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 A Ripperologist Article 
This article originally appeared in Ripperologist No. 42, August 2002. Ripperologist is the most respected Ripper periodical on the market and has garnered our highest recommendation for serious students of the case. For more information, view our Ripperologist page. Our thanks to the editor of Ripperologist for permission to reprint this article.
I Beg To Report: News and Views in Brief

Bored with Jack the Ripper. Sorry, that should have read ‘board with Jack the Ripper’, a Monopoly-like board…

Called Whitechapel 1888, the game is for 2 to 7 players and is the invention of Andy and Sue Parlour (co-authors of The Jack the Ripper Whitechapel Murders) along with one of their friends, and has been designed by Adam Wood. It’s currently with two major game manufacturers who are showing a keen interest.

Jack pursues the five victims around the outside of the board, aiming to land on a murder site at the same time as one of them. If he does they’re ‘retired from the game’.

Once there’s just one victim left, she enters the inner part pf the board, Whitehall. Her aim is to get to Scotland Yard before being caught by Jack. When Jack enters Whitehall, PC White comes out of Scotland Yard and tries to catch Jack before he gets to Temple underground station.

There are a multitude of possible endings: the final victim could win by getting to Scotland Yard; Jack could also win by not catching the last victim but escaping from PC White; Jack could win by catching the victim and still escaping; or PC White could win by catching Jack whether or not he catches the victim.

At no time is Jack identified, although a booklet in the box will explain the facts as simply as possible.

But where’s the money and can you buy a hotel, or in this game a doss house? And will it be next Christmas’s ‘Tracey Island’?

Keep an eye on, or email

Martin Fido. Respect-ed Ripper author Martin Fido recently underwent minor surgery. Everyone in the palatial halls of Ripperologist sends hopes for a very speedy and full recovery.

The Bishopsgate Goods Yard, London E1, built around the John Braithwaite Viaduct (built about 1836), is, like Spitalfield’s market, under the developer’s threat, the developer in the case of the Goods Yard being London Underground as part of their plans to develop the extension of the East London Northern Line. Curiously, however, the line is planned to run above the viaduct, so, asks the London Railway Heritage Society, does the Viaduct have to be demolished? A good question. If you would like to find out more and perhaps offer support, telephone 020 7498 2892 or email

Casebook Productions ceases to be. Casebook Productions, the umbrella organisation under which the US Jack the Ripper Conference has been organised, Ripper Notes has been published, and the Ripperology Hall of Fame been awarded, has ceased to be. Casebook Productions, Inc., was the brainchild Christopher T. George and Dave Yost and was given shape and form by other people including Jon Smyth, Stephen Ryder and Judith Stock. It created a web site, organised and hosted two successful US conferences, launched Ripper Notes, and created the Ripperological Hall of Fame honouring leading authorities in the field, recipients of the coveted scroll thus far being Paul Begg, Stewart P. Evans, and Donald Rumbelow. The Conferences will continue under the organisation of Judith Stock. Ripper Notes will continue as an independent magazine under the editorship of Christopher-Michael DiGrazia.

Martin Fido and Paul Begg were on a speaking engagement in Italy in 1988 and took the opportunity to visit Venice, each provided with a packed lunch, both of which Martin Fido ate and for which he has never been forgiven by Paul Begg – who, incidentally, found a fantastic café where all the gondoliers seemed to eat and which on the theory that all lorry drivers know the very best greasy spoon cafs, must have served great food very inexpensively, a consideration of importance in Venice. That Venetian café might have been around back in 1818 and maybe gondolier Giovanni Battista Falcieri ate there. Falcieri was personal gondolier to Lord Byron, everywhere Byron went, Falcieri went, sacrificing his life to the duty of his master, even being exiled on his behalf – abd being found some work in Spezia for Percy and Mary Shelley. When Byron died in Missolonghi in April 1824, Falcieri was by his bedside and he accompanied the body back to England. He thereafter fought in the Greek war and later when destitute in Malta he was able to gain employment with James Clay, later MP for Hull, and acted also as valet to Benjamin Disraeli and William Meredith. He came to London, worked at Bradenham Manor in High Wycombe, where he became the valet to Issac D'Israeli. He died on 23 December 1874. All of which recently led to Claudia Oliver, prominent C&D member, to spending several days in Venice as a guest of the BBC who made a programme to be shown later this year. Why? Because the C&D’s Claudia is a descendant of Mr. Falcieri.

Patricia Cornwell. The Virginia Institute for Forensic Science and Medicine, the founding benefactor of which is Patricia Cornwell, recently held a benefit event which Ms. Cornwell attended to give what was supposed to have been a reading before several hundred fans from her works, but turned out instead to be what VISFSM’s web site described as “an exclusive sharing of information of the search for the true identity of the murderer immortalized in fiction and lore as ‘Jack the Ripper’” and a “bravura dissection of the character of Walter Sickert, the man Cornwell is certain was responsible for the grisly Whitechapel murders and a score of unsolved murders.” (The Whitechapel murders ‘and a score of unsolved murders’! – Ed.)

The site offered a DVD or VHS edit of Ms. Cornwell’s speech – but don’t get excited, the product was unavailable when approached by Christopher-Michael DiGrazia, the Rip’s ‘Last Word’ contributor and editor Ripper Notes. The response to inquiries was ‘vague’.

