Interpreting the Ripper Letters - Missed Clues and Reflections on Victorian Society
Publisher: Pen & Sword True Crime
This true crime history examines the media frenzy surrounding Jack the Ripper—and what the so-called Ripper Letters reveal about Victorian society. In the autumn of 1888, a series of grisly murders took place in Whitechapel in London’s East End. The Whitechapel murderer, arguably the first of his kind, was never caught, though the police and local press received hundreds of letters claiming to be from the killer. Though most if not all of these letters were hoaxes, they gave rise to the best known pen-name in criminal history: Jack the Ripper. Some letters were taken more seriously than others, while a few—such as the infamous “Dear Boss” letter—sent thousands on a hunt to follow its clues. This book is not about the world’s first serial killer but about the twisted souls who played the part on paper, implicated innocent men, or suggested ever more lurid ways in which he could be caught. For true crime historian M.J. Trow, these letters offer a window into the disturbing shadows of the Victorian mind.