In October 2013, while working at a local newspaper,Paul Christianentered a world of intrigue and mystery surrounding the most famous unsolved murder case of them all, that of Jack the Ripper.
Paul made contact with sources that claimed to know the identity of the infamous Victorian serial killer and provided new leads linking him to the murky 1880s art scene.
Most shocking of all Paul later made contact with a man whose previously unseen painting finally reveals Walter Sickert to be the bloodthirsty killer who preyed on prostitutes in 1888.
The Inevitable Jack the Ripper also delves deeper into London’s past, revealing the sinister history of the city’s stalkers in the night and a brutal legacy that made the appearance of Jack the Ripper unavoidable.
Exhaustive research and journalistic experience are intertwined to tell how the Jack the Ripper phenomenon gripped the world in 1888 and still does today.
Paul, 36, said: “This book draws on many of Hertfordshire’s solid links to the Jack the Ripper mystery, including the suggestion that former the then Prime Minister, and forebear of the current Lord Salisbury, may have had secrets pertaining to the identity of the killer at Hatfield House.
“The book also looks at red herrings in Rickmansworth and a solid Ripper suspect’s death in Leavesden.
“Another Hertfordshire link featured in the book is the grim tale of a suspect who murdered women he was romantically involved with and who once ran a pub in Bishops Stortford.
“There was also the claim, made in 1888 and reported in the WHT’s sister title the Herts Advertiser, that a mystery man from St Albans knew who the Ripper was.
He added: “The evidence I have unearthed can allow us to now confidently point the finger at Walter Sickert and a conspiracy of arty types behind the Jack the Ripper case.
“The painting I have written about in this book, which is signed ‘Sickert’, shows a number of important clues, including the metal railings, which spell out the year ‘1888’, a woman with a bloodied shawl visible from a balcony, an ethereal redhead matching descriptions of Jack the Ripper victim Mary Kelly and a mysterious dark figure descending into the depths.
“The reverse of the picture includes an intriguing and eerie doodle, which appears to show some kind of inquisition.
“My research and the sources I have spoken to have also allowed me to crystallise the position that Jack the Ripper was inevitable and his crimes – and the reaction to them – shaped the modern world.
“This book represents the culmination of a journey that officially began five years ago, but in actual fact, my relationship with this terrible case goes back much further and – as the book also reveals – has some terrifying personal links.”