Book Reviews of Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print)

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
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
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

120 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
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: 10
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 + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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: 4
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.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I have never read any of Patricia Cornwell's mystery books, but if they are as narratively compelling as Portrait of a Killer, they must surely be page-turners. She knows how to characterize a psychopath; how to illustrate a depraved and violent mind. But I'm not convinced that Walter Sickert, 19th century artists and minor celebrity, was such a mind, or that if he was, he was the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Cornwell is clearly meticulous in her research, but here she seems to have been meticulous with a purpose. She concluded that Sickert was the Ripper, and gathered the evidence that supported her theory, giving minimal attention to the evidence that opposes it. Her argument would have been more convincing had she elaborated on how she determined Sickert was the Ripper; what were the steps that lead her to that conclusion? As presented, her epiphany seems like a bolt from the blue.

Cornwell's main pieces of evidence raise many interesting questions about Sickert. He had a deformity due to botched surgery that made him impotent, his artwork is largely misogynistic, many of the Ripper letters were written with artists' tools. All of these things indicate that he may have been a repressed and violent man, but not that he was Jack the Ripper. But Cornwell's case with these points makes fascinating reading. Her more tangible, physical proof is less fascinating. The only point in the book where my eyes began to cross was her description of different watermarks in different 19th century stationary that Sickert and others used. More interestingly, several investigators are trying to get DNA evidence from the envelopes and stamps on the Ripper letters, but again, the most this could prove would be that Sickert (and many other pranksters) liked to bait the police.

Still, Cornwell presents a richly detailed portrayal of a unique and disturbing individual. I had never heard of Sickert before reading Portrait, and I can see how he and his artwork would capture the imagination. Sickert, from Cornwell's research, seems to have been a dark and complicated man. And the London of his time was undeniably a dark and complicated place. It was an intriguing read, and I enjoyed hearing Cornwell's argument although I remain unconvinced.
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.
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Helpful Score: 3
Fabulous book that deomstrates how modern technology can solve cold cases. Well written and riveting story.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Although this is non-fiction, it is told much like a novel in which Patricia Cornwell tries to uncover the true identity of Jack the Ripper.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
For more than a hundred years the murders of Jack the Ripper have remained among the world's greatest unsolved crimes, and a wealth of theories have been posited which have pointed the finger at royalty, a barber, a doctor, a woman, and an artist. Using her formidable range of forensic and technical skills, bestselling author Cornwell has applied the rigorous discipline of 21st century police investigation to the extant material, and here presents the hard evidence who the perpetrator really was.
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Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't put this book down and the intelligent theory does prove who the killer is.

~Le Loup Garou
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Helpful Score: 1
Found this interesting and believable.
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Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting explanation for Ms. Cornwall's theory on the identity of Jack the Ripper. Well researched, well deducted, and well written.
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Helpful Score: 1
Intringing breakdown of Jack the Ripper...
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a very interesting read on jack the ripper. it presents a very thorough case.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 148 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great research by Cornwell using some of today's forensic methods to try to identify the murderer in the Jack the Ripper killings of the late 1800's in London as well as other murders never attributed to the Ripper. An easy read, just like the great mysteries we can't put down til the wee hours of the morning! She explores the suspects the police of the time brought in, but could never pin anything on. She also delves into the personalities of her suspect's wives which lends credence to how no one ever suspected the renowned artist was the culprit! Lots of info fans of "profiling" will appreciate too.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As far as I'm concerned, Patricia Cornwell solved the mystery of Jack the Ripper. Case closed! This was a truly fascinating look into the life of the man Cornwell believes was Jack the Ripper. Very thorough and detailed; I couldn't wait to get in my car after work as I was utterly on the edge of my seat.. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Cornwell's and/or interested in true crime.
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Helpful Score: 1
First and only book I've read by this author; i enjoyed it very much. Interesting theories on who Jack the Ripper really was.
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Helpful Score: 1
I have never read any of Patricia Cornwell's mystery books, but if they are as narratively compelling as Portrait of a Killer, they must surely be page-turners. She knows how to characterize a psychopath; how to illustrate a depraved and violent mind. But I'm not convinced that Walter Sickert, 19th century artists and minor celebrity, was such a mind, or that if he was, he was the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Cornwell is clearly meticulous in her research, but here she seems to have been meticulous with a purpose. She concluded that Sickert was the Ripper, and gathered the evidence that supported her theory, giving minimal attention to the evidence that opposes it. Her argument would have been more convincing had she elaborated on how she determined Sickert was the Ripper; what were the steps that lead her to that conclusion? As presented, her epiphany seems like a bolt from the blue.

