Exclusive extract: The Importance Of Being Jack

In preparation for tonight’s exciting event at the Ripper Museum, here is an exclusive extract from Dan’s new book ‘The Importance Of Being Jack.’ None of the following is conjecture, it is all based on meticulous research conducted by Dan. In short, it is 100% fact, and precisely 0% fiction!

Dead of night. A distant clock chimes twelve times. The near-by sound of horse hooves and carriage wheels on cobbles. A young woman hurries through the dark, deserted square. Suddenly, a figure emerges through the unfurling London fog in front of her.

“Lor, guv’nor, you aint ‘alf scared me!” cries the woman.

The figure doffs his top hat.

“I beg your pardon, madam,” he says in his lugubrious tones. 

The woman’s ears prick up at the obvious wealth and breeding of this stranger as displayed in his elegant accent and diction.

“Cor, you sounds like a likely sort of swell, bet’s you knows how to treat a lady, dontcha?”

The man chuckles. “Oh I do indeed know how to treat a lady, madam!”

“How’s abaht we go somewhere then, guv’nor. I aint cheap, mind, it’ll cost you tuppence ha’penny and nuffink less!”

“Oh, there’s no need to go anywhere, right here will do for what I have in mind. And I do believe I have tuppence ha’penny in my bag.”

“A handbag?” cries the woman in surprise as she sees the gentleman thrust his hand into a large brown leather bag he has been carrying. But he doesn’t retrieve any money from his bag, but instead something shinier than coins!

“Cor, what you gonna do with that, then?” says the woman as the knife glints in the moonlight.

“Why, with this I shall create a work of art,” muses the man, “perhaps my finest work to date. One that shall life forever in the annals of infamy, for there is only one thing worse in life than being talked about, and that is not being talked about!”

And with that he nonchalantly sinks the blade into the woman’s stomach.

“You are wicked!” she gasps as he pulls the knife out and she drops to the cobbles, blood spattering around her.

“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others,” quips the man as he opens his capacious bag again and takes out various surgical implements, delicately placing them on the ground.

The woman watches in horror as the man gets to work. “Why?” she croaks.

“Because you are A Woman Of No Importance!”

“And you are Lucifer himself!” she wheezes.

“Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.”

“Me name’s not Gwendolen, it’s…..” but before she can tell him her name, the spirit leaves the body of Polly Nichols.

“Murder is so awfully taxing on one’s wardrobe!” the man mutters to himself, dabbing at his bloodstained clothes with his handkerchief as he disappears into the fog on that cold, dark night, leaving Polly behind him, sleeping her last sweet sleep, the eternal slumber from which she will never again awaken, in her warm bed of blood and entrails…

Special event at the Ripper Museum, Whitechapel, this Thursday!

Mark the date in your diaries!

This Thursday the 8th of November we’ll be holding a special event to accompany the forthcoming publication of Dan’s groundbreaking book The Importance Of Being Jack at the excellent Ripper Museum in Mitre Square, EC3, London!

This Thursday we will reveal once and for all the true identity of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper! Before the night is out it’ll be ‘case closed’ as the greatest ‘cold case’ in history is finally cracked by Dawn Rescue’s very own in-house super-sleuth. The shocking revelations are bound to do for the culprit (clue: he’s a revered ‘wit,’ aesthete, playwright and sometime resident of Reading Gaol who liked to take a walk on the Wilde side) what recent revelations have done for the reputation of Jimmy Savile. Just as never again will the BBC show re-runs of ‘Jim Will Fix It’ so never again will actresses proclaim “a handbag!” whilst treading the boards in a certain person’s plays, and never again will clever-clogs types like Stephen Fry quote a certain person’s epigrams.

So head on down to the Ripper Museum this Thursday. The talk is FREE and starts at 7pm, and is followed by a Q and A and a special author signing. (The book is hot off the presses and doesn’t go on sale officially until the new year so this is your opportunity to get your mitts on an advance copy and a piece of history!)

We’ll be downstairs in the Museum’s cafe, right next to the marvellous gift shop. (Why not get there early and do a spot of shopping! You can check out the souvenir dolls of the victims, complete with removable internal organs- surely the ideal stocking filler!)

Matthew’s Blog: A Ripping Day Out In Whitechapel!

This morning Dan and myself made a visit to one of London’s hidden gems, the Ripper Museum. Located in Mitre Square in Whitechapel, East London, it is owned by the Guild Of Ripperologists and it’s four artefact-crammed rooms are devoted to the unsolved ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders of Victorian times. But this is no ‘Chamber of Horrors’ or ‘London Dungeon’ but a serious, rather old-fashioned, somewhat antiquated museum, (let’s just say, it could do with a good dusting!). And it’s aim is to commemorate the sad victims of the murders, as well as to serve as a warning from history to young ladies of the present day that there can often be a heavy price to pay for sexual ‘liberation’!

