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Jack the Ripper's Secret Confession-(Monaghan, 2010)

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  • #31
    Hi Pink,

    I've heard that too, but considering over 200 books have been written about the JFK assassination, I'd say that doesn't add up. As for suspect books, they only become annoying after you've studied the case for quite a while. In the beginning, they're fun, they ARE the discovery. Once you know the basics of the case, you're not satisfied with them and want to make your own discoveries. That's where we are at, but having said that, suspect books could and SHOULD be viable for all audiences, especially battle-worn Ripperologists. Like Evans and Gainey's book, it contained a lot of new information that Ripperphiles could sink their teeth into whether or not they bought Tumblety as the Ripper. Having a plausible suspect doesn't hurt either.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Pinkerton View Post
      ...more books have been written about Jack the Ripper than ALL of the President's of the United States COMBINED!
      Yeah, Tom's right. Several hundred books have been written about Lincoln alone. The History Channel made a mistake.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Pinkerton View Post
        According to the television program "The Most" on the History Channel more books have been written about Jack the Ripper than ALL of the President's of the United States COMBINED! At first I doubted this statistic, but after thinking about it for awhile I think it is absolutely true...
        As someone who has collected both US presidential biographies and Jack the Ripper non-fiction, I can confirm that is absolutely not true - not even close! I barely scratched the surface on presidential biographies by the time I had to give it up, for sheer lack of storage space. The whole of Jack the Ripper non-fiction takes up about one good-sized wall. The full gamut of presidential biographies would fill an entire house several times over.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by spryder View Post
          As someone who has collected both US presidential biographies and Jack the Ripper non-fiction, I can confirm that is absolutely not true - not even close! I barely scratched the surface on presidential biographies by the time I had to give it up, for sheer lack of storage space. The whole of Jack the Ripper non-fiction takes up about one good-sized wall. The full gamut of presidential biographies would fill an entire house several times over.
          Hi Spry

          I assume you are including JFK assassination books which I am sure take up quite a number of good size walls.

          All the best

          Chris
          Christopher T. George
          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
          just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
          For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
          RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

          Comment


          • #35
            Hmmmm. Read this. Got marginally cross with anomalies like, Barnett left MJ on 30 October, 'Walter' used a prostitute exclusively for a week leaving her 25 Shillings in arrears with her rent [what, he didn't pay her at all?], Barnett had been gone for over a month.' Over a month at what point??? At the point three weeks after MJ was murdered? That's dodgy research and even dodgier subbing, imo.

            Yes, it might be interesting to some readers. But there is no more a case there (Mary Davis?? Not many of them in London at some point in the 1880s!!) than there would be if one were to suggest the Marquis de Sade acted out everything he wrote about. Or anyone else, for that matter. Honestly. Pick a fiction writer, and most of us have gone places in our work that we have never been in our lives. Lots of writers like shock value. Tenuous connections don't really wash much.

            However, I was interested in the psychologies, or psychosexual proclivities, of men at the time. Puts a nice bit of detail onto things. And I agree with the author that there may have been but few men who had similar psychological make-ups, although this doesn't necessarily pertain. But does it solve the JtR crimes? Nup. Sorry. Nice cover, though. Reminded me, as it was surely intended, of the Suspicions of Mr. Whicher cover. Unfortunately is even more speculative than that book.
            best,

            claire

            Comment


            • #36
              I'm not sure I would call 'The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher' speculative, unless you're impossible to please.

              As for Monaghan's book, I'm still early on in my reading (pg 75), but so far it's better than 90% of the suspect books that have ever been written on a non-contemporaneously alleged suspect.

              Yours truly,

              Tom Wescott

              Comment


              • #37
                Its being 'better' is a scant recommendation, surely. And as for the speculative bit of The Suspicions, well, even the author admits that it is a speculative book (given away by the title itself, in part). I'm far from being impossible to please; in fact, being of tiny mind, tiny things please me. But if warping the facts to suit is enough to link a fiction/memoir writer to a series of murders, then it's hard to see how any book can fail.
                best,

                claire

                Comment


                • #38
                  Constance Kent was clearly guilty, although it's possible she acted along with her brother. Regarding 'Secret Confession', I'm reserving complete judgement until I've finished the book, but I've been impressed so far. Monaghan referenced a report regarding the Tabram murder that I've scarcely seen mentioned by other researchers and that rather impressed me. Also, a good deal of My Secret Life is probably not fiction while some of it certainly is.

