Friday, July 15, 2005
I always think of myself as a completist Jack the Ripper buff. By that I mean, even if books, stories and or merchandise are only tangentially related to the case, I'll probably buy it. But lately I've been wondering. There are books described as "historical romances" that either feature Jack or use him in some fashion. I just can't bring myself to buy them, much less read them. Am I not a true Ripperologist, then? There are also Jack the Ripper condoms available in the UK. Don't get me wrong, I've got dolls (action figures!) of Jack, a beer mug, a shot glass, a coaster, a t-shirt, etc. I just don't think there are some things I'll buy into, literally and figuratively. Plus, the condom thing even makes me a little uneasy, considering Jack's attitude toward the fairer sex.

Also, there are some news stories that mention him, but I just shrug. One recent one talks about a man who killed a person and left a "Jack the Ripper" note on the body. I'm sorry, but that's just lame. You're already a sick bastard and you aren't even original enough to come up with your own style? They're riding the coattails of Jack as if they would ever in their diseased minds "achieve" or equate the notoriety and social impact of Jack. One of the reasons that Jack is so famous is that he was directly responsible for highlighting the conditions of the East End and in one case, the dark passageway where he killed one woman was ripped down and opened up in order to keep people from being waylaid in that area again. Even George Bernard Shaw called him a "solitary genius" for bringing the plight of poor people to the attention of those who would rather have ignored them. So no one's going to see stories on this blog about this latest guy, the Yorkshire Ripper, BTK (anymore, besides the recent one where the author of a book about BTK mentioned Jack), Jack the Stripper, etc. If that makes me an IN-completist, so be it.

There are other famous cases that interest me, such as Crippen, Wallace, H. H. Holmes, The Priory Murder, Bartlett, Maybrick, Wayne Williams, Haigh, Cora Pearl (not a murderer, but fascinating), Vlad Tepes, Pomeroy, to name a few. I just have a problem with sequels, I guess.

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posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 10:49 AM | 0 comments


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