Cornwell's main pieces of evidence raise many interesting questions about Sickert. He had a deformity due to botched surgery that made him impotent, his artwork is largely misogynistic, many of the Ripper letters were written with artists' tools. All of these things indicate that he may have been a repressed and violent man, but not that he was Jack the Ripper. But Cornwell's case with these points makes fascinating reading. Her more tangible, physical proof is less fascinating. The only point in the book where my eyes began to cross was her descriptions of different watermarks in different 19th century stationary that Sickert and others used. More interestingly, several investigators are trying to get DNA evidence from the envelopes and stamps on the Ripper letters, but again, the most this could prove would be that Sickert (and many other pranksters) liked to bait the police.

Still, Cornwell presents a richly detailed portrayal of a unique and disturbing individual. I had never heard of Sickert before reading Portrait, and I can see how he and his artwork would capture the imagination. Sickert, from Cornwell's research, seems to have been a dark and complicated man. And the London of his time was undeniably a dark and complicated place. It was an intriguing read, and I enjoyed hearing Cornwell's argument although I remain unconvinced.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A different book that Patricia Cornwells Fiction this is a true account of Jack the Ripper. I enjoyed learning her theory of the killer based on her assessment of the evidence.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good! Cornwell is a great writer and as usual covers this case top to bottom, very detailed. This subject has always been an interest to me and she answers so many questions and puts things together very well. Some of the pictures are pretty graphic. The drawings are astonishing. Really makes you think.
reviewed Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper: Case Closed (Large Print) on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have never read any of Patricia Cornwell's mystery books, but if they are as narratively compelling as Portrait of a Killer, they must surely be page-turners. She knows how to characterize a psychopath; how to illustrate a depraved and violent mind. But I'm not convinced that Walter Sickert, 19th century artists and minor celebrity, was such a mind, or that if he was, he was the infamous Jack the Ripper.
Cornwell is clearly meticulous in her research, but here she seems to have been meticulous with a purpose. She concluded that Sickert was the Ripper, and gathered the evidence that supported her theory, giving minimal attention to the evidence that opposes it. Her argument would have been more convincing had she elaborated on how she determined Sickert was the Ripper; what were the steps that lead her to that conclusion? As presented, her epiphany seems like a bolt from the blue.

Cornwell's main pieces of evidence raise many interesting questions about Sickert. He had a deformity due to botched surgery that made him impotent, his artwork is largely misogynistic, many of the Ripper letters were written with artists' tools. All of these things indicate that he may have been a repressed and violent man, but not that he was Jack the Ripper. But Cornwell's case with these points makes fascinating reading. Her more tangible, physical proof is less fascinating. The only point in the book where my eyes began to cross was her descriptions of different watermarks in different 19th century stationary that Sickert and others used. More interestingly, several investigators are trying to get DNA evidence from the envelopes and stamps on the Ripper letters, but again, the most this could prove would be that Sickert (and many other pranksters) liked to bait the police.

Still, Cornwell presents a richly detailed portrayal of a unique and disturbing individual. I had never heard of Sickert before reading Portrait, and I can see how he and his artwork would capture the imagination. Sickert, from Cornwell's research, seems to have been a dark and complicated man. And the London of his time was undeniably a dark and complicated place. It was an intriguing read, and I enjoyed hearing Cornwell's argument although I remain unconvinced.
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Helpful Score: 1
VERY INTERESTING CONCEPT OF WHO JACK THE RIPPER WAS...I READ IT ALL BUT STILL WONDER IF SHE'S RIGHT. WILL THE MYSTERY EVER BE SOLVED?
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A very compelling well researched book of the Jack the Ripper killings. I bought this for a Criminal Procedures class I had and it was really helpful.
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Very interesting theory, Much better than the Royal family angle
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Very thorough investigation of the Jack the Ripper case, though I don't think she proves beyond a doubt that her man was Jack the Ripper (and I've since read other material that discounts some of her conclusions). However, it was an interesting read and I like true crime stories so I would recommend it to true crime fans. I've not read any of her fiction books so I can't compare them to this.
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Scary stuff, but true!
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The book is very clinical in it's writing and is Cornwell's theory on who Jack the Ripper was.
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Very detailed and thought provoking - WAS William Sickert Jack the Ripper?
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Patricia Cornwell wrote this book very well. Normally I don't like true crime but this one kept me reading.
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Patricia Cornwell does it again, this time in nonfiction! A great read.........it's hard for me to find an author I like when writing about the victorian era, but she does a great job.
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Patricia Cornwell lays out a fascinating, logical answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries: Who is Jack the Ripper?
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An interesting and unusual book.
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Well, it made some money, didn't it?

