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Jack the Ripper: 150 Suspects
Christopher J. Morley
Ashley Press, 2004
Softcover, About 180 pages. Index.

Casebook Review:

This is Morley’s second Ripper book to be published this year, and in many ways its more a revised and extended edition of Jack the Ripper: Eliminating the Suspects, than it is a new and separate entity. The introduction, dedication and organization of the two books are similar (though not identical), but the most obvious difference between the two is the production quality. Whereas Morley’s previous work had no binding to speak of, and was printed on only one side of every sheet of paper, Jack the Ripper: 150 Suspects is a proper, bound book with glossy soft-covers, very much professionally put together.

Content-wise, 150 Suspects again surpasses its predecessor. More suspects are covered (the previous book covered 130), and many suspect entries seem to be more substantial than in his previous offering. The text is more readable, but still far too many errors in grammar and spelling are allowed in the final edit – which is a great shame, because it detracts from what is otherwise a fascinating suspect overview.

Many names held within will be new to even the most ardent Ripperologist – people like Oliver Matthews, John Murphy, Joseph Denny, Douglas Cow, Jack Irwin, Edward Quinn and James Shaw, all of whom, at one time or another, fell under suspicion. Detailed descriptions are offered for most suspects, though a few are given only a cursory examination of just 2-3 sentences.

Christopher Morley has obviously put a great deal of time and research into Jack the Ripper: 150 Suspects, poring through published Ripper books, contemporary news accounts and, apparently, the latest research published in Ripper periodicals and on the Internet. It is an altogether stronger and more substantial piece than his previous offering, and dedicated enthusiasts would likely find many new nuggets of information on some of the lesser-known suspects. Unfortunately the writing style often makes it very difficult to follow – sentence fragments, irregular capitalization and punctuation, misspellings and numerous grammatical errors mar what might otherwise have been an extremely successful independent publication.

Limited to 100 copies. Available directly from the author – please email christopherjmorley@hotmail.com for more information.