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Ripperologist No. 49: September 2003

1. Liverpool Convention Thoughts
Editorial by Christopher George
3. The Pensioner
Paul Shearman takes a look at Edward Stanley
6. See you in Hell Blindmaker
Rob Hills on Thomas Cutbush and Kearley and Tonge
10. The Mysterious Life and Death of PC Richard Brown
The strange story of a Jewish former sailor and soldier reported by Christopher George
15. The Demise of Quinn Square
Bernard Brown on the career of PC John Neil
17. Jack the Ripper's Liverpool
Christopher George examines the links between Jack and the venue for the recent Ripper Conference
21. Let's hear it for the Elephant Man
Eduardo Zinna brings the story of Joseph Merrick right up to date
26. I Beg To Report
All the news that fits to print. And sometimes not...
The Adventures of Inspector Abberline Jr
30. On the Crimebeat
Wilf Gregg on two Scottish true crime books and organised crime
31. Reviews
Ripper Diary: The Inside Story
Jack the Ripper: Crime Scene Investigation
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed
Whitechapel 1888
Colonel Blood: The Man Who Stole the Crown Jewels
The Real Bluebeard: The Life of Gilles De Rais
Chloroform: the Quest for Oblivion
The Lion and the Sphinx

...and more!
36. The Last Word
Wise words from Ripper Notes Editor Christopher-Michael DiGrazia

COVER ILLUSTRATION: Annie Chapman and husband John Chapman İThe Chapman family and Neal Sheldon

IN THE NEXT ISSUE: The next issue of Ripperologist is a milestone ­ it's our 50th! Contributors already lined up include Donald Rumbelow, Perry L Curtis, Martin Fido, Bernard Brown, Anne Perry, Birgitta Leufstadius... It's an issue not to be missed!

We have endeavoured to credit photo copyright to known sources and apologise to any copyright holders we have overlooked.

We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance given by the following people in the production of this issue of Ripperologist: the Chapman Family, Neil Powney, Neal Sheldon. Thank you!

In the News

RIPPERANA: Apropos our remarks in the last issue concerning comments in Ripperana, we received a postcard from editor Nick Warren pointing out that he did not write that the mastermind behind the so-called Maybrick Diary was 'someone well known' who walks among us as meetings, conferences, and so on, but that it was 'someone well known to some of us', which as he correctly points out is a statement with an altogether different meaning. Ripperologist is happy to make this correction. Mr Warren also assured us that he was not knocking Keith Skinner's book, but was trying to generate interest in it.

STEWART EVANS: Ripperologist has learned that Stewart Evans, co-author of The Lodger, The Man Who Hunted Jack the Ripper, The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook, and Letters From Hell, suffered a heart attack on 5 September and was rushed into hospital. He has since returned home and we are assured that he is recovering. Everyone at Ripperologist wishes him a speedy restoration to full health.

THE TAXMAN COMETH TO JACKO: In his February 2003 interview with Granada TV's Martin Bashir, Michael Jackson referenced the Ripper while denying that his habit of playing host to juveniles at his Neverland Ranch constitutes any type of abuse ('Who's Jack the Ripper in the Room?'). Now the pop superstar is apparently surrendering the tax-free status that his 2,600-acre California ranch has enjoyed up until this time. An inspection of his ranch by county officials five months ago revealed that Jackson should not have been receiving a property tax break under an agricultural preserve program. As part of the program, Jackson has paid around $123,000 (£70,000) in property tax this year, according to county records. Once removed from the program, he will owe closer to $200,000 (£114,000).

PROFESSOR CANTER URGES REGULATION OF PROSTITUTION: Professor David Canter, Director of the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool and a speaker at the recent Jack the Ripper conference in Liverpool, spoke at a University-hosted international conference on prostitution held in the city in September. The attendees considered the question 'Should the sale of sex on Britain's streets be legalised?' Canter cited the recent Liverpool prostitution murders as an example of what can happen when prostitution is not regulated (see August 'I Beg to Report'). He said: 'Following the recent brutal murder and dismemberment of two Liverpool prostitutes, the risks of the trade have never been more real. In a civilised society we need to find a way of helping women out of this dangerous and degrading trade or of managing their activities so that violence is minimised.'

