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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case…
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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed (edition 2003)

by Patricia Cornwell

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4,476942,632 (3.06)64
Examines the century-old series of murders that terrorized London in the 1880s, drawing on research, state-of-the-art forensic science, and insights into the criminal mind to reveal the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Member:Onefrowningredhead
Title:Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed
Authors:Patricia Cornwell
Info:Time Warner Paperbacks (2003), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 528 pages
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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper -- Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell

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Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
For some reason, this book just could NOT hold my attention. I was disappointed because I had so looked forward to reading it. ( )
  thatnerd | Mar 2, 2024 |
Very well written, readable, yet questionable premise. Purports to solve the Jack the Ripper case. Author's problem is that she immmediately gives us her conclusion that Walter Sickert committed the crimes, but then only gives us circumstantial evidence and coincidence as her ?proof?.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
I found this book very interesting and convincing that Walter Richard Sickert, an English painter, could have been Jack the Ripper. The circumstantial evidence found by Ms. Cornwell was thoroughly researched and overwhelming. We'll never know whether or not Sickert is the famous killer; however, his paintings and lifestyle support the claim. I did learn more about the East End of London in the 1880s than I wanted to. Several English writers, such as Charles Dickens, and artists came to Five Points in New York to view the squalor and drunkenness. I can't imagine why when they had their own putrid slums right there at home. ( )
  PaulaGalvan | Jul 30, 2023 |
She takes the slightest bit of circumstantial evidence and tries to turn it into fact. She presents situations initially as hypothetical, but then bases later conclusions upon the belief that these are true. When read with an unbiased mind it is clear that the author started with the presumption of guilt and built a convoluted and laughable tale to try and justify her verdict. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Having recently sworn off Cornwell's fiction, I decided to give this last title on my shelves a try, more out of a passing interest in the crimes than out of any sense of rehabilitating Cornwell's writing. Sure enough, Cornwell's bitter pride still shines through in this attempt to identify and convict a man in the court of public opinion. Cornwell knows enough about behavioral analysis to get her into trouble. Certainly, Sickert bore an unusual interest in the gory and sensational crimes, and probably had a similar unnatural interest in violence, particularly against women. But the evidence in his paintings and writings doesn't pass the smell test for evidence of guilt, Cornwell herself admits he was around the crime scene areas and the places where the victim's plied their trade. It's not much of a stretch to think that Sickert simply collected images and impressions from these experiences to include in his work, including his writing. All of the imagery would've fueled his active and creative imagination and tapped into his taste for violence. And Cornwell also admits Sickert was quite the performer, a seeker of attention. Again, it's not tough to imagine his use of the collected information to create more of a stir around his work. There's nothing definitive to prove Sickert's guilt, not for lack of Cornwell trying to convince everyone. But the strength of her personality can't make her take on things into any certainty.

The redeeming characteristic in the book is Cornwell's surprising research abilities. More than anything, the book carries a great flavor of Victorian England.

3 bones!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | May 7, 2023 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia Cornwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ligterink, YolandeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
There was a general panic, a great many excitable people declaring that the evil one was revisiting the earth. H.M., ANONYMOUS EAST END MISSIONARY, 1888
Dedication
To Scotland Yard's John Grieve
You would have caught him.
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Monday, August 6, 1888, was a bank holiday in London.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Examines the century-old series of murders that terrorized London in the 1880s, drawing on research, state-of-the-art forensic science, and insights into the criminal mind to reveal the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper.

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