A Glimpse Back in Time (#5): Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Glimpse Back in Time is a feature where I talk about the interesting history behind the books that I read! If you want to see previous posts for this feature, look here!

Today I'm going to talk about Stalking Jack the Ripper and discuss the infamous serial killer that inspired the book!

If you want to know what I thought of this book, check out my review!


***I used photos of the victims and a crime scene photo in this post and they are rather graphic and clearly deceased. I also have a bit of a description of what was done to each body. If this is not something that you wish to see, turn back now.***

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016

Buy Links:

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |  Indiebound

Summary (from Goodreads):

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

By now everyone should have heard of Jack the Ripper. He was the infamous serial killer that went on a short murder spree in London's East end during the fall of 1888. There are five murders that are most commonly attributed to the Ripper, but 11 murders that happened from 1888 to 1892. All of them collectively are known as the Whitechapel murders.

The five victims that are blamed on Jack the Ripper are:

Mary Nichols
Annie Chapman
Elizabeth Stride
Catherine Eddowes
Mary Kelly

Mary Nichols was the first victim, discovered by two carters on their way to work in the early hours of August 31st. As the streets and alleys were dark, they thought that she was just drunk and left her there, agreeing to alert the first policeman they saw on their way to work.

They didn't notice that her throat had been cut so ferociously that she had nearly been decapitated. Upon closer inspection of the body at the mortuary, it was noted that she had also been disembowelled.

Several men from the nearby horse slaughter yard that watched the investigation were questioned as suspects, but they were eventually cleared. Her murder was also suspected to possibly be the work of the gang who likely killed the first two Whitechapel murder victims.

Annie Chapman, the second Ripper victim, was murdered on September 8th, 1888. She was discovered a little bit before six am, but had previously been seen alive shortly before that talking to a man who was described as foreign looking and wearing a deerstalking hat.

She was also found with her throat slashed. Her hands were raised as if she were trying to reach for her throat. The post mortem found that she had been disembowelled as well, and the killer had taken off with her womb.

Elizabeth Stride was discovered around one am in Dutfield Yard on September 30th, 1888. Her body was a little bit different than the previous ones found because the first two women had their skirts hoisted up around their waists, but Elizabeth's were in place, as if she were laid gently down.

The last person to see her alive was a young Hungarian Jewish boy who claimed to have seen her with a man who threw her to the ground where she quietly screamed three times. He thought it was just a domestic dispute and crossed the strew to remain uninvolved, but was then followed by a second man that was apparently sent by the first man. The young boy lost him and the second man was somehow cleared as a suspect despite hanging out at a crime scene and following the boy who likely witnessed the beginning of the third Ripper murder.

Catherine Eddowes was also murdered on September 30th, 1888. While police were discovering Elizabeth Stride's body, Catherine Eddowes was just being released from the police station after being taken in there to sober up around 8:30 pm.

About 15 minutes before she was estimated to have been killed, she was last seen with her hand on a man's chest by three Jewish men. Only one noticed anything significant about the man and it's likely he saw Jack the Ripper. As with all the previous victims, her throat was slashed. And her skirts were lifted up around her waist.

The last definite victim of Jack the Ripper, and also the youngest at age 25, was Mary Kelly. She was discovered murdered around 10:45 am on November 9th, 1888. Her body had been skinned, her face mutilated beyond recognition, and her internal organs were removed and strewn about the bed. She was scarcely recognizable as human. There was a bloody pile of human flesh on her bedside table. Her breasts were also removed.

Most of these women were much older than Mary Kelly, usually around 40 years old. They all seemed to have been known to drink and be prostitutes.

There were many suspects investigated in the murders of these women, but ultimately none of them were decided to have been the Ripper. The police didn't seem to really have any solid evidence against any of them. Some of the more outrageous suspects were Lewis Carol and Prince Albert Edward Victor. 

Modern research seems to favor Thomas Cutbush. Files about him say that the newspaper at the time claimed that he had caught a venereal disease from a prostitute that resulted in delusions that caused him to kill prostitutes. Actually his mental illness was hereditary. His records say that he was not suicidal, but he was a danger to others. Over the years that he was in the asylum his mental health severely disintegrated until he died in 1903.

There were three suspects that police liked better than Cutbush, but they were wrong about many things about these people and ultimately they were cleared. They were:

I could go on forever about this! I've only used one source for this post, but it is full of excellent information. About the news coverage, about the whereabouts of each of the victims before their murders, about each of the different suspects, about the letters, just everything!

But I'm getting cross-eyed from reading all of it, so I will leave you with a link so that you may research some more if you wish.


I got ALL of my pictures and information from this website. Seriously, if you're curious about anything about Jack the Ripper, look at this website!

Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? Do you plan to? Any thoughts on old Saucy Jack?


  1. I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper, and this post was super interesting! Thanks so much for all the historical info! ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Thank you!! I think that this was probably one of my favorite posts like this to make. It's really hard to decide because my badass ladies of WWII and sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff ones were pretty awesome too, but this was SO interesting!

  2. Loved this post and all the history! I too find Jack very interesting and love learning more about him. I've even gone on two walking tours in London. SJTR is an amazing book and I can't wait for book 2!

    1. I would LOVE to go to London just to go on a walking tour of Jack the Ripper sites. That would be so amazing. I can't wait for book two either! I'm so glad that you enjoyed my post, that is what I LOVE to hear!


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