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Old February 18th, 2016, 10:42 PM   #1
Mithras
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Default Hello, everyone.

Hello, everyone.

I wanted to take the time to thank you for accepting me into your community. I've been particularly impressed that the group here seems to be very tolerant and even, dare I say, scientific and open minded, which is a refreshing change of pace. I hope I can contribute soon!

My name is Alex. I'm a thirty eight year old historian and game designer living in the States.

I've been interested in the Ripper case since childhood, when a television documentary utterly terrified me. I'll never forget it. Something about Doctor Cream's words, "I am Jack The" gave me nightmares... Silly, perhaps, but I was very young, and very impressionable. Since that time, I've increased my knowledge of the case, and was lucky enough, while going to school in London, to take one of the Ripper Walks (with a guide who was interested in talking about the story but hesitant to show pictures of the victims.. something I really appreciated at the time.)

At any rate, at the moment I'm working to increase my knowledge yet again, both for academic purposes and, as a side project, perhaps finish one of my long delayed game designs on the subject of the Ripper case.

I thank you once again for accepting me, and hope to contribute as much as I can!
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Old February 19th, 2016, 12:34 PM   #2
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Mithras: Since you are a historian you will know the importance of understanding and learning every detail to make the whole picture. The late Chris Scott did a lot of genealogic research on all sorts of people involved in this case. His work is continued by researchers like Debra A. and Gary Barnett. Do read everything you can find of their work.

The one big thing, beside finding Jack, is figuring out who was Mary Jane Kelly. Is she the key to the case? (I doubt it.) Did she know Jack? Was she going to replace Barnett with Jack, except Jack turned out to be Jack? Or was she a random victim who happened to have her own room and too much to drink on the fateful night? Anyway, that is my personal interest at this time.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
Hello, everyone.

I wanted to take the time to thank you for accepting me into your community. I've been particularly impressed that the group here seems to be very tolerant and even, dare I say, scientific and open minded, which is a refreshing change of pace. I hope I can contribute soon!

My name is Alex. I'm a thirty eight year old historian and game designer living in the States.

I've been interested in the Ripper case since childhood, when a television documentary utterly terrified me. I'll never forget it. Something about Doctor Cream's words, "I am Jack The" gave me nightmares... Silly, perhaps, but I was very young, and very impressionable. Since that time, I've increased my knowledge of the case, and was lucky enough, while going to school in London, to take one of the Ripper Walks (with a guide who was interested in talking about the story but hesitant to show pictures of the victims.. something I really appreciated at the time.)

At any rate, at the moment I'm working to increase my knowledge yet again, both for academic purposes and, as a side project, perhaps finish one of my long delayed game designs on the subject of the Ripper case.

I thank you once again for accepting me, and hope to contribute as much as I can!
Hello Mithras

Welcome to JtR Forums. There is a new book out about Dr. Neill Cream from A. J. (Amanda) Griffiths that you should check out. See http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2...ck-the-ripper/. Hopefully you can put your fears behind you... he was after all behind bars at the time of the Ripper murders, although if I were you I wouldn't accept a cocktail from the man.

All the best

Chris
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Old February 19th, 2016, 05:00 PM   #4
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Mithras:

There's another work on Cream which was done by Angus Maclaren, entitled 'A Prescription For Murder'. Good book, my friend.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 09:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Anna Morris View Post
Mithras: Since you are a historian you will know the importance of understanding and learning every detail to make the whole picture. The late Chris Scott did a lot of genealogic research on all sorts of people involved in this case. His work is continued by researchers like Debra A. and Gary Barnett. Do read everything you can find of their work.

The one big thing, beside finding Jack, is figuring out who was Mary Jane Kelly. Is she the key to the case? (I doubt it.) Did she know Jack? Was she going to replace Barnett with Jack, except Jack turned out to be Jack? Or was she a random victim who happened to have her own room and too much to drink on the fateful night? Anyway, that is my personal interest at this time.
Anna:

Thank you kindly for the welcome, and for the excellent recommendations! I do agree that knowing as much as we can of each and every detail is vital to this sort of thing - history in general, but particularly when we are trying to find some truth in an area that has been full of misconceptions almost since the inception of the first concept that a Serial Killer was stalking the East End.

Oddly enough, much of my research has focused upon Mystery Religions (hence the screen name), and the history of what is "known" as compared to what is actually -known- is replete with manipulation of the data and the creation of "facts" out of whole cloth. Indeed, not unlike the debates that some times spring up in the "Ripperology" community and cause divisions amongst otherwise well meaning scholars and students, the debate about Mithraism, in particular, is so heavily mired in "side arguments" (in the case of Mithraism, 'Was Roman Mithraism based upon Persian Mithraism, or a completely unique faith in and of itself?) that the original intent of the study ('What can we learn about this powerful movement that nearly uprooted Christianity as the predominant faith of the Western World?) is often lost.
I'd certainly like to see more questions asked along the lines you suggest, "Alright, what does the historical evidence tell us? What does it not tell us? And why?" and I'm encouraged that I see a lot of that going on here!

(Not meaning to be judgmental. Just expressing optimism!)

I find the discussion of the Mary Kelly question fascinating, and it's certainly new ground for me; I had never really thought to question that she was one of the victims. I've doubted that she was the final victim (I still cling to the notion that the Ripper's count is uncomfortably low for someone with such methodologies and an obvious gusto for them) but I had never really considered, until reading through the forums and hearing more recent opinions on the subject, the wider questions that you (very reasonably) raise.