                  Yours truly,

                  Tom Wescott

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Hi Tom...true enough. I think it was just in the final couple of chapters of Secret Confession that things started to unravel a little for me, mainly due to a few mistakes or misreadings on the author's part. But, yep, at least it's not utterly mad. My personal prejudices about it all probably weigh in a bit on my reading, too, of course
                    best,

                    claire

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                      Constance Kent was clearly guilty, although it's possible she acted along with her brother. Regarding 'Secret Confession', I'm reserving complete judgement until I've finished the book, but I've been impressed so far. Monaghan referenced a report regarding the Tabram murder that I've scarcely seen mentioned by other researchers and that rather impressed me. Also, a good deal of My Secret Life is probably not fiction while some of it certainly is.

                      Yours truly,

                      Tom Wescott
                      Tom,
                      thanks for giving the book a chance. Jack The Ripper's Secret Confession is a pretty tough read and is meant to be. It's tells two colliding narratives - the arrival of a new era of sexual control with the Criminal Amendment Act of 1885 raising the age of consent to 16 years, and the the psychological signs of the unravelling of Walter that point to him as the Ripper. Reading Walter's My Secret Life is a horror show. Not only is it badly and confusingly written (sometimes purposely so), the deep meaning of the need to psychopathically control and hurt women is deeply unpleasant. I've put together a short primer of the points raised to guide debate. You may food for thought.

                      Jack
                      The Ripper's Secret Confession
                      30 points to Walter, author of "My Secret Life"
                      as Jack the Ripper
                      Geographic profile, links to crime scene
                      evidence, motive, means, claimed connection to
                      victims and, primarily, a unique and extreme violent
                      fetish pattern make Walter as Jack the Ripper.

