Alias Jack the Ripper

Beyond the Usual Whitechapel Suspects


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About the Book

Over a century ago, a depraved killer skillfully moved through the dark and filthy slums of London’s East End. Despite the increasingly watchful eyes of investigators, the serial murderer—known as “Jack the Ripper” from a signature on a piece of correspondence that has been attributed to him—was never certainly identified. R. Michael Gordon provides a comprehensive look at the crimes and the case evidence, and then discusses the life of the man he believes was the actual killer, detailing the reasons why this person may have been driven to kill. Beginning with an overview of the terror created in the East End of 1888, the book describes the five major periods of the Ripper’s deadly career: early life and schooling; a step-by-step view of the murders, including the Thames Torso Murders that authorities attempted to cover up; the Ripper’s American connection; a return to London where his final victims were subjected to poison; and the capture and execution of the probable—but never proven—Ripper. To most people who worked closely on the Ripper and poisoning cases, justice was finally served.

About the Author(s)

R. Michael Gordon is the author of several books, and has written extensively on Victorian London and the Ripper phenomenon. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Bibliographic Details

R. Michael Gordon
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 363
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0898-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2973-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction to a Serial Killer 1

An Overview of Terror 5

Section I—Genesis of a Killer

Chapter One—A Student from Warsaw 9

Section II—The Ripper Series

Chapter Two—A Shadow Falls Over Whitechapel 29
  Millwood, Wilson, Tabram

Chapter Three—A Dark Night Down Buck’s Row 46

Chapter Four—A Murder on Hanbury Street 64

Chapter Five—“Perhaps Some of Us Will Be Killed Next!” 88
  Stride, Eddowes, Unknown

Chapter Six—A Letter from Hell, as the Ripper Lies Low 132

Chapter Seven—Death Moves O› the Streets 150

Chapter Eight—The Madness Continues 175
  Mylett, Jackson, McKenzie, Unknown

Chapter Nine—One Last Time? 203

Section III—The American Connection

Chapter Ten—A Time to Run and a Time to Kill 225
  Brown, Senior

Section IV—The Ripper Turns to Poison

Chapter Eleven—Mr. Chapman Comes to Town 247
  Spink, Taylor

Chapter Twelve—The Final Victim? 262
  Marsh, Unknown

Section V—The End Game

Chapter Thirteen—Investigation of a Serial Killer 279

Chapter Fourteen—The King’s Justice 290

Chapter Fifteen—Aftermath 304

Appendix 1: Chronology of a Serial Killer 317

Appendix 2: Victims of a Serial Killer 323

Appendix 3: Descriptions of Jack the Ripper 325

Appendix 4: Report on “The Whitechapel Murder” (Facsimile) 327

Appendix 5: Letters from the Jack the Ripper Files 336

Bibliography 341

Index 347

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Recreates the crimes and the filthy slums where the victims lived and worked…makes a strong case…the likely police cover-up that resulted from their incompetence is given a good look…the story is gripping, the crime scene photos shocking, and the facts still disturbing after all this time”—Rue Morgue
  • “Important…Gordon’s research is impressive…. His exhaustive study of the victims is a milestone…biographical information on Klosowski is second-to-none”—Ripperologist