This is a book made to generate income. It worked. As a plausible case for the identification of Jack the Ripper, it's lacking. Of course it is. It's a crime novel. It has to return to the excitement and gut-wrenching details; it can't -- it's not allowed to, in this genre! -- linger too long on the science or the law or the history. It already "errs" in that direction too much to be an effective crime novel. And unfortunately too little to be an effective legal or forensic assessment of the Ripper or of Sickert. I think the author, editors, and publishers -- and all the other media folks who jumped on this bandwagon -- played their game very well. And the rest of us can enjoy the ride, remembering that is an amusement after all.
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This is an interesting book...but has some slow parts. It does give a graphic view of life in the late 1800's in London.
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Excellent Book!! Very hard to put down!
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Pat Cornwell obviously did a lot of research on this topic, and the writing is up to her usual high standards. However, I just didn't find it as fascinating as she did. By the end I was thinking "Yes, Pat, you're probably right, but who cares?"
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Very interesting book!
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Ms. Cornwell certainly makes a good case.
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While appreciate the time, effort and money that Ms. Cornwell put into this work. There are several problems with it. 1. The obnoxious title "...Case Closed", as if this is even remotely THE definitive work on the subject. 2. She is dead wrong about who Jack the Ripper was. (John Douglas, the founder of FBI profiling, has stated the exact personality type of the Ripper and it was not at all that of Sickert. John Douglas and other FBI profilers have also stated that this would be a RELATIVELY simple case to solve if it happened today.) 3. As other reviewers have stated, the author starts off with an assumption and builds facts around it. 4. There are lots of better books on Jack the Ripper, two of gthem were written by Paul Begg. 5. And worth mentioning again, the obnoxious title.
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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.
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a very good read. patricia is a talent.
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Jack the Ripper still considered today one of Americas most famous killers. The pictures and drawings in the book are haunting. A good read.
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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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This was possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. Patricia Cornwell should be ashamed of herself for writing this book.

I am not a huge Cornwell fan; I read her book on the Body Farm and found it to be poorly written but not terrible.

This book, on the other hand was a complete disaster. Her writing style is insane. It is almost as if the publisher printed her first draft. She CANNOT keep a train of thought going for more than a page and often jumps to completely unrelated story lines mid-paragraph. This was obviously annoying, but the worst and most irritating part of this book was complete lack of evidence or supporting information.

For someone who is "friends" with Bill Bass, NONE of his pragmatic thinking or unbiased presentation of facts has rubbed off on her at all. She uses Sickert's paintings as proof that he was violent and deranged much the same way the Nazi's used avant-garde art to prove that modern artists were degenerates. Shame on Patricia Cornwell, shame. She makes unsubstantiated accusations throughout the book, uses pieces of 'evidence' that are not even attributed to Sickert OR Jack the Ripper to 'prove' that Sickert was Jack the Ripper. She also used extremely misleading language throughout, but especially in regards to her forensic evidence. The whole book is a sad joke. Her assumptions range from baseless to irritating to inflammatory. Patricia Cornwell should leave the real-life detective work to professionals. All she did with this book was embarrass herself.
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Disappointing if you are looking for a book full of adventure. This book is written like a college dissertation on Jack the Ripper and presents no competing views or theories of the murders.
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Patricia Cornwell certainly knows how to track down facts. She put in untold amounts of research, time and her own money to prove/disprove the guilt of the individual she feels IS Jack The Ripper.

I am a huge Cornwell fan, but did not enjoy this book. I would much rather spend my time reading her fiction works.