                      1) Walter uses “low whores”
                      in East London during bouts of poverty. He hates himself for
                      doing so.
                      2) Walter is a violent sexual
                      sadist.
                      3) Walter is a blood fetishist.
                      He describes causing bloodshed of 20 women and girls during
                      sexual acts.
                      4) Walter uses knives for sex
                      purposes, carrying blades to make peep
                      holes.
                      5) Walter sexualised slit
                      throats. In 1888 he likened female genitals to “the slit
                      throat of a dog”.
                      6) Walter commits his first
                      rape, of a servant, at 16.
                      7) Walter became a serial rapist
                      of country girls in his early 20s.8) At age 21, Walter rapes an
                      unconscious women later found “half murdered” in East
                      London.
                      9) In middle age, piercing
                      female flesh – the hymen – becomes Walter’s
                      obsession
                      10)
                      Walter threatens prostitutes with weapons. He wields a
                      poker to “smash” a dress lodger and her madam during a
                      row
                      .11)Walter is fascinated by blade-wielding rape. On hearing of a
                      rapist who subdued his victim by holding a razor to her
                      throat, he acts out the scenario on a sex partner. When he
                      learns another paramour had been threatened with murder by
                      sword during a gang raped by soldiers, he obsessively seeks
                      out details of the attack.
                      12) Walter has homicidal urges. He rapes he wife while imagining
                      “murdering her” after running from the police following
                      rough street sex,. Walter “determined to murder” the
                      child Pol during her rape, and tells her he will kill her.
                      After paying for buggery, Walter wants to kick the man he
                      had sex with and swears to kill anyone who learns about
                      it.
                      13) Walter knows Whitechapel. He had based
                      himself at the Gunmaker’s Proofhouse in Commercial Road
                      Aldgate for stalking women and voyeurism. This is within a
                      four minute escape radius of all Whitechapel murder
                      sites.
                      14) The Ripper was said to have medical
                      knowledge. Walter bys medical books and repeatedly pretends
                      to be a doctor. He studies female sex organs, sketching
                      internal genitalia with a surgeon who had “dissected
                      virgins”. He acts as a surgery assistant in live
                      examination of two women.
                      15) Walter developed a fetish for having prostitutes directly
                      after they had been serviced during street sex. His practice
                      is to shadow women to places of assignation
                      unseen
                      .16) Walter associated pursuing street prostitutes with
                      bloodsports, wearing a hunting outfit to trawl for sex in
                      Dundee. He describes being sexual aroused while out killing
                      Game
                      .17) Walter disguised his identity while pursuing prostitutes in
                      Tower Hill, dressing as a sailor and in working man’s cap.
                      Men wearing similar clothes were seen on the night of the
                      murder of Stride and Eddowes
                      .18) Martha Tabram is killed in a George’s Yard stairwell.
                      Walter describes stalking a short, “hook nosed” older
                      prostitute, who he previously threatened “to smash”, to
                      a secluded spot in order to frighten her.
                      19) Mary Ann Nichols was found with an unexplained bonnet.
                      Walter details his tactics of giving bonnets as sexual
                      inducements.
                      20) Mary Ann Nichols had a clean white handkerchief, and Liz
                      Stride had two handkerchiefs. Walter would offer
                      handkerchiefs as payment to destitute
                      prostitutes
                      21) The Ripper used a scarf worn by Liz Stride to align the cutting
                      of her throat. Walter used scarves as sexual presents,
                      positioning them on women’s neck as a lever for sexual
                      groping.
                      22) Annie Chapman carried pills at her death provided apparently
                      by an unknown doctor. Walter’s pretended to be a doctor,
                      and had a prostitute use pills to subdue the virgin Emma,
                      who he wished to rape.
                      23) Ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly and Walter’s prostitute
                      lover Mary Davis, share the same name. Mary Davies (or
                      Davis) was Mary Jane Kelly’s married name, under which she
                      was buried. Both Mary’s were Irish. Both lived in
                      single, ground floor rooms where they serviced clients,
                      entered by long corridors. Both rooms were in the East End.
                      Both Mary’s paid rent to a married couple who lived in the
                      same building. Both were behind in their rent, one 25
                      shillings, to other 29 shillings. Both were thought
                      attractive enough to be able to have worked in the West End.
                      Mary Davis refused to provide a child for sex to Walter.
                      Walter then hears that she has “died”.
                      24) Mary Jane Kelly was found murdered some reports said the
                      door appeared to be locked and the key missing. Walter
                      describes his tactics as a key stealer, taking keys to keep
                      raped victims locked in.
                      25) Walter links himself to a murdered
                      women’s corpse found on the Thames in 1889, postulating
                      she is Sarah Mavis, a prostitute who spurned him after
                      extracting a large loan. He describes her identifying
                      features as a star-shaped mark underneath her breast.
                      The corpse found on the Thames had two ribs below the breast
                      cut away, obliterating where Walter’s identifying mark
                      would have been.
                      26) Walter suffered “defloration mania”, the virgin breaking
                      sex craze of the 19th century. In 1886, psychiatrist
                      Krafft-Ebing linked defloration mania to a specific type of
                      female mutilation murders that involve stabbing at the lower
                      abdomen and removal of body parts: the marks of the
                      Ripper.
                      27) Walter feared being blackmailed by those
                      who knew of his sex life. He had been subject to anonymous
                      letters to his wife. He said he would kill a woman if his
                      long term relationship was threatened.
                      28) Walter suffers from “brain whirls” -
                      memory lapse - during rage and extreme sex. These are
                      symptoms of homicidal epilepsy, noted at the time as
                      possible driver for the Ripper’s murders.
                      29) Women out to expose the child sex trade in Whitechapel for
                      targets for murder. A letter by Josephine Butler in 1885
                      says Rebecca Jarrett, a prostitute living in the Hanbury
                      Street who had revealed the child sex trade, was pursued by
                      “four brutal brothel keepers” out to kill her.
                      This specific motive for terror murder of Whitechapel
                      prostitutes, recorded shortly before the Ripper killings, is
                      ignored. The Attorney General orders Rebecca Jarrett herself
                      prosecuted for buying a child as part of a newspaper expose
                      on the child sex trade.
                      30) Walter’s privately printed sex memoir My Secret Life is
                      dated 1888, the year of the Ripper killings. He says it as a
                      contribution to psychology for a sexual aberration he cannot
                      understand. Walter speaks of 80 pages of diary entries -
                      worse that the rapes, child abuse and sex crimes he includes
                      - that are "consigned to the flames”.

