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  • #31
    Hi Helena

    Of course she is also the same woman who expressed disdain for "Ripperologists" and others that she felt were exploiting the murders. Of course her book, by implication, was on a higher plane. The truth though is that she latched onto the idea that Sickert was the Ripper, used doubtful scientific methods to try to prove it -- the attempt to link Sickert to "Ripper" letters doomed to failure if they were not from the killer -- and was driven by a detest for the suspect rather than any actual proof that he was the murderer.

    Best regards

    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/

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    • #32
      Hi Chris

      I'm not interested in her book at all. Completely neutral. I won't be reading it because all I need to know is, she favours Sickert.

      I only wondered if she'd found out something new - i.e. a correction of the spelling of Tabram.

      And that's only because I have to use the word in my own fortcoming book and I want to make sure I spell it correctly.

      It seems that Cornwell's new spelling is incorrect. Therefore I stick with Tabram.

      Helena
      Helena Wojtczak BSc (Hons) FRHistS.

      Author of 'Jack the Ripper at Last? George Chapman, the Southwark Poisoner'. Click this link : - http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html

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      • #33
        I never felt that Patrica Cornwell had found the "true ripper". A letter writer, almost certainly. There is the handwriting analysis, the matched watermarks, and the DNA matching. This only shows Sickert had a good time bedeviling the Law with bogus letters. As the investigators of the crimes felt that all or most of the letters were NOT written by Jack the Ripper, this should be no surprise.

        As for her "clues in Sickert's art", he painted a lot of scary women. Many had their features completely non-existent, smeared beyond all recognition. Fact: He painted nothing he didn't actually see. But has it ever occurred to anyone that he might just have been a lousy painter? Or in a desperate hurry to finish a painting and so just slapped paint in the general shape of a face and let it go at that? Or simply forgot to go back and finish the painting, so that it comes down to posterity as severely flawed? Possibilities, possibilities...
        And the questions always linger, no real answer in sight

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        • #34
          I still think Sickert might of penned one or more of the Ripper letters given the water marks on the paper pointed out by Cornwall, but I do not believe he was the Ripper. Still I have to say that he was certainly eccentric for his time and place. Plus the fact that if he did pen the ripper letters then I would have to agree with Caz's opinion expressed near the beginning of this topic that if Sickert did write those letters to the police or newspapers then this tells us a lot about his personality, namely that he was at the least unsavory..

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          • #35
            Hello Chris,

            I agree entirely.
            IMHO, anybody trying to link any artist to these murders through finding hidden messages in their paintings is actually doing the very thing that Cornwell herself shows such utter disdain for- using such for their own ends.
            Now it's one thing seeing and personally interpreting what they see. All fine and fair enough.
            Opinion is an integral part of all this.

            But jumping from being a documented letter writer (possible) to being a multi-murdering butcher of women needs a darn sight more proof than the character assassination that Cornwell portrayed Sickert with.

            I fear we havent heard the last of this nonsense. All is too quiet on the western front.

            But, and I must say this- if she, or any of her helpers can slam proof onto the table to make us all sit back, take notice and yes, apologise- then I for one will applaud loudly. Because ultimately, whoever does get to find the killer(s) in all of this, will go down in history as the solver of the puzzle- and if only for the sake of the victims families, and ALL the innocently portrayed suspects, it has to be good. Who ends up being wrong really doesnt matter.

            However, if we get more of the same she gave before, only expanded upon- the she'll be in for a torrid backlash, I fear.
            There seemed, to this person, a personal, vindictive venom and approach in her attitude towards Sickert. I saw, personally, traits of almost obsessiveness last time around, which only attracts a wierder following. Cornwell may have been utterly convinced by it all. But evidence was not there to show Sickert murdered anything more then a few hundred canvasses, and possibly the English language. Historically, so far, the mention of the Sickert name in this case has done a great deal of damage.

            So Ms Cornwell and your followers- in this poster's honest opinion- come up with evidence. Bona fida evidence. Or just leave Walter Sickert to rest in peace.

            Bert wishes

            Phil
            Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


            Justice for the 96 = achieved
            Accountability? ....

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            • #36
              It's sort of ironic, really. I read that she has purchased 41 of Sickert's paintings! Her suspicion has made her a collector of his artworks!
              And the questions always linger, no real answer in sight

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              • #37
                Originally posted by RavenDarkendale View Post
                It's sort of ironic, really. I read that she has purchased 41 of Sickert's paintings! Her suspicion has made her a collector of his artworks!
                Excellent point, she is quite the collector of Sickert, I bet where ever he is Sickert is having a snide giggle or two.

                Phil C, well, in regards to Sickert penning the Ripper letters I think Ms Cornwell has proved her case or should I say rather that she has some strong evidence with those watermarks although she hasn't proved that Sickert was the Ripper, still I think he might of penned a few letters for giggles. For all I know it might of been the in thing for Artistes to pen Ripper letters to the local London newspapers? I've heard of crazier things happening.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by belinda View Post
                  As for the book itself it has passages which can only be described as bizarre and at times incomprehensible
                  I read the whole thing, and while I found it more readable than some of the really crackpot books, I was dumbfounded by the disingenuous things she got away with. I don't have the book in front of me, because we recently moved, and a lot of our books are in storage, but something that really stuck out was where she compared Polly Nichols appearance in situ to the appearance of a woman lying down in one of Sickert's paintings, and insists that one similarity is that the eyes are closed. Anyone who is registered on this board is surely familiar with the morgue photo of Nichols, and knows that her eyes are partially open. The photo is included in Cornwell's book, but it is not reprinted well, and is too blurry to see whether or not Nichols eyes are open or closed.