If you enjoy any type of historical non-fiction, you should enjoy this. For me, however, I'll stick with non-fiction.
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A case study in obsession. Cornwell apparently spent major amounts of her own money in developing this theory, and in the end, all the evidence boils down to a dislike of the suspect and of his art, and smoke and mirrors. Could she be right? Could this new suspect REALLY be the answer to the riddle of Jack The Ripper? Sure, I suppose it's possible, but until the development of a DNA profile linking him to, at a minimum, the Ripper letters, hang on to your objectivity. We truly seem to be no closer to proving the identity of the Ripper than Scotland Yard was 110 years ago.
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I believe that Patricia Cornwell would not have invested the very large sum of money, and the valuable time it took to research, investigate, and write this book if she didn't feel deep inside of herself she could solve this mystery. She used the most up to date forensic tools possible and was assisted by very knowledgeable people. I read the book, and read it again, and it made more sense to me than any of the other books I have read on the subject, and I have read most of them. Until there is better research done and another person is found who is a better suspect than this one, I'm going to "close the book" on Jack the Ripper. I highly recommend this title to anyone who has followed the story of Jack the Ripper down through the recent years, and who still has a lot of questions about this brutal serial killer of another time.
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Great investigation and conclusions on the Jack the Ripper case, I couldn't put it down!
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This book is good but takes a little longer to read. A lot of research was done for this book and all the information is very interesting.
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Patricia Cornwell is exceptional is her research & perhaps she is right~ case closed. Very very good book.
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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.
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Lots of details about life in London during the late 1800's and a very compelling argument for the identity of Jack the Ripper.
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great insight to an old crime. well written.
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Fascinating book, but I found her writing style a bit stilted. Good book, though!
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a dreary recitation of an impossibly old tale
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An excellent book I read on a long flight to London! It'll scare the pants off of you!
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True Crime for those true fans. I had a difficult time getting into this book, but fans of Cornwell may enjoy it!
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Not your ordinary Patricia Cornwell book. Cornwell used the formidable forensic skills she has accumulated through writing her Kay Scarpetta books and applied them to the evidence to solve the Jack the Ripper case. Interesting reading accompanied by photographs.
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2 tapes 3 1/2 hours Read by Lorelei King
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Fascinating research and conclusions on who the "real" Jack the Ripper was. New York Times Bestseller.
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I really enjoyed this book. Quite thrilling, had me turning the pages. I don't know very much about Patricia Cornwell or any of her other books, because I am not into horror fiction, but I was interested in the story behind Jack the Ripper, and this book did it for me. The information contained in this book is really interesting and convincing enough to have me believing who she names the killer. Wonderful read!
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CAUTION - SHARP TURN AHEAD! For you Patricia Cornwell fans out htere, this IS NOT your normal mystery/thriller you have come to expecy from her. Before I get into t he audio, let me say a couple of things about the narrator. Kate Burton does an outstanding job in thes book. Her professional work meakes this book an enjoyable experience! Her transitions between 19th century England and American accents are a wonder to listen to. I'll be looking for more from her in other books in the future! Now for the book - First off, this book took me back to the time of sitting in Lecture Halls, listening to some treatise from a professor who adamently believed in his point of view! Cornwell seems to share her unswerving belief that she has finally determined who Jack The Ripper was! If you are a serious "Ripperologist" (is that a word?) you are probably going to HATE this book - because she tears down any beliefs contrary to her own. She has set her sdights on a Victorian artist named Walter Sicket, and provides you with a seemingly unending stream of circumstantial evidence to back up her claims. I found the evidence presented to be highly entertaining and enjoyable, if for no other reason than it gave me some insight into the Ripper Era. She has done her research - I'll give her that! She does do one thing in this book that really ticks me - she has a habit of "quoting" one word at a time from her many sources - without giving any useful context at all! How can you draw a conclusion from ONE WORD? Another thing - when an author blatently states "Case Closed", that is a little optimistic and arrogant, don't you think? I don't think we'll ever know for sure who the Ripper was, and I have to ask myself - do I really care?
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Interesting and convincing. Cornwall believes she has discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper.
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Not her best, but interesting.
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A great read!! For fans of Patricia Cornwell's fiction, this is somewhat of a departure, but it reads like fiction. I kept having to remind myself this is a researched book. Cornwell makes a very compelling and convincing argument.
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This book interested me because many people are
trying to put one and one together and find the ripper
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Ms. Cornwell takes on the age old quest to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper.
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Fascinating study of the killer, with actual photo crime scene photos.
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excellent reader. Interesting premise as to who the Ripper could have been.
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Not the biggest fan of Patricia Cornwell but she did put a lot of research into this book. Cornwell enables the reader to become absorbed in the history of the time of Jack the Ripper.
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Very thought provoking.
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Liked the information and appreciated the tedious research that went into this book. Took me a long time to read because it did not flow as a story. It was more like a text book and seem cumbersome at times. Worthwhile if you are a serial killer buff.
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This book was totally riveting. She has me convinced of who the killer was. Content is graphic and distrubing.
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For me, 'Portrait of a Killer' is a fascinating version of the Ripper case. In my opinion, the reading was easy and quite definetly a page turner. I've read it twice.
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I couldnt even finish this one. I really wanted to like it but it just couldnt keep my attention.
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Rather gory.
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I was fascinated with Patricia Cornwell's take on this famous unsolved mystery. The amount of research she did was staggering. I would reccommend this if you are at all interested in the Jack the Ripper crime spree.
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6 hrs. abridged
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Very interesting. Very convincing. Very disturbing.
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This is a fascinating account of how popular author Patricia Cornwell and her team of forensic scientists discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper by using modern methods to analyze turn of the century evidence.

