Sunday, June 26, 2005
Daniel Farson's Book
I'm finishing up Daniel Farson's Jack the Ripper that I received on Thursday. My website that I purported to be "exhaustive" is now out of date, since I believe I have 10 items to add to it now. Anyway, Farson's suspect is Montague Druitt, failed lawyer and schoolteacher, cricketer. Whatever your thoughts on Druitt and/or Farson's case for him, the wonderful part of this book is Farson's interviews with denizens of East End who were alive at the time of the Ripper. This book was published in 1972, so it is plausible. These people give a great feel for the mood and climate of the neighborhood, even if their stories are not to be taken as 100 percent gospel truth. What Farson does repeat at least one canard that is annoying to researchers. He may have corrected these in later editions, but it's still annoying. (A canard, by the way, is just a fancy word for lie.) Farson states that the letter received by the newspapers talking about the "double event" was mailed two days before the event of September 30. Subsequent researches show that the letter could have been mailed later and still reached the newspapers in time for print. This letter, because of the timing, was supposed to prove that only the killer could have known he would "clip the ears" of a woman that night; therefore, only the killer could have sent it. But what if a journalist had written it? The timing would have been moot, then. What makes this letter more interesting is that it contains, as its signature, the sobriquet "Jack the Ripper." This makes it monumentally important. If Jack sent it, we know that he made up the name and we are confident in looking not only at this letter but subsequent ones, providing they match writing styles, handwriting analysis, etc. If not, the name was given to him by an "enteprising journalist" and would make the letters useless for identification purposes.

Other canards, not by Farson but by other writers and/or films, television:
Mary Kelly was pregnant--autopsy report showed no such thing.
The killer disappeared into the fog--Weather reports show fine, clear nights for the murders.
The kidney that was sent to Lusk belonged to Catherine Eddowes--nothing was ever proven on this front.
And more.
posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 6:54 PM | 1 comments

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Way over my head on all of this stuff, but I larnt a new word. :)


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