JACK THE RIPPER AT LAST?
by Helena Wojtczak
HOW TO ORDER
7 APRIL 2016
292 pages, 156mm x 234mm
Publisher: Hastings Press
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Ripperologist magazine review
"While I thought I knew a little about the Southwark poisoner, and quite a lot about Jack the Ripper I was surprised to find how little I knew about the Polish hairdresser/publican.
It seems that I, like many other readers and authors, have been misled about the origins and modus operandi of Chapman.
I am impressed by the depth of her research, particularly of the early history of Seweryn Klosowski in Russian-occupied Poland. The early mistranslation by Joseph Petrykowski which showed Klosowski as a junior surgeon rather than as a 'feldsher' or what we might call today a practice nurse or army field nurse with no experience or authority to do invasive surgery, is immensely important, I feel, in distancing him from the Ripper theories.
For the first time Chapman has been properly investigated. As a retired police officer I admire the lengths to which the author has gone to search out the truth and to dismiss what had previously been thought of as facts. It is a frequently voiced opinion among police officers that an investigation should be a search for the truth, and this the author has achieved.
I am impressed by her attention to detail, and the fact that there are over 600 footnotes carefully enumerating every source. Ms Wojtczak deserves the greatest praise. If there is a prize for the best true-crime account this year I would have no hesitation in promoting this writer. In addition, she makes the whole story very readable."
Jack Akrigg. Metropolitan Police 1963-1998
"A masterful work which provides all the factual details available about this most cruel and sadistic murderer in a readable and engrossing format. Profusely illustrated and with all sources referenced in footnotes makes this a valuable reference work for one of the most notable cases and trials in modern history.
This was a killer so cruel and merciless that he was considered to be akin to Jack the Ripper. That he could torture and kill his unsuspecting lovers in such a callous manner guaranteed him a place in the history of crime, and earned him a spot in Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors.
In reading this book you will discover for yourself what led some people to consider him a prime suspect for the Whitechapel murders of 1888 and beyond.
If you are a reader of true crime books, this is a must-have addition to your library, if you are a true crime author or have aspirations to be one, this book is a prime example of how to do it correctly. A fascinating work, thoroughly recommended.
Above and beyond the content, the quality of publication is superb with a printed hardcover, dustcover, heavyweight paper, stitched binding and silk page marker."
"George Chapman has always fascinated me ever since I discovered that my grandmother was cousin to one of Chapman's victims, Maud Marsh. Everything I read about Chapman was always in relation to Jack the Ripper and his candidacy of being the fiend that terrorised Whitechapel in the autumn of 1888, so I was really looking forward to this book, hoping for more detail into the case.
I was not disappointed. The readable but thorough research into the life and crimes of Chapman dispel the myths and many inaccuracies that have been previously written by others and tells the story of one man's descent into crime and eventual murder of three innocent women. The short biographies of all the people involved are a lovely touch and the authors own intelligent conclusions make it a fascinating read from beginning to end.
The book, itself, is beautifully presented. Pages filled with illustrations and photos, some never having been published before, the design of the cover, to the thoughtful ribbon bookmark make this a book to treasure forever. In fact, I downloaded the Kindle version so as not to ruin it when I read in bed!
A must read for all those interested in historical crime and, indeed, Jack the Ripper. For me, it's one of the best and most thorough books I have ever read about true crime."
"What I found most interesting about the book is the way Chapman is presented. He is not given to us as a continent hopping multiple murderer, but instead as a man who worked his way through life, encountering women, poison, and the ultimately the noose.
The chapter regarding the stories and myths surrounding his life was fascinating, and I was amazed at the number of stories and myths surrounding him, stories that seem to commonly accepted facts. Helena takes these stories and shows them to be falsehoods by placing them alongside contemporary historical sources.
The chapter regarding his candidacy as "Jack the Ripper" appealed to me most, being a Ripperologist, and I was fascinated by the 15 points set out against Chapman as Ripper. Helena takes these points and discusses them against contemporary historical sources, presenting a fair and balanced argument for her theories.
Well researched, well presented, and thoroughly referenced throughout. The book will appeal to those with an interest in true crime, criminal history, and anyone, like me, with an interest in Jack the Ripper."