Diary Of Jack The Ripper Essay, Research Paper
In 1992, a former scrap-metal dealer in Liverpool discovered a Victorian scrapbook in his attic. This scrapbook contained what is now thought to possibly be the diary of James Maybrick AKA Jack The Ripper. Now eight years later, it is still uncertain if the so-called confessions of James Maybrick are authentic. Many good points have been brought up to support the authenticity of the diary, but there are also many points that discredit it. Yet, despite all the compelling evidence saying the diary is genuine, there are several reasons that do not allow my wishful thinking to take a single step further towards believing the diary to be authentic.
Let?s first review all the diagnoses and findings that were made by the experts that examined the diary.
First there is the historical evidence. Historians were hired to see if all the dates and events mentioned in the diary checked out. From an historical point of view, the diary seemed to have checked out. All the dates and events did indeed match historically.
Second of all, forensic tests were done with the diary to see if the ink and the paper were from the late 1800?s. Again, this also checked out. The findings of Nicholas Eastaugh and David Baxendale were somewhat uncertain, showing that the diary “could” be real. Another expert, Philip Sugden, explained that apparently, it is really easy to fake the age of ink and paper.
Third, there was also a psychiatric evaluation done on the diary . After the psychiatrist read the diary, he diagnosed that the author could possibly be a serial killer. Yet, I have a real problem seeing how this diagnosis really means anything. I also read this other book about Jack The Ripper. This one was called “The Mammoth Book Of Jack The Ripper” by Maxim Jakubowski. This book is a composition. It contains all the ideas and many theories from the leading experts on Jack The Ripper from around the world. When I finished this book, I thought about what I had just read. Basically, I came to the realization that there were probably a hundred males living within a couple of blocks of the “Ripper” crime sites. These were all working men who would normally be on the street at the time of the crimes, and who had all the background “qualifications” of the modern serial killer. So what are the odds that the actual Ripper has ever been named or suspected by anyone? Not very high if you ask me. I truly believe that it?s possible that the real Jack The Ripper has never been named a suspect.
Fourth, there was a handwriting analysis done on the diary, to see if the writing style was Victorian. The final evaluation of the diary was puzzling. Many of the words used seem to be out of a modern horror story, and the handwriting was not classically Victorian. The handwriting did not match Maybrick?s signature on his will, his marriage certificate, or on two letters that might have been from the Ripper. These are very strong findings against the authenticity of the diary. But some still believe that all this does not necessarily mean anything. Jack the Ripper was obviously a very cunning individual, always able to escape the grasp of Scotland Yard. He leaves a mystery that has yet to be solved in over a century. Isn?t it more than likely that he could have signed his name differently?
And finally, there is the information from another book that I read which I found to be extremely compelling called “The Ultimate Jack The Ripper Companion” by Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner. Basically it contains all the official reports from Scotland Yard and contemporary newspaper reports. With all of these “official” reports and newspaper stories, the book was successfully able to convince me that Jack The Ripper did not kill Mary Kelly. These documents proved that Mary Kelly?s murder was connected with another case during the Whitechapel Murders. So here is a book composed of actual proven documents of that time, which makes it much easier to believe than the “Diary of Jack The Ripper”. This book “The Ultimate Jack The Ripper Companion” crumbles the credibility of the “Ripper Diaries.”
As I said before, I would have liked to believe that the Ripper Diary was authentic but the strongest reason against it is the very inconclusive findings of the handwriting analysts. Also, let?s not forget the book that shows that Mary Kelly might not have killed by Jack The Ripper. Her murder was linked to another case.
All this controversial evidence is too compelling for me to believe the diary is real. Or at least, it casts a huge shadow of doubt over the little glowing voice in me that wants to believe. The belief that the diary is real and all that is spoken within it is true has an unstable foundation. The foundation is the diary itself, the physical diary. Many of the tests done on the diary have too many holes and cracks in it. And with a weak foundation, how can you possibly hope to create a strong building. Considering all the controversial evidence, I don?t care what the Ripper diaries say, you can just throw it away, because it?s a lie.
So unless something new is discovered or realized soon, the Ripper murders may never be solved. Because with every day that passes, more gossip is spoken, like the Ripper diaries. Tales like these cloud the all ready hazy picture we have of the true identity of Jack The Ripper.