Jack The Ripper Essay, Research Paper
Inside the Mind of Jack the Ripper
In the novel The Diary of Jack the Ripper, by Shirley Harrison, we examine the question of whether or not this is the diary of James Maybrick, who is Harrison s candidate for Jack the Ripper. Various pieces of evidence can prove that this is Jack the Ripper s diary; however, it also can be argued that it is a hoax. In this essay I will display the facts, inferences, and also decide whether or not these inferences are reasonable. From the psychological evidence in the diary one can conclude that the author has had thorough knowledge of a serial killer s way of thinking. According to David Forshaw, a specialist consultant in addiction, and Anna Koren, a graphologist, the author of this diary suffered from an altered state of mind, which in turn showed characteristics of a serial killer.
According to David Forshaw this diary would have taken a master of the criminal mind to write. The author would have to understand what Jack the Ripper was thinking as well as feeling. Forshaw believes that the person, who wrote this diary, had to have written it from first hand personal knowledge in order to create such vivid and dynamic crimes. Also, Forshaw argues that a serial killer works in his/her own environment. In the case of James Maybrick the murders of the five prostitutes took place in Whitechapel, where Maybrick grew up. Forshaw also believed that the absence of Maybrick s younger brother, Edwin, caused emotional distress but on the contrary, relief. Edwin apparently looked over James shoulder; hence, with him now gone Maybrick was able to go on a business trip to London without worry or discomfort. With this, the plans were set and the horror would begin. Forshaw also stated that in the search for control killers often eat the victim s in the pursuit of power and attention. This being a direct result due to the lack of attention that he received as a growing child. Maybrick s older brother, Michael, customarily obtained their parents attention and this has had lasting and devastating effects on Maybrick. As a result, this created an insecure and unstable person, with the ability to bring dismay to the lives of many.
Anna Koren, a graphologist, believed that Jack the Ripper suffered from various mental disorders, which in turn resulted in his destructive behavior. Koren stated that the diary showed, an unstable personality, inner conflicts, lack of social adaptability and a tendency to schizophrenia characterize the handwriting (The Diary of Jack the Ripper, Shirley Harrison 1993, page 177). In agreement with Forshaw, Koren stated He suffers from extreme change in mood, resulting from a great deal of tension between his high ambition and low self-esteem (Harrison 178). This type of behavior some times results in drug or alcohol abuse, in the case of James Maybrick this was true. James Maybrick s drug of choice was arsenic, a chemical element in which Maybrick felt increased his virility; as a result, he became hooked. This put Maybrick in mind-altering state that resulted in him being unable to differentiate the difference between good and evil.
The mere thought that he would get caught excited Jack the Ripper and also enticed him to continue on his killing spree. The quest for power and revenge enticed him to prolong his horror and vengeance towards others. The inference that the author of the alleged Ripper diary suffered from a psychological disorder is plausible due to the evidence presented by Forshaw and Koren. I am also convinced by Koren s inference that the author of the diary had multiply personalities due to the difference styles of writing presented in the diary. Although the author of the diary may not have always suffered from a psychological disorder, his childhood and other aspects of his life displayed that he was a ticking time bomb , so to speak. James Maybrick demonstrated what Forshaw and Koren might call signs of a serial killer.