Portrait Of A Killer: Jack The Ripper -- Case Closed

by Patricia Cornwell

Berkley | October 28, 2003 | Mass Market Paperbound |

3.4286 out of 5 rating. 14 Reviews
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Now updated with new material that brings the killer''s picture into clearer focus.

In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror.  An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London's East End.  Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim.  And then the Ripper's violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun.  He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene.  Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper's bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so-called "Ripper Walks" that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel.  But to number-one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death.  Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her-and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.

In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty-first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history.  Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law-enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world's finest museums: Walter Richard Sickert.

It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she.   Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain's greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate.  She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press.  Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man's birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.

New information and startling revelations detailed in Portrait of a Killer include:

- How a year-long battery of more than 100 DNA tests-on samples drawn by Cornwell's forensics team in September 2001 from original Ripper letters and Sickert documents-yielded the first shadows of the 75- to 114 year-old genetic evid...

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Published: October 28, 2003

Publisher: Berkley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0425192733

ISBN - 13: 9780425192733

Found in: History

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Portrait Of A Killer: Jack The Ripper -- Case Closed

Portrait Of A Killer: Jack The Ripper -- Case Closed

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Published: October 28, 2003

Publisher: Berkley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0425192733

ISBN - 13: 9780425192733

Read from the Book

Monday, August 6, 1888, was a bank holiday in London. The city was a carnival of wondrous things to do for as little as pennies if one could spare a few. The bells of Windsor’s Parish Church and St. George’s Chapel rang throughout the day. Ships were dressed in flags, and royal salutes boomed from cannons to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s forty-fourth birthday. The Crystal Palace offered a dazzling spectrum of special programs: organ recitals, military band concerts, a “monster display of fireworks,” a grand fairy ballet, ventriloquists, and “world famous minstrel performances.” Madame Tussaud’s featured a special wax model of Frederick II lying in state and, of course, the ever-popular Chamber of Horrors. Other delicious horrors awaited those who could afford theater tickets and were in the mood for a morality play or just a good old-fashioned fright. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was playing to sold-out houses. The famous American actor Richard Mansfield was brilliant as Jekyll and Hyde __ C H A P T E R O N E M R . N O B O D Y at Henry Irving’s Lyceum, and the Opera Comique had its version, too, although poorly reviewed and in the midst of a scandal because the theater had adapted Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel without permission. On this bank holiday there were horse and cattle shows; special “cheap rates” on trains; and the bazaars in Covent Garden overflowing with Sheffield plates, gold, jewelry, used m
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Table of Contents

Chapter One: MR. NOBODY 1

Chapter Two: THE TOUR 8

Chapter Three: THE UNFORTUNATES 16

Chapter Four: BY SOME PERSON UNKNOWN 31

Chapter Five: A GLORIOUS BOY 41

Chapter Six: WALTER AND THE BOYS 59

Chapter Seven: THE GENTLEMAN SLUMMER 74

Chapter Eight: A BIT OF BROKEN LOOKING GLASS 86

Chapter Nine: THE DARK LANTERN 98

Chapter Ten: MEDICINE OF THE COURTS 107

Chapter Eleven: SUMMER NIGHT 120

Chapter Twelve: THE YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL 130

Chapter Thirteen: HUE AND CRY 141

C O N T E N T S

Chapter Fourteen: CROCHET WORK AND FLOWERS 154

Chapter Fifteen: A PAINTED LETTER 175

Chapter Sixteen: STYGIAN BLACKNESS 193

Chapter Seventeen: THE STREETS UNTIL DAWN 205

Chapter Eighteen: A SHINY BLACK BAG 219

Chapter Nineteen: THESE CHARACTERS ABOUT 229

Chapter Twenty: BEYOND IDENTITY 241

Chapter Twenty-One: A GREAT JOKE 253

Chapter Twenty-Two: BARREN FIELDS AND SLAG-HEAPS 262

Chapter Twenty-Three: THE GUEST BOOK 277

Chapter Twenty-Four: IN A HORSE-BIN 289

Chapter Twenty-Five: THREE KEYS 300

Chapter Twenty-Six: THE DAUGHTERS OF COBDEN 316

Chapter Twenty-Seven: THE DARKEST NIGHT IN THE DAY 331

Chapter Twenty-Eight: FURTHER FROM THE GRAVE 352

BIBLIOGRAPHY 365

INDEX 377

From the Publisher





Now updated with new material that brings the killer''s picture into clearer focus.

In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror.  An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London's East End.  Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim.  And then the Ripper's violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun.  He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene.  Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper's bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so-called "Ripper Walks" that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel.  But to number-one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death.  Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her-and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.

In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty-first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history.  Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law-enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world's finest museums: Walter Richard Sickert.

It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she.   Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain's greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate.  She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press.  Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man's birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions, and their effects on his upbringing present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.

New information and startling revelations detailed in Portrait of a Killer include:

- How a year-long battery of more than 100 DNA tests-on samples drawn by Cornwell's forensics team in September 2001 from original Ripper letters and Sickert documents-yielded the first shadows of the 75- to 114 year-old genetic evid...

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is an award-winning novelist whose books have consistently appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Cornwell was born in Florida in 1956. When she was nine years old, her mother tried to give her and her two brothers to evangelist Billy Graham and his wife to care for. For a while the children lived with missionaries since their mother was unable to care for them. Cornwell was a police reporter for The Charlotte Observer and worked in the chief medical examiner's office in Richmond, Virginia, for six years as a computer analyst. She also volunteered to ride with the police during homicide investigations. While working for the medical examiner, she began to write novels. Although the award-winning novel Postmortem was initially rejected by seven different publishers, once it was published it became the only novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and the French Prix du Roman d'Adventure, in one year. She is also the only woman in the United States to receive England's most prestigious crime-writing award, the Gold Dagger. Cornwell's novels are both national and international bestsellers. They have been translated into several foreign languages. Some of her novels are Body of Evidence, All That Remains, Cruel & Unusual, The Body Farm, From Potter's Field, Unnatural Exposure, Hornet's Nest, and A Time for Remembering, a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham.

Editorial Reviews

"A PRODIGIOUS PIECE OF WORK... a fine true-crime thriller."
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