There are shelves stuffed with various odds and ends connected with the case. Framed on the walls are the actual “Dear Boss, From Hell” letters, (purportedly written by the killer himself!). Perhaps most ghoulish of all the things we saw was a jar containing the preserved human kidney (see left) that was sent by the Ripper to the police, (believed to belong to one of the victims). Various press cuttings hang on the walls alongside police photographs of the bodies and crime scenes, (be warned- you’ll need a strong stomach to view those!) and perhaps most intriguing of all are some very peculiar looking waxworks of the murders from a display which appeared at the time of the killings, way back in 1888. As you leave the exhibit, you are faced with the Wall of Suspects; pictures of all those who have been suggested as possible Rippers down the years. (We checked, and Oscar Wilde isn’t up there yet!)

We were shown around the museum this morning by its curator, Mr Geoffrey Kensal, a rather rickety but amiable old man with a cheery grin and a twinkle in his eye, who was a fount of macabre information. (Exciting news flash: Mr Kensal has agreed to host a special event for us at his museum next month to help publicise Dan’s forthcoming book The Importance Of Being Jack. More details soon!) (above: one of the framed ‘Ripper’ letters on display at the museum.)

After our little tour, we went downstairs and perused the fabulous gift shop selling mugs, tea towels and stationery as well as dolls of the victims (complete with removable internal organs- yikes!). Then we went to the café and sat down with Geoffrey to have a nice pot of tea and some scones and a jolly old chat.

“So what do you reckon to our theory?” asked Dan, as he spread clotted cream and jam onto his scone.

“Oh, Oscar Wilde?” asked Geoffrey with a chuckle. “It’s bound to ruffle a few feathers, I shouldn’t wonder. But it’s all fuel to the fire. If it gets more people through these doors then I shan’t complain!”

“But you don’t believe it?” asked Dan with a raised eyebrow.

Geoffrey chuckled again. “I look forward to hearing the full irrefutable facts and finding out what damning evidence you’ve unearthed.” I thought I detected a hint of sarcasm in Geoffrey’s tone and I think Dan did too. I saw his fist tighten around his jam-stained knife.

“Oh,” said Dan calmly, “and who in your expert opinion was the true culprit then?” (Sarcasm detector pinging again!)

“Oh, some nobody,” said Geoffrey with a chuckle, “his name lost forever in the mists of time. Serial killers are always nobodies, and London was as full of nobodies back then as it is now, but by the sounds of all these books you’d think the only people in London in 1888 were the Duke of Clarence, Walter Sickert, Dr Barnardo or whatnot.”

Dan put down his half eaten scone and leaned back in his chair.

“Would a nobody have had the surgical expertise required to carry out those murders?” snapped Dan.

Geoffrey snorted derisively at this, “surgical expertise? Oh, please, not that old codswallop! And anyway, unless I’m vastly mistaken Wilde wasn’t a surgeon, was he?”

“His father was!” Dan shot back triumphantly, “he learnt at the feet of a master!”

“Those killings displayed no surgical expertise whatsoever!” snapped Geoffrey, no longer chuckling, “That’d be an argument only if he’d managed to keep the poor women alive somehow, but any damn fool can hack someone to pieces if they feel so inclined. Just look at Jeffrey Dahmer or Dennis Nielsen, neither of whom were trained surgeons!”

“Ah,” said Dan, “but they were both homosexuals, just like Wilde!” (Dan had got him there!)

“Yes, well,” said Geoffrey, shifting uncomfortably in his seat, and clearly unable to formulate an effective response, “I’ve got a spot of work to do so I shan’t detain you chaps any longer.” I thought I detected some slight reddening in his cheeks. And with that he got up, shaking both our hands and bid us adieu. (No wedding ring, I noticed.)

But anyway, do pop along to the Ripper Museum. It’s a great day out, (perhaps not for all the family, though). Open Mondays to Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 12-4. They also serve a range of pies in the café named after each of the victims and filled with various offal. (Although Dan and I weren’t quite brave enough to try them!) They’ve got Nichols Pie (steak and kidney) Chapman Pie (chopped chicken liver) Stride Pie (cow lung) Eddowes Pie (sheep’s stomach) and Kelly Pie (pig intestines in congealed pigs blood). Remember to keep checking back here for further details of our special event at the museum next month!

Oscar Wilde WAS Jack The Ripper!

Much excitement and jubilation here at Dawn Rescue towers as we can finally report that our very own Dan Erpingham’s opus The Importance Of Being Jack: Nothing To Declare But His Evil Genius has finally been accepted for publication and will appear in both hardback and e-book in early 2013!!!

This groundbreaking work reveals conclusively how the infamous Whitechapel murders of 1888 (commonly referred to as the ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders) were in fact the work of notorious aesthete, dandy and ‘gay icon’ Oscar Wilde. Not convinced? You will be once you’ve read this eye-opening tome! From the fact that Wilde’s own father was a surgeon to Wilde’s socialism, homosexuality and hatred of conventional morality, plus the multiple references to his murders contained in his works, (see our page on The Importance of Being Jackhttp://www.dawnrescue.com/?page_id=21) the evidence is overwhelming.

The result of several weeks hard work in which I can testify that Dan made daily visits to the library to conduct his meticulous research* we’re ecstatic that finally the truth will out. Dan will also be conducting a speaking tour at various bookshops and lecture halls to publicise The Importance of Being Jack when its published by Dawn Rescue books early next year.

(*He’d had to go the library as our internet at home had gone down for a couple of weeks last summer, and they give you an hour’s free internet a day at the library. One of the perks of socialism I suppose, ho hum.)