be because since Tumblety maybe was in prison during the murder, it would have messed up their theory and so chose not to bring it up?

    C. They use DNA from a Ripper letter to hypothesize if the Ripper was a woman since the DNA is female. There is no mention that this may be irrelevant since the letters are regarded as hoaxes.
    Last edited by JTRSickert; 08-17-2010, 04:29 PM.
    I won't make any deals. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,de-briefed, or numbered!

  • #2
    Originally posted by JTRSickert View Post
    Secret Identity of Jack the Ripper (1988): a very good long documentary filled with recreations and commentary from well-known British and American crime officials on the case. Well worth watching.
    Hi JTR,

    Secret Identity of Jack the Ripper (1988) Was that the one with Peter Ustinov? If so then I haven't seen it since it was first shown, but I seem to remember it being good. Back then though, I hadn't read very much on the case, so it was pretty much all new/good to me.

    I can't say that I have watched too many Jack the Ripper documentaries which turned out to have been memorable enough to recall after any length of time, be they good or bad. One that does certainly stick in the memory, for mostly the wrong reasons, was the "Diary of Jack the Ripper" narrated be Michael(Death Wish)Winner!!! Or, as he is better known nowadays, Michael(Calm down dear, it's only a commercial)Winner!!! His commentary is so bad, that it almost becomes good, in a totally unitended sort of a way!!! He really should have gone on tour, as the narrator for the Rocky Horror Show!!!

    I've noticed that this documentary is actually on YouTube!!! It's now really quite fun, looking back at many a famous Riperologist and remembering what they looked like and dressed like, nearly 20 years ago!!!

    Best wishes,

    Zodiac.
    And thus I clothe my naked villainy
    With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ;
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Zodiac,

      Yes, the Secret Identity is the one with Peter Ustinov. Also, a very young-looking Donald Rumbelow and Martin Fido are in it too (No offense guys)

      I haven't checked out the Diary one yet, but I hope to soon.
      I won't make any deals. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,de-briefed, or numbered!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JTRSickert View Post
        Hey Zodiac,

        Yes, the Secret Identity is the one with Peter Ustinov. Also, a very young-looking Donald Rumbelow and Martin Fido are in it too (No offense guys)

        I haven't checked out the Diary one yet, but I hope to soon.
        Thanks JTR,

        Here is a link to Part 1 of it... Part 1 of 7

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Brtq4nLOM

        Best wishes,

        Zodiac.
        And thus I clothe my naked villainy
        With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ;
        And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have the Peter Ustinov one. It's good.There's a rather sweet moment when he compliments the female barrister.

          Also, I think Dan Farson quotes from his own book - "took his own appalled and appalling life."

          Comment


          • #6
            Best Documentary on JTR

            [I]
            The Real Jack the Ripper, was filmed at THE PLANTATION on the History Channel (CANADA) August 31, 2010.
            It was very, very well done. It tastefully described the lives of the poor in London, especially the prostitutes. It showed many pictures including murder sites. I was overjoyed with the fact that our well known authors and ripperologists all had their own introductions into the documentary. No one pushed a suspect they told the story as these professionals did quite well.
            It was great to see them all. Philip Hutchinson, Donald Rumbalow, Stewart Evans, Paul Begg, Bob Hinton, Neil Sheldon and I apologize that I am missing one. It was very interesting to see Maureen Nicols (relative of Polly Nicols) and Relatives of Annie Chapman's also present. How does one react when you are shown where your grandmothers were murdered? Knowing also that they were butchered by Englland's own Jack the Ripper, who will never be brought to justice? It is haunting to say the least.
            To sum up it was an excellent documentary and an absolute thrill to see some of my favourite authors & Ripperologists.
            WELL DONE TO ALL.

            Comment


            • #7
              Judy,

              do you happen to know if and when this will be broadcast inside the US?
              I won't make any deals. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,de-briefed, or numbered!

              Comment


              • #8
                The Real Jack the Ripper

                Hi JTR Sickert

                No I'm sorry I don't. I am on Shaw Satellite here in Canada, it was on CH
                516HD. I don't know the US schedule

                julie

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think for me by far the best is Timewatch: Shadow of the Ripper, the Christopher Frayling documentary, which preceeded the awful Michael Caine series by a week and totally nobbled it. It's not so much a Ripper crim doc as an exploration of why the bizarre theories about the case have come about, and is a fabulous investigation of just how divided London was in 1888.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you think that the Michael Winner documentary was bad, the recent offering from Vic Reeves is in a league of its own. Truly Trenouthian.

                    Regards.

                    Garry Wroe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by judyj View Post
                      [I]
                      The Real Jack the Ripper, was filmed at THE PLANTATION on the History Channel (CANADA) August 31, 2010.
                      It was very, very well done. It tastefully described the lives of the poor in London, especially the prostitutes. It showed many pictures including murder sites. I was overjoyed with the fact that our well known authors and ripperologists all had their own introductions into the documentary. No one pushed a suspect they told the story as these professionals did quite well.
                      It was great to see them all. Philip Hutchinson, Donald Rumbalow, Stewart Evans, Paul Begg, Bob Hinton, Neil Sheldon and I apologize that I am missing one. It was very interesting to see Maureen Nicols (relative of Polly Nicols) and Relatives of Annie Chapman's also present. How does one react when you are shown where your grandmothers were murdered? Knowing also that they were butchered by Englland's own Jack the Ripper, who will never be brought to justice? It is haunting to say the least.
                      To sum up it was an excellent documentary and an absolute thrill to see some of my favourite authors & Ripperologists.
                      WELL DONE TO ALL.
                      The History Channel showed this again last night (appropriately on Hallowe'en) so I finally got to see it. Judy's right, it's quite good. It would be worthwhile to own a DVD of the show, but I can't seem to find any for sale.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree the Knight one stinks even considering the time it was made and love the Ustinov one even if it is a little heavy-handed regarding Kosminski. It has great atmosphere and is 2 hours long (maybe 1 hour and a half with commercials edited out) which makes it the longest one I know of. Of course, most of the 1 hour ones are actually 40-45 minutes with advertising deleted.
                        This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                        Stan Reid

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Best so far for me was Unmasking Jack the Ripper, presented by Richard Jones and featuring Paul Begg. Although it was a little too Kosminski orientated for me, it was good none the less.

                          Worst documentry ever has to be Jack the Ripper Revealed: The Truth at Last. Truly awful. It is just basically over an hour of a man with a funny bow tie sitting in front of a dodgy looking changing screen (like a screen used to read the weather) and has a lot of mistakes, such as a victim named Catherine McKenzie and that Frances Coles was murdered in April 1888!!
                          Best regards,
                          Adam


                          "They assumed Kelly was the last... they assumed wrong" - Me

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story.

                            For me the worst has to be Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story. It was badly made and very badly acted. The so-called CGI was a joke. All in all a waste of time.
                            The best is Shadow of the Ripper. Excellent documentary.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a problem here because, while I've watched a few documentaries, I can't recall the title of any of them!
                              I liked the one from the late 90's when Stewart Evans set out the case for Tumblety, but I can't, for the life of me, recall the name of the programme.

                              Regards, Bridewell.
                              "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                              Comment

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