                      David Monaghan
                      Author
                      My Secret Life

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Hi David,

                        Thanks for that. Very interesting stuff. I'm still reading the book (on about pg 150), though it's been slow going due to lack of time. I'm waiting until I finish to comment further, but it seems some points of our research are overlapping (my preferred suspect was a particular pimp), so that's exciting.

                        I ordered your book at the same time as Andrew Cook's and M.J. Trow's. Of the three, yours is the only one that doesn't boast on the cover 'SOON TO BE A MAJOR TV DOCUMENTARY'. Of course, the irony of this is that you're a TV director!

                        Yours truly,

                        Tom Wescott

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          David makes an extremely strong case for Walter, whoever he may be. As with most suspects, I am not 100% convinced but he is certainly more convincing than Robert Mann, the suspect in the lastest book released.
                          Best regards,
                          Adam


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

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by belinda View Post
                            I too agree with Stewart. I haven't got the money to buy every book that comes out alas.

                            It's sorting the wheat from the chaf that's the hard bit. What of the more recent books if any, would you reccommend for the impercunious
                            I would suggest seeing if your local library has a loan policy with other libraries.

                            In my area of America, if there's a known book title and author, usually, it can be located and mailed, so I just pick it up at the library. I don't even have to pay postage.

                            Then, once you know whether the book is worth buying or not . . . you can purchase it if you choose.

                            curious

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              That's a dangerously exhaustive list, there, David...really is the guts of your book, so fair play for posting it on here. If a psychological portrait was all that was needed to identify a killer with the Ripper's qualities with the crimes themselves, then I'd say you're onto something. But, to be perfectly frank, I think you've a way to go in terms of linking the actual individual (ie. the author of MSL) to the offences themselves (as distinct from the type of offences that they might be interpreted as being).

                              Some of the problem lies in not interrogating the precise circumstances of each murder, and the victim concerned, but relying on the standard fare. It also lies in excessive extrapolation--eg. while the bonnet example was interesting, there is no *necessary* connection between the new bonnet and his supposed fetish.

                              The other thing, of course, is that we just don't know that what he wrote had any strong basis in actual events. Other sources note wildly different prices for 'low-class' girls than those he mentions; still more note that the number of very young prostitutes were few. Clearly, the veil of secrecy that surrounded these issues, along with the more general one of sexual assault, mitigates a little against me there, but I wonder if any attempt was made to match his version of events with records of complaints. As you know, there are legions of examples of 'offensive' or pornographic writings that are either explicitly fictive, or can more or less be demonstrated to be inventions. The sheer unpleasantness of MSL shouldn't counter the need to verify the extent to which those events did, or could, occur. I'm pretty wary of using a work of fiction (and I certainly would include memoir in that, as Walter is a very unreliable narrator) to interrogate factual events.

                              But, interesting and thought-provoking, nevertheless (even if I can't forgive the statement that Barnett had been gone for over a month at the time Mary Kelly was killed...).
                              best,

                              claire

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I always enjoy a new suspect book and, as suspect books go, this is better than most. I would have liked it more if so much of it wasn't composed of quotes and paraphrases from MSL most of which are, at best, distasteful.

                                No need to summarize the arguments put forth in the book since one of the authors has kindly listed them for us in post #40, so read those and make of them what you will.

                                The main difficulty with the theory is that Walter was apparently born in 1820 or 1821, making him rather old, in 1888, to be a viable candidate. The other problem is that we still aren't sure if Walter was a real person and, even if he was, whether his reminiscences were partly, or totally, fiction.

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