Some years ago I read the book written by Author Patricia Cornwell which contained her insistences that Jack the Ripper had to have been the famous artist Walter Sickert.
At the time I had to hide the book cover and title as I was a regular visitor of someone in hospital and visitors had to leave the ward for two hours during the lunch hour, so it provided me with sufficient time to read what was, a voluminous publication, albeit well researched and a page-turner, but containing some obviously disturbing and gruesome facts.
I have been on a Jack the Ripper bus journey which travelled through Whitechapel where some original houses were still standing. It was most chilling despite being in the company of a bus full of people.
I am old enough to recall the pea-souper conditions of heavy foggy evenings in the 1950s and 60s and can just imagine therefore how frightening it must have been walking through the streets of Whitechapel when Jack the Ripper was active.
Patricia Cornwell has apparently spent millions of pounds in research and it is, or has been, a quest for her as she is convinced she has unmasked this evil serial killer.
When she was being interviewed recently Ms Cornwell reported that even since her second book on the subject, which has just been published, yet more evidence is emerging and being gathered.
Her theory that there must have been far more murders attributed to the Ripper is easy to accept, given all the other facts.
Although the jury is still out on her further claims against Walter Sickert, when his artistic work is ever discussed I have never heard anyone else referring to the claims that he was Jack the Ripper, however, that may be purely for legally pragmatic reasons.
There are those however, whilst impressed with the evidence presented by Ms Cornwell, still insist on keeping an open mind.
The truth is undoubtedly known by someone, somewhere, but few think it will ever see the light of day, and Ms Cornwell should ensure she is not unwittingly the vehicle of fake facts, as whoever may have known who the true Jack the Ripper was at the time, would also have the power to protect him from disclosure, as will all those who may have maintained the secret ever since, perhaps even today.
Yet another chilling thought in itself.
There may also have been another reason why these murders were initiated, and it may not have had anything to do with the killer at all.
I think Ms Cornwell should explore such lateral thinking as well as following more traditional leads like bread crumbs which could be placed on the ground by anyone anywhere for a host of misleading reasons akin to ‘Operation Mincemeat‘ during WWII.
History has proven after all, that there is nothing new under the sun whether it be for good or evil.
Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine