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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant - all the questions answered
Not only does this book make the most believable argument for the true identity of 'Jack' the Ripper throwing all other suspects out of the water, it is also a fantastic read. I was completely engrossed from the outset and was not satisfied until I had read the very last page.
This new account makes sense of the previously unanswered questions of the case; where all...
Published on 1 April 2012 by Maxine Emma

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Dire (WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERS)
First things first - I am an ardent Ripperologist and have been for some years. I collect all books on the subject regardless of how plausible the theory may be as I think you need to have them if you have a great interest in the case. I have absolutely no idea who Jack really was, I sincerely doubt that we will ever know with any degree of certainty. The theory that the...
Published 19 months ago by luciefilm


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Dire (WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERS), 8 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
First things first - I am an ardent Ripperologist and have been for some years. I collect all books on the subject regardless of how plausible the theory may be as I think you need to have them if you have a great interest in the case. I have absolutely no idea who Jack really was, I sincerely doubt that we will ever know with any degree of certainty. The theory that the Ripper may have been a woman is not new and has been presented before, it is possible that it could well be true - as history has proved women are just as capable of committing appalling crimes as men.

But this theory put forward by John Morris is dreadful. It is one of the worst books that I own on the subject and I will not be reading it again very often. Rather than saying 'Here's my theory, see what you make of it and decide for yourself' he forces it in your face and says 'This is it, this is what happened - I'm right, everyone else is wrong.' He offers no proof at all, only surmise and wild conjecture. It is desperately flawed and he makes glaring mistakes when putting forward so called facts to support his case. I could sit here all day and list the mistakes made but in the interest of time I shall stick to the main ones:

- Mary Kelly had a child: There have long been rumours that Kelly had a son who lived with her and her lover, Joseph Barnett, at Millers Court and that on the night of her murder the child was sent to stay with a neighbour. Morris repeats this but produces no evidence whatsoever which shows that the son existed, and that's because he didn't. Newspapers at the time circulated the rumour that she had a son but it has since been shown that the child belonged to a Maria Harvey whom Kelly allowed to stay in her room at Millers Court on several occasions. Barnett, who would know better than anyone, specifically stated that Mary had no children. Morris also neglects to suggest what would have happened to the child after the discovery of Kelly's body but after stating the 'fact' that he was sent to a neighbour on that night while his Mother was 'working' he produces nothing.

- Catherine Eddowes: Students of the case will be aware of the fact that on the night Eddowes died she was arrested for being drunk and later released from Bishopsgate Police Station. The name she gave to the custody Sergeant was Mary Kelly. Despite what Morris says, the curious coincidence that the last two victims shared the same name (even though Eddowes gave a false name and she stated her middle name as 'Ann' rather than 'Jane') and their mutilations were the most horrific out of the 5 murders has been touched upon before. Stephen Knight, whose Masonic conspiracy idea I like to call the Hollywood theory (even if it's not true, it's a fantastic story), puts forward the idea that Eddowes was killed by mistake as the killer believed her to be Mary Jane, the real target. After the mistake was realised, the real Kelly was murdered on 9th November. Not so startling a discovery after all.

- Liz Stride: Morris claims that the reason Stride suffered no mutilations was because she was only killed in order to be silenced as she told the killer where Mary Kelly was - although unbeknown to the killer, the woman referred to and known to Stride was actually Eddowes. Once again, no evidence has ever been discovered which shows that any of the victims even knew one another, never mind being able to tell a stranger where each one would have been of an evening. He claims that as Stride had been arrested for drunkenness on occasions she would know the procedures the police went by so knew when Eddowes would be released that night. Procedure would vary depending on the individual so even if it can be proved that Stride did know Eddowes/Kelly she could not definitely know when they would be released from the cells. The Bishopsgate Police may have decided not to release her until later the next morning. Again, no evidence whatsoever.

- Martha Tabram: About halfway through the book, Morris sets about finding examples to prove that these were not sexually motivated murders so therefore the killer was a woman as sex was not the motive. He mentions the murder of Martha Tabram earlier in August, who it's plausible was actually the first Ripper victim but Morris sticks to Nichols on this matter, and states that as Martha was sexually assaulted these new murders were completely different as sex/rape wasn't the intention. Tabram was NOT assaulted, the doctor who examined the body was certain that no intercourse whatsoever had taken place. If it was the intention then it was never carried out. Besides that, just because there was no intercourse it does not mean that the reasons for the murders wasn't sexual.