One issue that strikes me as somewhat odd regarding Mary (amongst the many sad things surrounding her death, of course) is the persistent description by at least one (or was it two?) witnesses who claimed that they could hear her singing happily through most of the evening. Since there was no forced entry, so far as anyone can tell, and since your stereotypical East End prostitute is not going to spend an entire evening with one client, let alone have him to her place for supper and a snuggle, I find the whole state of affairs curious. Was there another woman in the room? Was Barnett present? (Seems unlikely, but possible, I suppose.) If she did, as your questions suggest, think she'd found a new paramour, that would certainly tie that up nicely!

But if this latter piece is the case, then why one earth did the Fiend wait so long to strike? That, too, is another question, I've occasionally pondered. and placed in your very reasonable series of points, takes on a new light.

At one time, I seem to recall that it was proposed those given to serial murder, theoretically, were said to be less likely to target family members or loved ones unless those family members or loved ones had wrong them directly (in reality, or as perceived.) Is that still the case?
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Old February 19th, 2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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Hello Mithras

Welcome to JtR Forums. There is a new book out about Dr. Neill Cream from A. J. (Amanda) Griffiths that you should check out. See http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2...ck-the-ripper/. Hopefully you can put your fears behind you... he was after all behind bars at the time of the Ripper murders, although if I were you I wouldn't accept a cocktail from the man.

All the best

Chris
HAH!

Thank you, Chris. I believe I'm fully over my fear of the nefarious Herbalist at this stage, but I will certainly have a look at the reference. He's a fascinating character nonetheless.

Not really sure where I stand in terms of whom I suspect, though I know it's popular and useful to express whom one might endorse as the Fiend himself/herself. I waffle, depending upon where my reading takes me, which I suppose is reasonable so long as I'm not attempting to propose an entirely new theory. For a time I favored Druitt, but Tumbelty and the "Jacqueline the Ripper" theories also intrigue me. I confess the predominance of my thinking at the moment is that the suspect, whomever he or she is, is probably right under our nose, and has been since 1888. And I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the City of London and Metropolitan Police Forces were closer than we often give them credit for; of course, this would assume that the "Female Ripper" option were off the table, and I'm not completely willing to dismiss that yet.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 09:35 PM   #7
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Mithras:

There's another work on Cream which was done by Angus Maclaren, entitled 'A Prescription For Murder'. Good book, my friend.
Thank you, Howard! I'll have a look. Always looking for good new books to read. Can't seem to consume enough of them.

Don't suppose you -or anyone else- would have perhaps a bit of advice as to which books I should -avoid-? Knowing what is generally accepted to be absolute rubbish (aside from the obvious 'Jack the Ripper was an Alien' stuff) would be most helpful as well! There are decades on the subject, and of course, it's helpful to read everything, but saves me time if somebody says, "I know such and such is well regarded as a read, and if you do it for that purpose, you'll enjoy it, but know that it's been thoroughly debunked."
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Old February 19th, 2016, 10:37 PM   #8
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Mithras:

Instead of mentioning titles to avoid....reading any of the following might help you decide which area(s) of the case ....
(suspect, aspect ( crime scene, victim history, medical reports), specialized ( newspaper history, photographic accounts, etc), or generalized ( overview of the Case according to the perception of the author )
you'd be most comfortable with. I have them all, so it isn't a case of me recommending something I'm not familiar with.

1. The Ultimate Sourcebook by Stewart Evans and Keith Skinner
--The Offical Files of The Metropolitan Police--
2. The A To Z ( Paul Begg, Martin Fido, & Keith Skinner )
--Entries for people, places, and things associated with the Whitechapel Murders--
3. Scotland Yard Investigates ( Evans, Donald Rumbelow)
-- The efforts of the Met & City police in attempting to capture the killer or killers...--
4. Complete History of Jack The Ripper ( Philip Sugden )
5. CSI : Whitechapel ( Begg, John Bennett, Jake Lauukanen)
6. Letters From Hell ( Evans and Skinner )
7. Jack The Ripper : The Facts ( Begg )

If you are interested in certain areas of the murders, let us know.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 10:52 PM   #9
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There are lots of ways to look at the evidence.

Some of our members here have written and published books. Two recent ones are 'Jack the Ripper: Case Solved 1891' by J. J. Hainsworth and 'Bank Holiday Murders' by Tom Wescott. There are a bunch of others. Use "Mango Books" for a search term here, for example.

I am always real careful about saying anything critical online because one might be interacting with the author. One book I felt was a waste of money was about "Uncle Jack" which was a twisted tale of a Welsh doctor fixated on Mary Kelly. It was based on family history, but I was disappointed.

There is another book put out as a "confession" of JtR. I think it's called "My Secret Life". This is actually a kind of pornographic book that pre-dates JtR. I was fairly disgusted with a lot of what was in it and I am not a prude. It was just more toward hard core than what I am comfortable with.

I wouldn't spend a lot of time on D'Onston unless you think he's the one.

Patricia Cornwell's book on Jack is entertaining but when I reread it recently I saw a lot of mistakes. She pulls everything together to say Walter Sickert did all Jack's crimes and many more. She has some interesting and new information that pertains and is good to know. The book is easy to fins in a used book store. (My avi is a joke to me. It is one of Walter Sickert's paintings of Mrs. Barrett as Mary Jane Kelly, who he supposedly knew well, so it is said.) Dr. Wynn Weston-Davies who knew, or whose family knew Sickert, said Sickert would talk for hours about JtR, but really didn't know anything. Guess he was an early Ripperologist.

I think the whole Ripper & Royals, etc. line is rubbish no matter who wrote it.

You have interacted with Christer Holmgren today. There are some videos of his work. I watched them on You Tube. There are links supplied on some threads here.

(Considering your work on Mithras, you might enjoy the James Tabor blog on early Christianity. I find it very interesting and have found some answers to things otherwise considered mysteries.)
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Old February 19th, 2016, 11:14 PM   #10
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Hi Mithras,

You won't go wrong with the books How suggested. Top notch, each one on understanding the case.
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