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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Sickert, Walter » Patricia Cornwell's book » Archive through September 23, 2003 « Previous Next »

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DLR
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Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 6:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am halfway through Cornwall's book and although it is interesting, I find her evidence insubstatial so far. I think she should be more responsible and avoid phrases like "Sickert was a sadistic, cruel man", replacing them with a more ethical statment, for example, "This evidence, if conclusively implicating Sickert, would mean he was a sadistic cruel man".

I was quite turned off to see someone so casually toy with another's reputation. For most laypersons, accusations are enough to render guilt.
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Monty
Inspector
Username: Monty

Post Number: 232
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

DRL,

I congratulate you on getting that far.

The phrases you quote are the reason why I couldnt stomach this book and took me 3 attempts before I finished it.

Its a measure of the author and their case against Walter when they are reduced to unsupported statements such as those.

Monty
:-(
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
Detective Sergeant
Username: Picapica

Post Number: 102
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 2:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Last week I bought the book for 4.99 in a book shop in Leeds. Now I can decide whether the bloody thing is rubbish or not. I've had a quick squint at the captions of the photographs and I am, already, forming an opinion.

Cheers, unbelieving Mark
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Rabid Babka
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Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

....not surprisingly,since this site has devoted an inordinate amount of time on both Maybrick,Sickert,and whether England will win some sporting event. More on the A?R theory is needed
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Simon Seaton
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Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 12:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also just finished this book, and found it to be highly readable (as you might expect from such an accomplished fiction writer) rubbish.

The biggest single question for me is:

Cornwell is emphatic that Sickert was impotent and no offspring. So who was Joseph Sickert I understood to be Walter Sickerts son? Stephen Knight and Melvyn Fairclough both used his "stories" as basis of books and I beleive he even went onto BBC television in 1973.

So what is basis of Cotrnwell's claim... does she deny his exostance or that he is Sickerts son? Why doesn't she address this issue as it is crucial to her case? I realise no-one reading this will have the answer - but someone, somewhere, must have asked her this question?
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John Yule
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Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since seeing the BBC documentary on Cornwell's book I have wanted to read it, but didn't want to give her a penny in royalties on what appeared to be a monsterous libel of a defenseless man. I finally checked the book out of the library a couple of days ago.

I was immediately put off by her obvious bias against Sickert before she had even introduced him to the readers properly. As others have mentioned, her writing style is difficult. Since she is a highly successful author I suspect the convoluted writing is deliberate, to camouflage the complete lack of evidence for her thesis.

Did she connect Sickert to the crime scenes? No.

Did she connect Sickert to the victims? No.

Did she connect Sickert to the Jack the Ripper letters? Irrelevant. Proving he wrote a letter is not proof he committed any of the murders.

She says she first began to suspect Sickert after viewing his painting. Nonsense. She was pointed to Walter Sickert by John Grieve of Scotland Yard, by her own admission. She does not appear to have ever considered any other suspect.

She clearly read Knight's book from 1976 which was based on Joseph Sickert's allegations, but she does not reference Knight in her bibilography. She dismisses the Royal/Masonic theory out of hand, but does not explain why she kept Sickert, who first appeared as part of this theory, and promoted him to chief suspect. I expect she did not reference Knight as to do so would require her to admit that only a confessed hoaxer's story (Joseph recanted the whole thing) ever associated Walter Sickert with the Ripper murders.

Cornwell has said she stakes her reputation on Walter Sickert being the Ripper. So far as I am concerned, it's a deal; her reputation is zip with me.
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Paul Gibson
Sergeant
Username: Rupertbear

Post Number: 34
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 8:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Top call, John Yule...

She never considered any other suspect and has actually managed to fill up a hell of a lot of pages in a very short time, which speaks volumes for the lack of research that went into her book.

However, being quintissentially and self-effacingly English, it was the arrogance and superior leer in the text that drove me mad.

The bit where she pretends to be kept awake worrying about whether she is doing the right thing, before answering her own hypothetical question by asserting that it is important for her to finish the book so she can set the world to rights is so horrendously grating that I would rather listen to somebody dragging a metal gardening claw across the face of a blackboard than read it again.

