The Ripper Inside Us

What Interpretations of Jack Reveal About Ourselves


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About the Book

The story of Jack the Ripper has had continual interest since he stalked the streets of Whitechapel during the Autumn of Terror in 1888. During this time, the murders of the Canonical Five made headlines all over the world while in the modern day, the Ripper story continues to permeate all forms of media on the page, screen, in podcasts, and in fiction. We continue to search for something we will likely never, and perhaps do not even wish to discover: Jack’s true name.
This book looks at the lasting intrigue of Jack the Ripper and how his story, and the stories of the Canonical Five victims, are brought back to life through modern lenses. As psychological approaches and scientific techniques advance, the Ripper’s narrative evolves, opening a more diverse means of storytelling and storytellers. How these storytellers attempt to construct a full tale around the facts, including the burning questions of motive and identity, says more about us than the Ripper.

About the Author(s)

Rebecca Frost is affiliated with Northern Michigan University. She lives and teaches in L’Anse, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Rebecca Frost
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9272-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5256-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: The Fact of a Crime 1

1. Sketching the Ripper, 1888 21

2. The Changing of the Guard 42

3. Fit to Print 57

4. The New Experts 77

5. Lights, Camera … Murder 91

6. Once Upon a Time 101

7. Reach Out and Touch Someone 119

8. Raised Voices 135

9. I’m No Expert, But… 143

Conclusion: Connect the Dots 161

Chapter Notes 181

Bibliography 189

Index 195

Book Reviews & Awards

The Ripper Inside Us: What Interpretations of Jack Reveal About Ourselves offers a holistic and rigorous examination of a controversial subject which had imbedded itself into our cultural psyche. The spectre of the Ripper has been with us for over 130 years, assuming a multiplicity of shapes through the decades. Frost adeptly stalks these manifestations of an unsolved mystery that refuses to die, exploring everything from nonfiction and novels to walking tours, documentaries, podcasts, wax works and movies while asking the uncomfortable question, what does our need to keep telling these stories say about us? Both balanced and insightful, Frost has expertly crafted what will be an essential text for anyone researching or teaching this subject.”—Hallie Rubenhold, Baillie Gifford Prize-winning author of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper