Privately published, 2003. 48pp, illustrated.
Neal Shelden has fast become Ripperology's resident guru when it comes to
the victims of Jack the Ripper. This is his third such publication, after
Jack the Ripper and His Victims (1999) and Annie Chapman: Jack
the Ripper Victim. A Short Biography (2001). Whereas most Ripper
books tend to focus on the circumstances of their deaths, Neal focuses
instead on these women's lives, families and descendants. As such, his
books are a goldmine of information for those who wish to delve into the
more human aspects of the Whitechapel tragedies.
This latest offering concerns itself almost exclusively with Catherine Eddowes, the Ripper's fourth canonical victim. A comprehensive timeline of events in Catherine's life - from her birth in Wolverhampton in 1842, to her tragic death in Mitre Square in 1888 - forms the majority of the booklet. From there the timeline continues through the life of her daughter, Annie Phillips (nee Conway), from 1889 through 1942. Photographs are included of Catherine's great granddaughter, Catherine Sarah Hall. Although the only likenesses we have of Catherine Eddowes show a face mutilated nearly beyond recognition, more than a few people have commented on the eerie resemblance between Catherine Hall and her more well-known ancestor.
Other chapters are included as well. The first, entitled "The People Who Knew Mary Jane Kelly," offers information on "Morganstone", Mrs. Carthy, George Hutchinson and John McCarthy. Shelden offers up some interesting genealogical research on each and corrects several errors recently published by other authors. Another chapter, "Ripper Victim Research" provides updates on new information recently discovered about Emma Smith, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman and Elizabeth Stride. The book ends with a chapter on the three victims of Ripper suspect Severin Klosowski: Mary Spink, Bessie Taylor and Maud Marsh.
Like Neal's previous work, this booklet is not intended for the general Ripper audience. But those with a decided interest in the lives and descendants of the Ripper's victims will greedily devour every page for the details found within.