I have a JTR book collection to maintain...but for this my copy of this monstrosity would have been donated to the church jumble sale!

I have also resolved not to read any of her detective stories either.

Just to fuel the debate...is there anybody out there that did enjoy reading this book?

Paul
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Glenn L Andersson
Inspector
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 161
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Paul

Om the message board link "Books, Films and Other Medias" -- "Non-Fiction Books" -- Portrait of a Killer" a guy named Rick Paulas started an interesting thread called "In Defense of...". He never came back, though...

It's probably not the easiest task in the world to come up with deasent arguments supporting the book, although Rick gave it a good try. But let's hope somebody out there picks up the glove on her behalf, for the sake of the debate.

All the best
Glenn L Andersson
Crime historian, Sweden
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Julie Lambert
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Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 3:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For an author researching and writing about a nineteenth century artist, I think Cornwell displays a considerable lack of knowledge about nineteenth century art!

Doesn't she know that Sickert was inspired by Degas and Toulousse-Lautrec, both of whom were inspired by the colourful but dark (metaphorically speaking) side of city night life? This fact alone explains Sickert's pre-occupation with music halls - they were innovative sources and subjects for his paintings.

It is true that Sickert was fascinated by the murders but so were a great many people in high society including George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Conan Doyle and others.

His painting 'jack The Ripper's Bedroom' came about after his landlady told him the previous occupant of his room had been a young man she suspected of being the murderer. This was a tale told by many landladies of the time all over London.

There is no evidence at all to link Sickert to the murder scenes or even place him in London at the time of the murders,

However, the biggest flaw in her claim is the motive. She suggests that his genital disfigurement resulted in an abnormal sex life - or even none at all. How can she possibly know this? It is also rather offensive to suggest that such a disfigurement inevitabley leads to multiple sex murder.

Cornwell also switches between this disfigurement and psychopathia as motives. Well, which is it Patricia?

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Glenn L Andersson
Inspector
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 195
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 9:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Julie,

You are absolutely right that the fascination for murders, myths etc. always has been an important source of inspirations for many artists. Sickert was probably no exeption from this. So it doesn't link him to the killings at all. The problem with using art in an investigation of crime is that it only can result in subjective and personal interpretations, and therefore it's a useless method in this context.

The biggest problem with the book's argument concerning the genital disfigurement is that we don't really know if he really was disfigured, Cornwell only assumes -- or are taking for granted -- that he was.
Then, I must add, disfigurement in a sexual context, and also other sexual related problems -- like impotense -- can be one of many factors that can trigger someone with the right characteristics into serial killing. Most serial killers have a low self-image and therefore are trying to create situations where they feel they are in control.

If it's a criminal sociopath this can be done by raping, torturing and killing victims, mostly victims that are easy targets, like prostitutes. If it's a less controlled personality type, like a paranoid schizofrenic, this is mostly concieved by violent acts, done in a frenzy and blitz-like manner, and with less planning and self-assurance than the sociopath. The common link, though, is the lack of self-confidence and the need to repair this in the only way they know, and therefore also the choice of victims.

So the motive doesen't have to be that far off, really (although this is probably just one of many factors that creates the motive). But the problem is, regarding Cornwell's assumptions, that this base for the motive isn't proven! Not even Cornwell can assure us with certainty that Sickert really had this disfigurement -- she just draws the conclusion that he undertook some operations when he was a young boy, which is appearently uncomfirmed.

Phsycopathia isn't a motive, it's a mental condition. The reasons for Jack the Ripper's crimes could be hatred of women, revenge for veneral deseases, unlucky upbringing, or most likely a combination of these factors. If he were a sociopath these could be considered as motives, and he could also have a brain injury.

If he were a deranged person, with paranoid tendencies, his background could be the same as the sociopath, but he wouldn't necessarily be aware of the reasons or motives for his conducts -- he would only feel an urge, a need to kill and destroy the objects for his hatred, and he would most certainly not have an outgoing, manipulative personality. This is, in my view, a more probable description of Jack the Ripper -- this profile certainly doesen't fit the characteristics for the controlled, cunning and intelligent Walter Sickert, though.

