The Whitechapel Murderer. Leather Apron. Jack the Ripper has gone by many names and is undoubtedly the most famous, and infamous, serial killer in modern history. This one man carried out a reign of terror in London’s dreary Whitechapel District, killing of as few as four (or as many as nine) women during four short months. He was never caught, his motives never known, and his killing spree ended as abruptly as it had begun. Jack is as much a mystery now as he was then, and has given birth to an archetype in popular culture – that of a cloaked shadow figure hunting on a foggy city street.
Eyewitness reports describe the suspect like this: “5’6” and 34 or 35 years of age, with a dark complexion and a dark moustache turned up at the ends.” “He looked like a foreigner.” “He walked very softly.” “Fair complexion, dark hair.” “Clean shaven and tall.” “Black moustache, sandy eyelashes.” “Young, fair moustache, deerstalker cap.” “Peaked cap.” “Wideawake hat.”
Despite the popular myth, there is no report of a man in cape and top hat and theories have persisted long about his identity. They range from conspiracy ( Prince Albert Victor, Dr. John Williams) to xenophobia (Russian fugitive Nikolay Vasilliev, Aaron Kosminki) to psychopathy (Jacob Levy, Walter Sickert). Oddly enough, many of the theories have been published since 1970, when a flurry of novels and movies inspired investigators to reopen the case. With the advances in forensic pathology, the remaining evidence has been put to the test time and time again but still, no one suspect has been identified as frontrunner.
In COLD STONE & IVY, we are introduced to many of these historical suspects as they weave in and out of the story. Fans of the Ripper case (called Ripperologists) will enjoy the sometimes subtle (sometimes not) name dropping as the details of the case unfold . But truthfully, this is not a story about Jack. This is a story about young writer and criminologist, Ivy Savage, and how she gets drawn into Jack’s darkly twisted world in pursuit of the truth. Where Jack lives in myth and shadow, Ivy lives in wonder and light and a sheer, stubborn determination to understand. She is as clever as he is deadly and after their confrontation, neither the East End nor the City of London, will ever be the same again.
“Hold on to your pot, Miss Savage. It promises to be a bumpy flight.”