Jack the Ripper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders 1888-1889 by Rick Geary.

As with all stories about Jack the Ripper, they are only as factual as the sources are, and the major source for this graphic work of nonfiction is apparently a journal written by someone living in the area at the time. As the introduction states, “This account of the ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders is compiled from the journals of an unknown British gentleman who lived in London during 1888-1889 and closely followed the increasingly savage killings” (3).

This is a very interesting take on the story.  I like the fact that there was one source for the story rather than a story pieced together from twenty different accounts.  Over the course of about a year and a half in 1888 and 1889, five women were murdered in London, specifically the Whitechapel area.  There has been a lot of disparity over the years about how many women were killed and by whom.  Others who died during this time have been at times connected to Jack the Ripper, but most sources, including the journals used for this account, mention five murders.  All of the women who were killed were prostitutes, and most were killed in gruesome ways, from their throats being slit to the victims being disemboweled and their parts disembodied and spread around the crime scene.

The book is done in all black and white, which works well with all of the dark crime scenes and the streets of London.   Geary does a great job with the details of all the brickwork on the roads and brick buildings.  He sets a grisly scene and does so without a lot of gore.  The crime scenes are shown in such a way that the reader gets a sense of the horrible events without being shown in sensational detail, which makes the book that much better.  This account is as true as any that have come before, but it is just one more take on a mystery that we will probably never solve, so just enjoy it.

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