All the best
Glenn L Andersson
Crime historian, Sweden
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Julie Lambert
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Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 3:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Glen,
I agree that the ripper was most probably not an outgoing person but one who sought control over helpless and vulnerable women in an extreme way.

Also, I feel that if Cornwell can build a case around Sickert on the basis that he appeared to weave aspects of the ripper case into his art, then she herself must be a secret multiple killer based on the fact that she writes about muder all the time and describes scenes of complete horror in her books, therefore she must be guilty of something!
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Glenn L Andersson
Inspector
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 209
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 5:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi again Julie,

"...then she herself must be a secret multiple killer..."

Seriously, there always is a problem with reading too much into art. I know this from my background as an art historian. Looking at Sickert's personality, I don't find it surprising at all that he found the Ripper murders fascinating, and some of the mortuary pictures could be seen published already during those days -- he could even have been one of them that visited the murder sites when the events occured and saw the scenes himself -- IF he were in London at these occasions, which I doubt. So the paintings doesn't get us anywhere as far as evidence are concerned.

And if we then add to it, that "reading" or interpreting art is a totally subjective act, then what does that leave us...? Nothing. So you're absolutely right, the paintings doesn't indicate the things Cornwell says they do.

All the best
Glenn L Andersson
Crime historian, Sweden
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Peter Cottridge
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Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 4:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have just finished Cornwell's book. I looked into my copy of John Rothenstein's 'Modern English Painters' for some biographical background of Sickert and was amazed at a quotation from an article written by Sickert in The English Review from 1912. He was writing about how art of the past should be respected and says 'How barbarous you would seem if you were unable to bestow your admiration and affection on a fascinating child in the nursery without at once finding yourself compelled to rush downstairs and cut its mother's throat and stifle its grandmother. These ladies may still have their uses.' He may not be JTR but the imagery he uses indicates a fascination with violence against women.
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Glenn L Andersson
Inspector
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 225
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 2:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Peter,


"He may not be JTR but the imagery he uses indicates a fascination with violence against women."

Absolutely. And I won't even rule out the possibility that he were a psycopath as well. But -- as you imply -- it doesen't prove that he should be identical with the Ripper.

All the best



Glenn L Andersson
Crime historian, Sweden
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Julie Lambert
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Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 1:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Peter
What a very odd and interesting quote! I'm rather glad that Cornwell did no herself discover this gem!

Numerous examples of peculiar attitudes towards women can be found in art, literature, poetry and music throughout the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Women were mysterious creatures who were seen as both fascinating but terrifying and threatening. A lot of these attitudes stem from religious ideas about original sin and the danger of women's sexuality.

Sickert's art is, I think, rather tender towards women and most of what Patricia Cornwell read into the paintings and sketches simply demonstrated her ignorance of art of the time.
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Alan Sharp
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Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 11:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I read Cornwell's book some months ago as a bit of a Ripper novice not really knowning what to expect and unlike Simon Seaton, I didn't even find it to be highly readable rubbish! Even to a complete beginner it was obvious from the beginning that she had no actual evidence on which to base her accusation. Her statement that John Grieve had told her he would have been happy to go to the Crown Prosecution Service with the evidence she had amassed shows that either Grieve is the world's worst detective or else he was taking the p*** because the CPS would surely have laughed him out of the room if he had done so.

Not only does the book contain accusations which are anecdotal at best but Cornwell herself seems unable to resist over-egging the pudding at every turn. The part that sticks in my mind the most was when she described this man who she had not connected to the Ripper in any way but he was seen by a watchman or some other with a knife which he described as being similar to one a cook might use, she then followed this up as if it were some great revelation by saying "Sickert liked to cook for his friends".
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Glenn L Andersson
Inspector
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 227
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 10:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Julie, Alan

Julie!

"Women were mysterious creatures who were seen as both fascinating but terrifying and threatening. A lot of these attitudes stem from religious ideas about original sin and the danger of women's sexuality.
Sickert's art is, I think, rather tender towards women and most of what Patricia Cornwell read into the paintings and sketches simply demonstrated her ignorance of art of the time."


