The Secret Life of Walter Sickert

Book - 2017
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Examines the century-old series of murders that terrorized London in the 1880s, drawing on research, state-of-the-art forensic science, and insights into the criminal mind to reveal the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Publisher: Seattle : Thomas & Mercer, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 1503936872 (hardcover)
9781503936874 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: 364.15232 COR
Characteristics: 553 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Secret life of Walter Sickert


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Jun 14, 2017

In summary, this is a waste of time. In her typical egocentric manner, Cornwell has "updated" her 2002 version to defend herself against the considerable criticism that the original evoked.
For a start, though Cornwell clearly is unwilling to admit a mistake, the Ripper mystery has been solved, and it wasn't Sickert; nothing so romantic or melodramatic. Despite her claims that DNA evidence has proven worthless, a cutting-edge, well-documented, scientifically rigorous, and lengthy analysis was conducted on a Ripper artifact, and proved conclusive.

But it didn't solve the "mystery".

That's because the killer has been known to Scotland Yard since the beginning.

The killer never has been publicly identified because it wasn't provable in court and risked defaming relatives or descendants. The proof has been supplied finally, and the truth is so unromantic that it likely will be ignored in favor of more "exciting" and melodramatic speculations.

The facts in the case are available in "Naming Jack the Ripper" (sorry; no italics in this software) by Russell Edwards. If you're looking for a breath-stopping thriller, though, this isn't it. It is, however, an excellently documented account of the careful scientific examination of evidence from one of the crime scenes, held by Scotland Yard. It is cutting edge forensic research, which Cornwell's inquiry was not. Nowhere will you find Ms Cornwell's self-congratulatory "detective" work. Thankfully.


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