                  However, just in case you should wonder whether somehow Cornwell's publishers got hold of a bad negative, the photo has the rip in it that you can see in the one I linked to. The same photo, with the rip, appears in books published earlier than Cornwell's book, so I can assume only that it is blurred on purpose to make it look more like the figure with closed eyes in the painting. I can't remember which painting it is, or i'd look for it and link to it.

                  Originally posted by HelenaWojtczak View Post
                  Can anyone tell me why Cornwell spells Tabram as Tabran? Is this based on new research that shows 'Tabram' as wrong?
                  I can't remember the reason, but she has one, and goes on for at least a paragraph, and is condescending about it. If you get a copy of the book, it's there.
                  Originally posted by RavenDarkendale View Post
                  It's sort of ironic, really. I read that she has purchased 41 of Sickert's paintings! Her suspicion has made her a collector of his artworks!
                  And, from what I understand, revived interest in him, and made his works go up in value.

                  Hmmm....
                  Originally posted by The Grave Maurice View Post
                  I don't even agree that she writes well. I admire her ability to earn money, though.
                  Oh, I love her first several mysteries. I think she's very talented at genre fiction, and she was writing about forensics long before anyone else was-- in fact, other than the one TV show Quincy, ME, there hadn't been much about police labs and medical examiners in the media. The TV show CSI (Crime Scene Investigation, which is huge in the US, and has three incarnations, Vegas, Miami, and NYC) was a ways away. The detectives on the 1950s & 60s procedural Dragnet used to visit the "police lab" occasionally, and other than that, few police shows acknowledged that such a thing existed. Her character, Kay Scarpetta was originally compelling, until she jumped the shark with a series of really improbably coincidences involving her family members.

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                  • #39
                    PC

                    I confess...going back some, the wife and I quite coincidentally bought each other this book one Christmas...so we have not one but two almost mint copies knocking round the house somewhere, and I suspect the fact that they were presents has influenced the survival of both...

                    Besides with two pianos in the house you never know when you might need something to replace a missing caster...

                    With regards to her Scarpetta books, the first half-doxen were ok, but following on from them I found the recycled samey plots a drag and gave the lot away to a charity shop...by contrast I've kept all the Dick Francis, Hammond Innes, Neville Shute etc...which says something about my priorities if not my taste (or lack of)...

                    All the best

                    Dave

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Semper_Eadem View Post
                      Excellent point, she is quite the collector of Sickert, I bet where ever he is Sickert is having a snide giggle or two.

                      Phil C, well, in regards to Sickert penning the Ripper letters I think Ms Cornwell has proved her case or should I say rather that she has some strong evidence with those watermarks although she hasn't proved that Sickert was the Ripper, still I think he might of penned a few letters for giggles. For all I know it might of been the in thing for Artistes to pen Ripper letters to the local London newspapers? I've heard of crazier things happening.
                      Hello Semper,

                      Well, as I said before, the only thing Sickert murdered was a few hundred canvasses and POSSIBLY the English language, through his possible, even probable letter writing.
                      More 'hidden clues' in paintings will get the woman nowhere. PROOF, is needed now to redeem hfr credibility as a serious historical slueth. More of the stuff dished up last time around will get resoundly dismissed.

                      Documentation is the key. Prove Sickert was anywhere near the murder sites on the nights in question. Show proof of physical violence against prostitutes. And what's more- get the lump of Joseph Gorman's tales off Sickert's back.

                      That's a tall order, methinks. But hey- if she does it and proves it- I'll stand and applaud loudly.

                      Ive a feeling I wont get red hands.

                      Best wishes

                      Phl
                      Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                      Justice for the 96 = achieved
                      Accountability? ....

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        I said this somewhere on here but it is worth repeating. Sicket painted pictures of women that are absolute horrors! But there are several valid reasons:

                        1) Perhaps he was lousy at painting faces, he certainly has no problem with the female figure!

                        2) Perhaps the model didn't want her features in the painting so he painted a vague face shape

                        3) Perhaps this was just the under painting, he was going to do the detailing at a later date and never did.

                        4) Perhaps the models were almost as ugly in real life (he did use "unfortunates" as models) as they look in the painting

                        5) Perhaps all of the "Sickert Paintings" were not actually painted by Sickert, perhaps they are forgeries!

                        And my favorite:

                        6) Perhaps Cornwell should stick to writing and stop trying to be an art critic!
                        And the questions always linger, no real answer in sight

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                        • #42
                          I have a lot of catching up to do and so am almost done with the Cornwell book. Probably, people here are not too keen to read about it once again, but she made one point that I thought was very good. I'll get to that but first I thought Cornwell's writing very competent and engrossing. Her descriptions and ideas about life in the Whitechapel district read very well. Even though Walter Sickert is supposed to be the subject of this work, I sometimes wondered if the author hadn't completely forgotten about him. She didn't manage to make him very interesting for me.

                          You can't libel the dead, but something goes against the grain with me when it comes to trying an individual for one murder [much less several] within the pages of a book. To suspect someone is one thing, but to prosecute him for 365 pages [off and on] with a verdict of "case closed" is a bit much. Where's the defense? Even a dead man deserves to have his reputation upheld somehow, at least by virtue of a large question mark, lacking absolute proof.

                          Okay, on to the good point. Cornwell mentioned that there must have been "pints of blood" all over the scenes of the murders--but what about the footprints, a trail of them? Then she tends to dismiss her valid question by saying something like they would have blended into the turf. So, my question is--what was the terrain like regarding the four murders that took place outdoors? Was there not even one good shoeprint to be found, indoors or out? I am only a student Ripperologist at this point, so have patience with my ignorance, please.
                          Last edited by Aldebaran; 07-13-2016, 04:17 PM.

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