You are absolutely right about this. One such great example was the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, who saw women as vampires and living threats, at the same time as he was fascinated by them. This dualism was a common feature in the art of the underground during the turn of the century (but had its origin in the general complex view upon women at the time) -- especially during the 1890's and a bit into the beginning of the 20th century. This can be seen in Sickert's art but it is also evident in others.

The fact that Cornwell didn't pick up on this, indeed reveal some lack of understanding of art.


Alan,

The last thing you describe I think is the approach that is most used in the book, and she makes these very strange conclusions in a lot of sections.

If you two haven't read the threads on "Books, Films and Other Medias" -- "Non-fiction Books" -- "Portrait of a Killer", I'd recommend these, especially the "Bargain Basement" thread, where we've had a lot of interesting discussions on the matter.

By the way, Alan: regarding your post on the thread "Books", I agree with you that The Cases That Haunts Us is an interesting book, well worth reading..

All the best
Glenn L Andersson
Crime historian, Sweden
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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 122
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 3:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Mr Cottridge,

I don't think the quote you mention show's any particular dislike/hatred of women. In this context Sickert is using not a woman but a mother and a grandmother, symbolising what had gone before, he could equally have said father or grandfather. Now if he had said 'Cut the throat of the sister' that would have given pause for thought.

all the best
Bob
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Phil Ross
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Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 5:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ive just finished the book and Ive concluded that Sickert may have sent a few fantasy letters, nothing more. Cornwells case is pushed by her through pure obsession and is probably the worst thing she could have commited to paper in her entire career. I was waiting for the paragraph which would have read something like " there was no gentlemans pocket comb found at the scene, Sickert often shaved his head". Come on Patricia, get a life !!!!

Phil Ross
Manchester
England
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marty
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Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 12:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what manner of woman? does cornwall actually believe this tripe herself? you wouldn't think so, which leaves the conclusion that cornwall has knowingly slandered an innocent man, and mislead thousands, all in order to pocket quite a few bucks - a nasty crime indeed.
any thoughts?
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Noel Fraser
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Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 10:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never actually read a Patricia Cornwall novel before but had heard she enjoyed a good reputation. Then I bought 'Portrait of a Killer' at our local supermarket as something different to read on a train journey to Manchester. I began to have serious misgivings about the claim on the book cover that "Patricia Cornwall....here presents the hard evidence that the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders was the world famous artisit, Walter Sickert" when by page 7 she was pointing the finger at Sickert as "the most dangerous and confounding killers of all time" just because his friend, Whistler, got married!! This without giving any serious consideration to any other suspect. I'm about two thirds of the way through the book (which prompted me to run a search through Yahoo on Sickert leading to this site). It gives an interesting insight in to life in Victorian London, but as an attempt at a serious detective work, I'm sorry - too much imagination and contrived coincidence. If her detective novels are on par with this piece of mischief then I won't be rushing out to buy one.
N Fraser, Tyne & Wear, UK
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John Feaster
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Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 11:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have never posted on this site before, and my only reasons for doing so now is that I've just finished a couple books about the "Ripper" and wanted to read about what others had to say about the subject. First of all...Walter Sickert seems to have been an unpleasant person, and I do believe he's the author of some (perhaps many) of the "Ripper" Letters. I think he was the sort of person who could have killed that many woman...

But I don't quite believe he's the man. Like many other people who've tried to find the man behind the murders, I think Cornwall got a little to emotionaly involved with her subject. Their's a big difference between saying "Walter Sickert could have been the murderer" and "Walter Sickert IS the murderer"

Heck...Francis Tumblety (my favorite suspect) COULD have done it. George Chapman COULD have done it. Heck, ANYONE COULD HAVE DONE IT!
Patricia Cornwall wrote a good book with lots of solid facts and looked at the case from a new angle. "Case Closed" is an excellent book...but it's realy just another theory.

I do think she was right that the Ripper kept on killing, and I feel that many of the killings she's connected to the Ripper are correct. Heck, I'll go further than that...I feel Sickert (a rotten person at heart) may have been amused at the killings, or even did one himself...

