Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ripping Yarns.

A summing up and a possible verdict to a series of wicked crimes to this day without a culprit. Although I wonder in truth if such a thing is possible after all this time and all these theories as to the identity and to the reasons behind this series of ghastly murders all those years ago. In point of fact this book was itself first published one hundred years after that Autumn of Terror( actually the title of a fine book written on the subject by the author Tom Cullen.) took place and the Whitechapel district of  London shivered for fear at what walked its gaslit foggy streets. it is once of the staggering realizations about the notion of the ripper crimes and their place in history. That the phenomenon lasted, as far as can be determined, for ten weeks alone over a hundred years ago and yet it is hard to imagine any far flung corner of this world where the nick-name of its unidentified killer would not be known. I once read it suggested The Ripper crimes and their impact on the concious of the world helped give birth to the twentieth century. If this is so then it is hard to imagine a more gruesome delivery of a new century (although as a species we are bewilderingly adept at birthing fresh horrors.)
            It is a great read for anyone with an interest in this period of criminal and even social history with enough information to satisfy the well versed or the casual observer. Quite a few theories are aired, given consideration no matter how bizarre or unlikely. From the very plausible to the terribly unlikely and even out there to the very outre. The fringes of the map marking the Ripper territory should be marked with the legend Here Be Outre...
             When you go for a walk through the dark streets of Whitechapel London in 1988 you all too quickly find you are Feasting with Panthers. The shadow play of history throws weird shapes, figures distorted into caricature by passing of time and conspiracy, nick names and no names turning it all into a thought exercise with victim and villan all beyond reach. It is a compelling mystery though and its pursuit can become an addiction.
               The only certainty being nobody knows Jack.