Magazines and Newspapers

On The Trail of Jack the Ripper, an article by Paul Begg, appeared in issue VI of the quarterly The Strand Magazine. Copies may still be available at specialist bookstores or online at www.strandmag. com

British Heritage magazine’s October/ November issue has an article Jack The Ripper: Case Closed? looking at suspects Aaron Kosminski (by Paul Begg) and Francis Tumblety. Go to

Daily Mail. On 26 June the Daily Mail, in its ‘Answers To Correspondents’ section – nice to see Harmsworth’s first publication thus remembered – Colin Morgan asked ‘How many people have been named as Jack the Ripper’. Rory Murray replied on 7 August, saying that at least 23 suspects had been proposed and he proceeded to name them ‘in an approximate order of likelihood: Francis Tumblety, George Chapman, Prince Albert Victor, Aaron Kosminski, ‘The Lodger’, Joseph Barnett, James Maybrick, Francis Thompson, Jill the Ripper, William Grant Granger, William Bury, Walter Sickert, Sir William Gull, Dr Roslyn Donston Stephenson, Michael Ostrog, George Hutchinson, James Kelly, Thomas Neill Cream, J.K. Stephen, Dr Alexander Pedachenko, M.J. Druitt, Frederick Bailey Deeming, Lewis Carroll.

The Observer. On 28 July in a half-page spread announced ‘New Ripper Suspect’s Ritual Killings Obeyed Occult Decree’. The suspect is Roslyn Donston Stephenson, not a new suspect of course, but the article limbered up rather nicely for the forthcoming publication by Blake of Ivor Edwards’ Jack the Ripper Black Magic Rituals – watch out for the review in the next Rip.

City of London Cemetery and Crematorium Newsletter contains a short article in Issue 7, Summer 2002, to the effect that two of the Ripper’s victims are buried in the City of London Cemetery, Mary Ann Nichols and Catherine Eddowes, and providing details about the burial places of the previous three. The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is at Aldersbrook Road, London EI2 5DQ, or take a look at their website:


Jack the Ripper’s Black Magic by Ivor J. Edwards will be published by Blake Publishing this month at a cost of £14.99. ISBN is 1904034276.

The News From Whitechapel: The Whitechapel Murders in the Daily Telegraph by Alexander Chisholm, Christopher-Michael DiGrazia and David Yost. We’ve seen this book advertised as due in May, which it obviously wasn’t, and have the housekeeping wagered on its appearance in October. We’re told it will cost $35, is paperback, and is from McFarland & Company; ISBN: 0786413859.

The Thames Torso Murders of Victorian London by R. Michael Gordon is the title of a new book coming from McFarland and tipped to have a tentative publication date in October. It’s about time somebody did a book about these crimes! Priced at $35.00, it’s a paperback ISBN: 0786413484.

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed. Patricia Cornwell’s controversial non-fiction title pointing the paintbrush of guilt at artist Walter Sickert is due for publication in hardback on 7 November by Little, Brown. It’ll set you back £18.99. ISBN: 0316861596. An abridged audio version is also slated for release, ISBN: 0399149600.

Jack the Ripper by John Eddleston, paperback, 256 pages, due in November from Metro Publishing Ltd (now park of Blake – who seem to be making a name for themselves with Ripper books having already published Shirley Harrison’s The Diary of Jack the Ripper). Price £10, ISBN: 1843580462. Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History by Paul Begg tries to put the murders in their social and political perspective. The cost is £20. From Longman at the end of November, just in time for all those hungry Christmas stockings! ISBN: 058250631X

The Oscar Wilde Years: From Jack the Ripper to Oscar Wilde. Parkstone Press. Tipped for December.

Shadow Pasts by Professor William D Rubinstein, in which he expands on his articles in historical journals about ‘amateur’ historians, including folk called Ripperologists, is dues from Longman in 2003.

The Ripper Diary – The Inside Story by Seth Linder and Keith Skinner is slated for publication next year. A ten year retrospective of the Maybrick ‘diary’ controversy, and the people and personalities involved. No further details are currently available.

The Diary of Jack The Ripper by Shirley Harrison will be re-published next year as part of the tenth anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of the ‘diary’.

Melvin Harris is also said to be working on a ‘diary’ book, but Ripperologist awaits confirmation.

Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts by Paul Begg will be re-published next year, thoroughly revised and up dated. More news as and when available. No wonder this issue of Ripperologist was late!

Jack in Argentina: Juan Jose Delaney is currently negociating with an Argentine publisher to bring out a collection of essays by Ripper-folk, current contributors include the popular Andy Aliffe (two books reviewed this issue acknowledge his valuable assistance) on a yet to be disclosed topic, Paul Begg on the social situation in 1888, Delaney on the Ripper in Buenos Aires, Christpher-Michael DiGrazia on press coverage, and Eduardo Zinna.

The Quest For Jack the Ripper: A Literary History 1888-2000 by Richard Whittington-Egan. Still no news.

Movies and Stage

Jack the Ripper. You have just about got time to get over to the Winston Churchill Theatre in Pinn Way, Ruislip, for the Ruislip Operatic Society’s production of Ron Pember and Denis de Marne’s musical Jack the Ripper. ‘It’s a Bloody Good Knees Up’, according to the pre-publicity, is on from 2-5 October and you can book your ticket by phoning 07905 932366.

Battlecrease. No news about Battlecrease.

Bruce Robinson. No news about this Bruce Robinson-scripted and Keith Skinner -researched project, but it seems to be moving ahead.