But I don't think he's the Ripper. I think he was an unpleasant person with a sick interest in death (some of his his art...ugh.) and if someone wanted to draw sketches of dying soldiers today I don't think we'd call him a "Genius". But he's probably not the Ripper.
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Julie Lambert
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Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John,
On what grounds do you think Sickert was an unplesant person? Because Cornwell says so? Did she know him? Did she speak to anyone who knew him?

Do you think it follows that Cornwell is unpleasant because she writes books about murder?

Artists have always taken inspiration from events, both contemporary and historic. Picasso painted scenes from the Spanish Civil War, numerous works have depicted the crucifiction, First World War poets described life in the trenches, photography has done even more to graphically capture the more unpleasant results of man's inhumanity and nature's unpredictability.

Sickert was typical of his time, an artist and Victorian gentleman - a flaneur who comsumed, enjoyed and celebrated the spectatorship of the city in all of its glory and seediness.

Jack the Ripper? Never!
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John Feaster
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Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 5:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actualy Mr. Sickerts work made me uncomfortable in school. He seemd to enjoy the seedy underbelly of life too much.

Also....many of the people we read of in our history books were actualy pretty rotten fellows. As an American I was raised to think of Washington, Franklin and Columbis as heros. But as time his passed I've come to see the flaws in these people. The flaws that school and "official Biographers" work hard to keep from you.

Also, and I point this out only because nobody else seems to care, have you noticed that Jack the Ripper might not be ANYONE on this site? I keep reading that this Cornwall woman (I've never read her other books. I bought this one because of the subject) is "slandering" Sickert.

If one of these men actualy is the killer, then aren't we slandering the rest? Where's the indignation and sympathy for poor Druitt? I'll bet nobody wastes any time feeling sorry for him.

Sometimes our heros turnout to be monsters. As much as I like Edgar Allan Poe's work I'm certain I'd find the man repulsive. I'm a great fan of Ben Franklin, but I KNOW I'd hate the man.

Once again I figure I should make my opinion quite clear. I DON'T THINK SICKERT'S THE RIPPER!

My favorite suspect is Francis Tumblety (and I'm not certain about him). "Case Closed" has some good facts, and I think she's right about the letters being "works of art" with all the paints and colors, but I also think much of her "evidence" should be filed under "fluff"

Sure it's "possible" that Sickert was Jack the Ripper, but it's also "Possible" that Cream had a double!

It's possible...just not probable.

I'm not wanting a fight, Mrs. Lambert. If you feel I've offended you then please understand it wasn't my object. I'm just voicing my opinion in an open forum.

Actualy, I'd like to ask you (or anyone) a question. Have you ever played any Role Playing Games like "Call of Cthulhu"? I ask because I'm trying to put together a special game with friends using the "Gaslight" version of "CoC". In it the characters are...

Francis Tumblety
T. Neill Cream (or his "Double" ;>)
George Chapman
Walter Sickert
Montague John Druitt

The plot has nothing to do with Jack the Ripper and deals entirely with another series of (purely fictional) murders in another part of London. The adventure will take them...

Heck, some of my gamers read this board. I'd better not go into anymore detail. Let's just say that the murderer isn't exactly human!

Any suggestions? Complaints? You'll notice that I don't even suggest that ANY of the suspects was the Ripper.
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Alan Sharp
Police Constable
Username: Ash

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 6:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If one of these men actualy is the killer, then aren't we slandering the rest? Where's the indignation and sympathy for poor Druitt? I'll bet nobody wastes any time feeling sorry for him.

The difference is that most on this board and in their various books will tell you "I think Druitt/Chapman/Cohen/Tumblety etc was the Ripper". Patricia Cornwell did not do this, she said "Walter Sickert WAS the Ripper" and continually throughout her book said "Walter Sickert did this" and "Walter Sickert did that", rather than "I believe Walter Sickert did this" and "in my opinion Walter Sickert may have done that".

I don't think anyone on this board has a problem with Cornwell investigating the case or coming up with Sickert as a suspect. It is her assertion that she has proved this and that she has "Closed the Case" that people have a problem with.

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