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The Last Victim of the Bloody Tower
Millie Heenan
Dorrance Publishing, 2003
Cardstock covers, 28pp.
ISBN: 0805958584

Casebook Review:

This short work seems to have come in under the radar, and perhaps rightfully so. The Last Victim of the Bloody Tower is a rambling, 28-page monograph whose central thesis seems to be that cultural extravagance (in the form of aristocracy, drugs, luxury and illicit sex) is the single driving force behind most, if not all, of the evils of the world - Jack the Ripper included. In the introduction Mrs. Heenan (a native Englander currently living in California) compares the Ripper to Al Capone, Adolf Hitler, modern-day drug cartels and even Honda automobiles (!) as products of "luxury and extravagance." Meanwhile she extols the virtues of Herbert Hoover, George Washington, Volkswagen Bugs, the Pilgrims and democracy in general - though what any of that has to do with the subject at hand is anyone's guess.

Things become slightly more focused once Mrs. Heenan begins to discuss her theory as to the Ripper's identity. The killer, says Heenan, was none other than Prince Eddy. She acknowledges that the basic tenets of her theory have been previously "insinuated", yet she insists that the full story has never before been told.

According to Heenan, Eddy adored his doting mother, and was angered by his father's "calumnious behavior" with prostitutes. Because he was mentally "underdeveloped" (the result of the illicit sexual behavior of his father) Eddy blamed the prostitutes, and not the Prince of Wales, for his mother's suffering. Queen Victoria's constant agitation over the subject of British prostitution also helped fan Eddy's hatred for the unfortunate class. It appeared to be a love/hate relationship, however, as Heenan admits that Eddy had a fondness for low-class prostitutes himself.

Regardless, one day, after a forced visit to Sir William Gull for a medical examination, Eddy became entranced by a set of surgical knives and hid one inside his waistcoat. He began hearing voices in his head, and soon enough, they began to prod him into slaying Whitechapel prostitutes.

The royal family began to suspect Eddy's involvement and sometime after the Kelly murder, they rushed him off to Egypt and India to get him out of the country for a while. He returned just in time to kill Frances Coles in February 1891, but would die of tertiary syphilis less than a year later. The police, of course, covered up his involvement, and with the help of James FitzJames Stephen, "produced James Maybrick as a suspect."

Needless to say, Heenan offers little in the way of historical fact to support her theory, but nevertheless, to her at least, "the identity of Jack the Ripper is known."

Overall, a ponderous read which I doubt even the most ardent Royal Conspiracist would recommend.

Available from Dorrance Publishing: http://www.dorrancebookstore.com/lasvicofbloo.html


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