The Diary of Jack the Ripper: The Discovery, the Investigation, the Debate

Overview

The identity of Jack the Ripper, history first & most notorious serial killer, has confounded experts for decades. Here, at last, may be the answer to this compelling mystery. A diary found in Liverpool, England, is filled with clues that identify its author as James Maybrick, a cotton merchant from Liverpool who died of arsenic poisoning in 1889 & who may have lived a secret life in London — as Jack the Ripper. The diary has aroused considerable controversy, & a report questioning its authenticity is...
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Overview

The identity of Jack the Ripper, history first & most notorious serial killer, has confounded experts for decades. Here, at last, may be the answer to this compelling mystery. A diary found in Liverpool, England, is filled with clues that identify its author as James Maybrick, a cotton merchant from Liverpool who died of arsenic poisoning in 1889 & who may have lived a secret life in London — as Jack the Ripper. The diary has aroused considerable controversy, & a report questioning its authenticity is included here, along with a rebuttal to that report. This Diary presents one of the most fascinating puzzles in crime history. Illustrated.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This controversial title, originally scheduled for publication by Warner Books and subsequently dropped, makes its American debut amid great speculation and skepticism. Is it real? Maybe, and then again maybe not. The diary's alleged author is James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton merchant who began his ghastly reign of terror as the infamous Ripper after discovering that his wife was unfaithful. The volume is divided into three sections: a lengthy explanation of the case that tries desperately to convince the reader of both Maybrick's guilt and the diary's genuine pedigree; photographs of the original handwritten entries and a typed transcript of the diary's text; and a critical report on the dating of the diary by document specialist Kenneth Rendell, which is rebutted by the diary's British publisher, Robert Smith. Before releasing the volume, Smith consulted several psychologists, forensic experts, and noted ``Ripperologists,'' several of whom agree the diary could be authentic. Many of the supposed clues clinching Maybrick's guilt, however, are as flimsy and ambiguous as those of the ``Paul is dead'' craze of 1968. True or false, this chilling read is still worth purchasing.-- Michael Rogers, ``Library Journal''
Stuart Whitwell
There are signs everywhere that this is going to be a hot item. Hyperion rushed the book into print earlier than the proposed publishing date; "60 Minutes" picked up the story and aired a debate on the authenticity of the diary itself; bookstores throughout the country are filling display-windows with copies of the book's handsome red-and-black cover. And then there's the evidence of the book itself. Whether or not this newly discovered diary of the Ripper is authentic--and the book makes a powerful argument that it is--the tale it tells is absolutely riveting. The suggestion is that the Ripper was actually a cotton merchant from Liverpool who, furious over his American wife's infidelity, went periodically to London to butcher whores who walked the streets close to where he had first seen his wife walking with her lover. The diary itself is either an elaborate and brilliant hoax authored early in the century (paper and ink dating have established that it is between 60 and 100 years old) or the genuine article. It is full of the sort of gruesome details that only someone with access to police records recently released could have known: for instance, that the Ripper took the heart of one of the victims home. The man himself, James Maybrick, was a drug addict who gradually became more and more unhinged throughout the authorship of his mad diary and ended up being murdered by his wife. From all angles, it is an extraordinary tale that, when accompanied by numerous arresting photographs and the text of the diary itself (in facsimile and in type), leaves one at the heart of a horrific and mesmerizing crime--one that somehow seems to define our terrible and frightening age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788160547
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Pages: 323

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    an amazing discovery

    this is my first review so stay with me. ok i read this book the Diary of Jack the Ripper.At first i thought this book was going to be an ok book that i can just say i read. But wow, i was bragging to all my friends to read it.This is a awesome book.It goes into great detail about the famous Jack and lets you know what he was thinking and why he did it all the killing's.The main plot of the of this book is o let you know what he was thinking, why he did it all,how he wanted to get caught, and the recovery of the Diary. The main person this book is focused on is jack better know as james maybrick. All i have to say is this guy was sick and twisted. There was even times when he talked about eating parts of of the mangled up corps. There was parts of the diary where he even tryed to amause himself. Through out this Diary you can tell James Maybrick was a brillant man who some where in his life got mistreated by someone that led him to doing all this. Some of the most interesting topics of the book is: that he killed 'whores,' and enjoyed doing it. Also that he wanted to get caught and the fact of it not happening mad him mad, and the last one is at the end of the Diary in his last paragraph he but 'I shall put this in a place where it shall be found.' See he knew toward the end that what he did was wrong but can anyone ever forgive him?

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