According to her, Jack wasn't any of the people that have been so publically accused. It wasn't that he was so much smarter than the police (although they did seem to ignore quite a bit of evidence), it was that Jack was so much ahead of his time. The technology simply wasn't available.

I'd heard several negative reviews of this book, which fortunately didn't make my interest lessen because I would have been sorry to have missed it. If you're looking for Scarpetta and Marino, yes, you will be disappointed, this isn't fiction with all the fictional twists and turns. The genre is true crime, and sometimes true crime can be a little tedious compared to a novel, because of all the pesky facts.
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Best book on Jack the Ripper case that I have every read. The photos in the book are great.
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Using her formidable range of forensic and technical skill, Patricia Cornwell applies the rigorous discipline of 21st century police investigation to present hard evidence as to the identity of Jack the Ripper
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Very interesting...I couldn't put it down.
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Interesting book. I never knew anything about Jack the Ripper, and now I do. Patricia Cornwell tells a good story and covers all the forensic bases.
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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.
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This was good, and very interesting.
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really good
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The book was a good read. Patricia Cornwell brought the killer Jack the Ripper to life.
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Very well researched and using modern technology. Interesting reading
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A departure for Ms Cornwell. A very interesting read.
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I wouldn't say that I would burn the guy she names at the stake. But, it does place doubt in my mind.
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Patricia Cornwell, crime novelist and forensics expert, takes on the 100+ year old mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper. Compelling evidence for her theory of whodunit.
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America's #1 bestselling crime writer solves the case that has baffled experts for more than a century.
For over 100 years the Jack the Ripper murders have remained among the world's greatest unsolved crimes, and theories have been posited which point the finger at royalty, a barber, a doctor, a woman, and an artist. Using her formidable range of forensic and technical skills, bestselling author Patricia Cornwell has applied the rigorous discipline of twenty-first-century police investigation to the extant material, and here unmasks the killer.
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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.
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Very convincing evidence that Patricia Cornwell has, indeed, identified Jack the Ripper.
Great read if you like a little research thrown in to your storyline.
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A convincing forensic investigation into the Jack the Ripper Case. Well written and gives evidence that supports the theory of who Jack the Ripper actually is.
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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.
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This book freaked me out, but I couldn't stop reading it. It was so interesting but also very scary in that it lets you see a piece of the serial killer's mind... I am now watching my back all the time!
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i must be one of the few
i did not like this book at all
blahblahblah is kind of how it went in my head
i love cornwell
i commend her effort
but she should stick to what she knows....
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Abridged. 4 tapes, approx 6 hrs.
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Enthralling . . .
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Good read, alot of historical info
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"America's #1 bestselling crime writer solves the case that has baffled experts for more than a century." -- publisher's blurb
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Interesting and convincing. Cornwall believes she has discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper. This updated version contains lots of photographs.
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Patricia Cornwell solves the Jack the Ripper case.
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Interesting take by Patricia Cornwell
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The beginning chapters are interesting enough but it lost me halfway through and I did not finish it. Like others have said, she begins with her conclusion and rather than stick to the facts surrounding Jack the Ripper, she makes it all about Sickert.
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This audio book was extremely well written. It is the first Patricia Cornwell book I've ever read, and I'm sure it won't be my last. It is very obvious she has done her research for this book, and it must have taken years to write. I found this book to be entertaining, however gruesome some of the content may be. Some of the descriptions of dismemberment by Jack the Ripper of his victims are grotesque and shocking, even by today's standards. It seems to me that Patricia Cornwell's excellent research has most certainly named who the killer was. What a pity he wasn't found guilty and punished for his crimes while he was alive.
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evidentiary speculation as to jack-the-ripper's identity (and life)
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Truely Fascinating..
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This is the editon with the DNA in it.
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Very detailed research on author's part. She did her homework and makes her case while teaching the reader what life was like for people in that era. Scary to think Jack the Ripper was never caught, may have been a famous artist and may have lived until 1942.
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Great Book!
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Good read on subject
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"Impossible to put down. This is the finest and most important true-crime book to date of the twenty-first century."--Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"A bulletproof case."--Chattanooga Times/Free Press
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Patricia Cornwell did a great job setting up the case for Jack the Ripper. I have always loved the logic she uses when setting things up.
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absorbing and convincing.
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very interesting read
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the book is missing the jacket.