JOHN RITTER, the popular American Emmy-winning sitcom actor died while undergoing surgery following a heart ailment on 11 September, aged one week short of 55. He was probably best known for his role in the American version of the popular British 70s sitcom Man About The House, in which a man shared a flat with two attractive women a risque concept back in those days. In the States the series was called Three's A Crowd and the eponymous Robin Tripp in the UK series was for some reason changed for the US series to Jack Ripper. Ritter, the son of country music legend Tex Ritter and actress Doris Fay, became ill while he was taping an episode of his comeback ABC TV series 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

ANDY AND CLAUDIA ALIFFE: The first marriage of people who met through their interest in Jack the Ripper? Who knows, but heartiest congratulations to Andy Aliffe and Claudia Oliver, two researchers (is there a Ripper book in recent years that doesn't mention Andy Aliffe in its acknowledgements? Not many!) and stalwart members of the Cloak and Dagger Club. They were married in August in Buckinghamshire and the ceremony was attended by several luminaries in our field, among them Ripper Notes editor Christopher-Michael DiGrazia, Ripperologist editor Paul Begg and production/design guru Adam Wood, Judith Stock, one of the organisers of the US Ripper Conference in 2004, and authors and game designers Andy and Sue Parlour.

PEABODY LIBRARY COLLECTION DAMAGED IN FLOOD: The collection at Baltimore's Peabody Library, founded by American merchant George Peabody, who used his philanthropy to found institutions in the East End of London and in the United States, has been damaged in a flood caused by a blocked pipe. The Massachusetts-born philanthropist's bequest of 1857 founded the Peabody Conservatory of Music, one the world's leading music conservatories, and the adjoining Peabody Library, located on Mount Vernon Place in downtown Baltimore. The entities are now part of the city's Johns Hopkins University. In early August, thousands of books at the library were damaged in a flood when a clogged pipe 'sent water seeping through five floors of historic books, damaging as many as 8,000 volumes from the 17th to the 19th century,' reported the Baltimore Sun on 6 August 2003. It is believed that the water damage occurred on the weekend of 23 July but was only discovered by staff on Monday, 4 August. The Peabody Library, built in the 1870s, is an important resource (it contains 318,000 volumes and is particularly known for its important genealogical collection) as well as an architectural treasure. Its five-story structure, from its marble floor to the tiers of cast iron balconies under a 61-foot glass skylight, is built in the Neo-Grecian style. Workers from a New York book restoration company were contracted to move the damaged books into two freezer trucks for transportation to Rochester, New York. A spokesman for Document Reprocessors stated that he hoped that most of the books could be returned in good condition within a month.

HEATHER GRAHAM IN BROADWAY PLAY: Heather Graham, who played last canonical victim Mary Jane Kelly in the film From Hell, is appearing on Broadway in the part of Waverly in a new play by Craig Wright entitled Recent Tragic Events. A statement on her recent motion picture with Johnny Depp perhaps? The play began on 5 September and runs in a limited engagement through 12 October at Playwrights Horizon Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street (tel. 212 279 4200, noon to 8:00pm daily).

WEBSITES ON THE VICTORIAN CITY, WOMEN, AND DRUDGERY: Phillip Mallett, Senior Lecturer in English at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, is responsible for a site that explores different aspects of Britain's cities at the time of Queen Victoria. Covered are population, railways and transport, the Great Exhibition of 1851, housing and health, work, education, law and order, fashion, architecture, and, last but not least, women, wives, and widows, reminding us that life was often short for men working in mines and other hazardous working class activities ( viccity/home.html). As part of his study of Victorian society as depicted in period novels, Dr. Mallett has developed a separate site on women and law in the nineteenth century, including a section on prostitution ( viccity/home.html) ...and one on drudgery in the era which links to a group of texts that give views on drudgery in manual labour in the era by Dickens and other observers. ( drudgery.html)

MAYBRICK, MARY CELESTE ETC IN LIVERPOOL PAPERS: A website on tidbits gleaned from Liverpool newspapers from various years put together by Jane Campbell includes Maybrick material. An article from the Liverpool Mercury of 18 January 1913 recalls Florence Maybrick's trial and the obituary of her brother-in-law, composer Michael Maybrick (aka Stephen Adams), is also transcribed from the same newspaper for 30 August 1913.

