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Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print)
Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper Case Closed - Large Print
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Using the firsthand expertise she has gained through writing the bestselling Dr Kay Scarpetta novels, Patricia Cornwell utilizes the demanding methods of modern forensic investigation to re-examine the evidence in the Jack the Ripper murders. These include state-of-the-art DNA testing on various materials, computer enhancement of watermarks and ...  more
ISBN-13: 9780739430064
ISBN-10: 0739430068
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 695
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 13

3.6 stars, based on 13 ratings
Publisher: Putman
Book Type: Hardcover
Large Print: Yes
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 876 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I commend Patricia Cornwell for the effort she put into this book, for the research she funded from her own pocket, and for the new forensic testing she performed on the Ripper letters. She wrote a very good book and for anyone who is fascinated by the enduring mystery that is Jack the Ripper, this is one more book to enjoy.

However, the book gave me the impression that Cornwell got the cart before the horse. Instead of looking at the facts objectively and formulating a conclusion, she started out with her conclusion (that Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper) and ever so gently bent her research to support that conclusion. She made a lot of assumptions, and failed to take seriously the fact that Sickert was out of the country during the time of the Ripper murders. It is true that Sickert was involved, that he did write a lot of Ripper letters, and that he depicted the murders in his art, but those things alone do not make him the killer.

For a more factual and objective look at all things Ripper, including a list of the most popular suspects, I recommend Paul Begg's Jack the Ripper: The Facts. It reads like a history book but is just what it claims to be, a book of pretty dry and unbiased facts. Begg suspects that the killer is a man named Kosminski, but as always, it is up to the reader to decide for themselves.

In all, Cornwell's book is good. It makes you think. It paints an interesting portrait of possibilities. But it is also not quite the 'case closed' argument that it claims to be, in my opinion at least. It's still a great read, and for that I still recommend it.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 86 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I've read a majority or Patricia Cornwell's novels - loved some, liked some, not so crazy about some - so I was interested to see how she would address this case with her background. I was not disappointed. This book is well-written, and she uses her forensic and criminal justice knowledge, storytelling skills and talent for research very well. It is written in a methodical and suspenseful way and I was hard-pressed to put it down.

Another reviewer mentioned something similar to this: By the end of this book, the author has me 100% totally convinced that she has indeed solved this infamous mystery. But I later realized that perhaps it was her ability to tell a tale, and perhaps her ability to have the clues point in the direction she wanted them to that made this story so convincable. You WANT to believe she's right, she did such a great job with this book. But a year after it came out I happened across a documentary that convinced me this suspect was NOT Jack The Ripper...

So who knows who's right and who's wrong...I don't think we will ever truly know, but if you're intrigued by this mystery as I always have been, I highly recommend this book. It's a different take, contains a lot of information and was just plain interesting to read.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 307 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
It is just her opinion about the real identity of Jack The Ripper but she does make an interesting case backed up with some historical facts. Uses newspapers, diaries and even extracts from the actual Ripper letters. It could be that she has solved the mystery, but not enough evidence for a court case. Strong arguments and good descriptions of the crimes from orginal source material such as autopsy reports and London police files. Well researched. She clearly has a passion for unearthing the murderer in this most famous of cases.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 876 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I commend Patricia Cornwell for the effort she put into this book, for the research she funded from her own pocket, and for the new forensic testing she performed on the Ripper letters. She wrote a very good book and for anyone who is fascinated by the enduring mystery that is Jack the Ripper, this is one more book to enjoy.

However, the book gave me the impression that Cornwell got the cart before the horse. Instead of looking at the facts objectively and formulating a conclusion, she started out with her conclusion (that Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper) and ever so gently bent her research to support that conclusion. She made a lot of assumptions, and failed to take seriously the fact that Sickert was out of the country during the time of the Ripper murders. It is true that Sickert was involved, that he did write a lot of Ripper letters, and that he depicted the murders in his art, but those things alone do not make him the killer.

For a more factual and objective look at all things Ripper, including a list of the most popular suspects, I recommend Paul Begg's Jack the Ripper: The Facts. It reads like a history book but is just what it claims to be, a book of pretty dry and unbiased facts. Begg suspects that the killer is a man named Kosminski, but as always, it is up to the reader to decide for themselves.

In all, Cornwell's book is good. It makes you think. It paints an interesting portrait of possibilities. But it is also not quite the 'case closed' argument that it claims to be, in my opinion at least. It's still a great read, and for that I still recommend it.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I found the book to be interesting at first, but I lost interest about half-way through. I think it makes an excellent case for Sickert possibly writing some of the Ripper letters, but that is all. I didn't find any of the other evidence to be strong enough for me to conclude that he was definitely the killer.
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reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 59 more book reviews
Jack the Ripper still considered today one of Americas most famous killers. The pictures and drawings in the book are haunting. A good read.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 8 more book reviews
I would have to say this is one of the most interesting books I have read! Very well written and hard to put down.


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