Tom Cullen, author of Autumn of Terror, died in the summer of 2001. He was 88 years old.
Cullen was born on 16 May 1913 in Oklahoma City, the son of a hotelier. He moved to Long Beach, California, with his family, when he was 7 years old and went to school in San Pedro. He studied economics and political science at the University of California then started work as a journalist on the United Progressive News. In the 1930's he campaigned on behalf of Upton Sinclair who ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic party candidate for Governor of California.
He joined the US Army in 1942 and served in Europe and Africa during WWII as a military journalist. He was discharged in the rank of Technical Sergeant in 1946 and worked for a while on trade magazines. He used the GI Bill to attend the Sorbonne in Paris. During the 1950's he freelanced in France, Germany and India before arriving in Britain. The American Government confiscated his passport because of his Communist connections. He obtained leave to stay on in Britain on a visitor's passport on the condition that he stayed out of trouble.
He then began research on his first book, Autumn of Terror: Jack the Ripper, His Crimes and Times (1965). His next book was The Empress Brown (1969), followed by books about Maundy Gregory, the Vicar of Stiffkey and Dr Crippen.