- Getting the victims to lie down: I am open to all sorts of theories and ideas, but this one made me laugh out loud due to it's sheer ludicrousness. The doctors came to the conclusion that the victims were lying down when their throats were cut, the explanation that Morris offers as to how this was achieved - the killer pretended to be a lesbian and so lured her victims on this premise. I know full well that lesbianism is not recent and if facts could be provided that strongly supported the statement made by Morris then I would be more than happy to accept his assertion. But evidence used to support it here? Once again, none at all and doctors reports for the first two murders at least indicate that the victims were gripped by the throat and strangled/suffocated before it was cut which is how they could have ended up on the ground with little or no struggle.

- Eddowes's kidney: Morris claims that Eddowes's kidney was taken away because the killer mistook it for her heart, due to the poor lighting and the fact that they were working quickly. The post-mortems observed that the killer must have had at least a basic, if not good, knowledge of anatomy due to the fact that they were able to take out the missing organs without damaging any other. The claim made here by Morris contradicts one he makes earlier in which he states that the killer obtained their knowledge simply by observing a relative who was a trained doctor perform operations (again, no evidence in support) and they were able to use that from memory. Now my knowledge of anatomy is fair, but there is no way that I could display the type of skill found in the Ripper murders simply by observing someone else. The kidney is a particularly difficult organ to locate as it is covered by a membrane and can easily be overlooked, Dr Gordon Brown who was the first doctor to attend Eddowes stated that ' it would require a great deal of knowledge as to its position' to have removed it. If the killer was able to pick up so much simply by watching a qualified doctor perform operations, how did they manage to mistake the kidney for the heart, even in poor lighting and yet still manage to avoid damaging any other organ? There is also no mention of the kidney that was posted to George Lusk which is believed to be the one taken from Eddowes's body and he barely mentions the writing on the wall in Goulston Street - simply that it was left by the killer but he offers no explanation as to its true meaning.

- Kelly's heart: Morris insists that Kelly's heart was taken away by her killer, but we simply do not know what happened to it. The doctors report says that 'the pericardium was open and the heart absent'. Whilst it can never be 100% verified, the report seemed to indicate that the heart was removed from the normal position in the body, not that it was removed from the room although some newspapers stated that it had been.

- Caroline Maxwell: Maxwell is one of the most intriguing parts of the Ripper case because she stated, and continued to maintain for the rest of her life, that she had seen and spoken to Mary Kelly at around 8.30am on 9th November but going by the doctors report this is impossible as by that time Mary had already been dead for several hours. Morris's offering on this matter is that the killer dressed in clothes belonging to Kelly after the murder in order to get rid of her own bloodstained ones, she then steps out into Dorset St and when she is sighted by Maxwell she answers in a Welsh accent so that Maxwell will be fooled (Kelly was born in Ireland but as a child lived in Wales for a time and Morris claims that she had adopted a Welsh accent and could speak fluent Welsh. There isn't even a known photograph of Mary besides the one of her deathbed, so how he can know what accent she had or whether she could speak another language is beyond me). Because it was extremely foggy that morning (never mentioned elsewhere) the killer was able to fool Maxwell into believing that she was Kelly because she could not be seen properly and that was how she made her escape. Maxwell stated that Kelly had told her that she 'had the horrors of drink upon her' and she had been sick as a result which she pointed at to Maxwell. If it had been so foggy that morning that Maxwell was fooled into believing that the person she spoke to was Kelly then surely there is no way that she would have been able to see something like a pool of vomit in the road especially at the distance that Morris claims she was?

- Invisibility: Morris states that because the killer was a woman she could have gotten away from the murder scenes completely unnoticed because the police were assuming that it was a man they were looking for. Covered in blood, carrying human organs (no strong indication of what she did with the organs or what she took them away in) and dodging between various people out and about at the times of the murders, regardless of whether she was male or female - if the police suspected anything they would have stopped her regardless of who she was, they would not have been blinded to the fact. Because she was a woman does not make her invisible, and once again the statement is without support.

