Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Cornwell Redux
A newspaper story details Patricia Cornwell's "new" evidence supporting her Walter Sickert theory. This article calls it a new "book," but from what I've seen there is just the familiar Portrait of a Killer with addendums. Seems that Patricia Cornwell has set herself up as a victim of a largely male establishment because of the criticism of her book. Oh, please. Wrong is wrong, no matter the gender of the person perpetrating the wrongful act. She has evidently poured more money into DNA research of letters, stamps, etc. of Walter Sickert and the Ripper letters. She refuses to grasp 2 very important concepts. 1)There is no evidence that Sickert actually licked his own stamps and 2) There is no evidence that the Ripper and the letter-writer(s) were one and the same person (people). Period. End of discussion. This has nothing to do with her being a woman, but evidently she's determined to force everyone to accept her theory no matter what. Cornwell worked in medical and police capacities before becoming a novelist--you would think she knows the difference between "beyond a reasonable doubt" and her contention of "Sickert cannot be ruled out as a suspect." She won't be happy until we all cry "mea culpa" and annoint her as the person who finally solved the case. We can all abandon our pursuits and critical takes on Jack because she's closed the case for good. Don't think so. I've even said that I applaud Cornwell for the money and the time she has put into the case; this does not mean that I agree with her theory, however. Moreover, I don't have to agree with her theory because she has not proven it. Instead of coming at the case from a fresh perspective, she started with a suspect and/or decided early on who the Ripper was and, with bulldog tenacity, refuses to even entertain the notion that she may be wrong, even to the extent of refusing to see the most basic of facts (no Ripper/letter-writer connection).

The article has a brief synopsis of other suspects as well.

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posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 9:12 AM | 5 comments

At 6:04 AM, Blogger brewsmith said...

eeeeeek hey, you scared me!

At 9:04 PM, Blogger . said...

She said Sickert's paintings resemble closely the scene and autposy photos.

At that time weren't the papers more forthcoming in publishing photos of sich things?

Sickert is known to be one of the first painters to have painted from photos.


At 3:21 PM, Blogger LT said...

Well, actually there were more artistic renderings of the autopsies and the major players in the cases rather than photos. Photos were taken but would have prohibitively expensive to print in newspapers.

Yes, Sickert painted from photos but he also employed prositutes and other ordinary people as models.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous artistry2b said...

I agree that Cornwell is half cocked. Once again a writer tries to manipulate the evidence to fit into the theory. Bad technique. I myself am an artist, and find my inspiration from many sources, sometimes even the news of the day, so to deduce that this painter was the Ripper based on his work is a cop out. Scotland Yard recieved hundreds of letters by tons of people saying they were the Ripper. People are wierd that way in that they will admit to things they WISHED they had done, but are virtually incapable of doing. Even the bad stuff. Keep thinking Butch.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was fascinated by PC's book when I read it. It seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. However I did find it hard to believe that a former crime writer for the Charlotte Observer could have solved this case when not even the FBI could. I think Ms. Cornwell should just let this obsession she has go. I have read a lot of comments about this book from different people in the months since I read her book and it seems that she twisted facts to suit her theory more often than not and other facts were thrown out altogether. She claims that Walter Sickert was a man with an unhappy home life with a deformed penis who was incapable of having sex. I have since learned that he had a very happy childhood and that he was married 3 times and fathered children. I think she should have titled this book Jack the Ripper: Case closed with a question mark and just presented this as an interesting theory. I believe PC's hope was that this book would salvage her writing career but I think all it really did was bring her a lot of bad publicity.


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