( Other nuggets collected are on other crimes, disasters, and general history, and a theory as to the solution to the mystery of the Mary Celeste. One wonders, however, about the following entry reprinted by the Mercury from a then century old newspaper: 'April 15th 1813. At the late delivery of the constables lists of the militia, the following curious returns were made in the parish of Sedgley. Joseph FELLOWS, aged 70, number of children of 1st wife 10, by second wife 13, by third wife 4, and Jack in the box!' (

RENDELL HANDLES AUDREY HEPBURN SALE: In 1993, the report by New York documents dealer Kenneth W. Rendell played a major part in persuading Time-Warner not to publish the Maybrick 'Diary', and his role in L'Affaire Diary is discussed in the new book by Linder, Morris, and Skinner, Ripper Diary: The Inside Story. Lately, the documents dealer has been handling a major sale of documents from the estate of the late film star, Audrey Hepburn. On 22 August, 26 letters by Hepburn, Oscar-winning star of Roman Holiday (1953) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), written by the actress to her father and friends between 1951 by 1987, were put up for sale by Rendell for $175,000 (£100,000). (New York Times.)


The First Jack the Ripper Victim Photographs by Robert J McLaughlin will be a short, profusely illustrated book that explores the photographic aspects of the Ripper case. It will contain a reprint of the Ripper chapter from Alexandre Lacassagne's Vacher l'Eventreur et Les Crimes Sadiques along with an English language translation. Analysis of the two 'new' photos, and original research on the man who photographed most of the Whitechapel victims. This will be the first book to publish all of the known victim photographs of the case. The author also discusses a book that published a photo of Mary Kelly before Lacassagne and explores how the victim pictures ever ended up in France and whether they still exist. The book will be self-published and released in October/November. Contact for further details. Lacassagne's work is available in PDF format on the French Bibliotheque nationale's gallica site (

Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals by Ivor Edwards is due to be published in paperback by John Blake right now. (272 pages, ISBN 190403487X; cover price £5.59).

Jack the Ripper: The American Connection. Shirley Harrison has updated her book about the so-called Maybrick diary and 'amazing new evidence which suggests that Jack the Ripper committed his horrific murders in America as well as London.' Due out in September from Blake Publishing (ISBN 1857825713; cover price £16.99).

The American Murders of Jack the Ripper by R Michael Gordon is slated for publication in November by Praeger Publishers (ISBN: 0-275-98155-X), who looks at 'the American murders of Jack the Ripper' in the 1891 and 1892 crimes of Severin Klosowski; and the murder Carrie Brown, who was was brutally slashed and mutilated in her hotel room in 1891. Hannah Robinson, a servant girl, was found strangled to death at a construction site on Long Island that summer. Early the following year, 73-year-old Elizabeth Senior struggled bravely against an intruder who stabbed her multiple times in her New Jersey home. Finally, the body of a teenager, Herta Mary Anderson, a New Jersey hotel maid, was found in a wooded area near Perth Amboy, dead from a bullet wound with her throat cut. How could the Ripper evade capture so easily? Why did the American connection remain hidden for so long?'

Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts by Paul Begg will be re-published by Robson Books in 2003, thoroughly revised and updated.

Jack el Destripador. After a series of delays due to venerable Argentine Ripperologist Juan-Jacobo Bajarlia's poor health, the previously announced collection of essays by Ripper-folk to be published in Argentina is again on the works. Contributors include Andy Aliffe on the Ripper in popular art, Bajarlia on an Argentine Ripper suspect, Paul Begg on the social situation in Britain in 1888, Juan Jose Delaney on the Ripper in Buenos Aires, Christopher-Michael DiGrazia on press coverage of the Ripper murders and Eduardo Zinna on the suspects.

Shadow Pasts. Professor William D Rubinstein expands on his articles in historical journals about 'amateur' historians, including Ripperologists. Due from Longman (ISBN 0582505976; cover price £20).

The Quest For Jack the Ripper: A Literary History 1888-2000 by Richard Whittington-Egan. Is it ever really going to appear?

The Royal Legacy of Hate. Expected to be a further volume of revelations about the regal ancestry of Joseph Sickert ­ who died last January ­ this book is still promised, but when or by whom remains unknown.

Tom Sleman. And we're told that Tom Sleman's book on the Ripper is back on the stocks. More details as and when we have them.