As mentioned, I could go on but it would be never-ending. Morris refers to Stephen Knight a lot in the course of the book, deriding many of his theories. Whilst I agree that the Masonic theory is probably best kept as a great story, I find some of Knights explanations far easier to swallow than Morris's attempts. In fact, with his it's all I can do to stop myself from choking.

Regardless of whether the Ripper was male or female, the theory presented here is well off the mark. Paul Begg is recognised worldwide as one of the leading authorities on the case (I bow before him) and he is one of the few reliable voices on the matter, if you're new to the subject then I highly recommend that you read his 'The Facts.' It's exactly as the title suggests - free from theories and speculation, it presents the known facts on the matter in one place. It's a handy, reliable bible for us Ripperologists to use in our own individual search for Jack.

Despite what John Morris claims, the mystery is not solved and the case remains wide open. As The Leytonstone Express & Independent newspaper stated in September 1888, a statement as true now as it was then if not more so: 'Theories abound, but facts are scarce.'
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant - all the questions answered, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
Not only does this book make the most believable argument for the true identity of 'Jack' the Ripper throwing all other suspects out of the water, it is also a fantastic read. I was completely engrossed from the outset and was not satisfied until I had read the very last page.
This new account makes sense of the previously unanswered questions of the case; where all the details fit and reach a logical conclusion. But most importantly provides a concrete motive for the brutal killings which I have never seen before. The more you read the more it makes sense that Jack was actually a woman. And not just any woman. The evidence put forward for the 'Lady' in question is extremely compelling. To my mind the case of Jack the Ripper has unarguably been solved.
A must read, I can not recommend it highly enough.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New theory adds up, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
This compelling book comes in the "can't put down" category. The thought provoking account invites the reader to draw their own conclusion by presenting the facts and not providing solutions simultaneously. The facts speak for themselves and the conclusion is a thoroughly believable one. The book is extremely well written and an immensely enjoyable read which I would certainly recommend. I have given the book to my daughter who read it in one session as she again could not put it down!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 6 Mar 2014
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What a fantastic read, Have met the author, Emailed him numerous times and always get a reply, the book features some local events to me and possibly some family ties, will read again and again, lots to make you think about here, a route that few people go down but thought stimulating.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Jackie the Ripper?, 16 Nov 2013
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Sorry, I didn't like this book very much. The author has come up with an interesting angle on the Jack the Ripper legend. But the theory isn't backed up with any actual evidence. It is a load of 'I think', 'My Dad thinks', 'This is what happened' without any proof, however tentative. If you read this with a degree of skepticism, than it isn't really a bad book, but I would have liked to see just where the author got his 'evidence' from.
Only for ardent Ripperologists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
You must read it, completely change the whole perspective of how we know Jack the ripper. What if it was true??
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2.0 out of 5 stars jack the ripper the hand of a women, 18 Aug 2013
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it was a a poor account of events after reading so many books on jack the ripper = this was such a poor fantasy account of what could have happened ' I still think it was a policeman that commited thease murders
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5.0 out of 5 stars best read ,best exsplanation, 31 July 2013
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Realy worth thinking about as it makes perfect sense to the murders.
Im totaly convinced wgo and why after reading this.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Another crackpot theory, 25 Dec 2012
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A. Mcallister - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
Another crackpot theory where another innocent person is accused of the murders without one thread of proof. It states Elizabeth Williams murdered Mary Jane Kelly because her husband was having an affair with her and she murdered Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman for practise .

The most preposterous assumption is that Williams mistook Catherine Eddows for Jane Kelly and Liza Stride was murdered to silence her for revealing the whereabouts of Kelly. The author states this is the true facts of the case because all the pieces fit into place. He ignores the fact that it took a great deal of strength to silence the victims be undertaking the grisly task of cutting them up. There are so many discrepancies it would take another book to go through them all.

I advise everyone to stick to authors who actually know what they are talking about to get straight forward facts on the case and ignore this preposterous book
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Plausible Theory, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman (Paperback)
Once I had picked up the book it was very difficult to put down again, the stories of Jack the Ripper have always had the same theme that a man was responsible for the murders, however as you read the evidence and theory put forward by John Morris, you cannot fail to agree with the idea that indeed it was a woman who carried out the ghastly deeds. The facts and the reasoning speak for themselves and I was totally gripped from beginning to end.
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Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman
Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman by John Morris (Paperback - 20 Mar 2012)
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