Finally solves the mystery of the Victorian serial killer who murdered and mutilated up to 11 women in London in 1888. The most famous serial killer in history. A sadistic stalker of seedy Victorian backstreets. A master criminal. The man who got away with murder - over and over again. But while literally hundreds of books have been published, trying to pin Jack's crimes on an endless list of suspects, no-one has considered the much more likely explanation for Jack's getting away with it - He never existed. Andrew Cook goes in search of the real story of Jack the Ripper - and this story isn't set in the brothels of the East End but in the boardrooms of Fleet Street. this is a tale of hysteria whipped up by competing tabloid editors and publishers. The central thesis is that Jack the Ripper was the invention of tabloid journalists. The key evidence for the existence of the Ripper - a serial killer responsible for at least seven bestial murders - came in the form of two letters to the Central News Agency, from a man who identified himself as the killer and called himself 'Jack'. These letters can now be plausibly traced back to shadowy tabloid journalists - not intent on solving the crime, but on boosting their careers and their papers' sales. The effect of these poison pen letters combined with the gruesome crimes was to give the tabloid media its first hate figure and to boost the circulations of ailing newspapers. The media had discovered the power of a national witch-hunt.
Andrew Cook is a critically acclaimed historian and the author. He is the historical consultant for the Channel Five Jack The Ripper - Tabloid Myth documentary (in the hugely popular Revealed strand) being broadcast in May 2009. He has also been presenter and historical consultant on a number of successful Channel 4 documentaries including Prince Eddy: The King We Never Had, Three Kings at War and Who Killed Rasputin? in the BBC Timewatch strand. His other books include ACE OF SPIES ('A myth-shattering tour de force' SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE; 'Makes poor 007 look like a bit of a wuss' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY), M: MI5'S FIRST SPYMASTER ('A brilliantly researched biography' STELLA RIMINGTON; 'Serious spook-history' ANDREW ROBERTS), THE MURDER OF THE ROMANOVS ('Andrew Cook is a brilliant investigative historian' ANDREW ROBERTS) and TO KILL RASPUTIN ('If you thought you knew how Rasputin met his end and who was responsible, think again' ANDREW ROBERTS). He lives in Bedfordshire.
Principal Characters Preface Chapter 1. With Thanks to Jack the Ripper Chapter 2. Murder in Retrospect Chapter 3. Hang Leather Apron Chapter 4. Dear Boss Chapter 5. The Hidden Hand Chapter 6. Cannibal Ripper Chapter 7. Copy Cat Killer Chapter 8. A Process of Elimination Chapter 9. Mask of Sanity Chapter 10. Journey's End Appendices Sources Bibliography Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Index