Jack The Ripper Poster Did you know that there was a barbers shop in Greece that was named after dear old Jack? However, because the sign-writer whom made this sign was slightly mutt and Jeff, he got the name wrong and called it ‘Zack the Snipper’. Perplexing, right? Just like this concluding part of this 60 minute documentary made in 2011.

Biography - Jack the Ripper [VHS]

The final part of this Jack the Ripper documentary continues where the last one left off (click here for previous review). It begins on the second killing on the night of the ‘double event’ –  in which Catherine Eddowes was murdered and mutilated – before proceeding towards chronicling upon common ripper law. In addition to this, just like the proceeding chapter of this program, it uses, expert accounts – CGI enhanced re-enactments – as well as a plethora of archival stock images, all of which is utilised to tell this sordid tale. What now follows is a break down on what this show shows...   

  • Catherine Eddows was a woman in her early forties, whom recently returned to Whitechapel after a hob-picking expedition in the English countryside. But alas, upon her return, she had an argument with her husband and left to see her daughter so that she could borrow some money from her. She did not do this – instead, she got drunk – she got detained in police custody – and then, once she was released, she got murdered by Jack the Ripper in Metropolitan territory.
  • During the night of the ‘double event’, a piece of Catherine Eddows’s blood soaked apron was found next to a wall that had some graffiti scrawled upon it – ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing’. Scared of an Anti-Semitic outburst within this local – the police erased this message once prompted by Police Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren.
  • Mary Kelly has a somewhat unknown background compared to the other ‘Ripper Victims’. What is known about her, is that she was from Irish decent, she became a prostitute in Wales, she moved to Whitechapel and befriended a local man called Joseph Barnett, and then, when she split up from him, she kept a lodging house within the area. Mary Kelly was ripped to shreds one night within her room, a night in which she picked up ‘a punter’ from the streets and met one of the most grizzly deaths in recorded history.
  • Now it is believed that the Jack the Ripper killings did not end there – as the deaths of Annie Farmer, Alice Mackenzie, Frances Coles, and at least five more women were attributed to Jacks also.

Next, this documentary presents a number of possible suspects of whom Jack the Ripper might have been.

  • George Chapman – a polish Barber whom Inspector Abbeline suspects to have been the ripper, mainly due to him having rudimentary anatomical knowledge as well as poisoning his many wives.
  • Doctor Francis Tumblety – and American ‘quack’ doctor with homosexual tendencies was an early suspect due to the notes of Chief Inspector John Littlechild.
  • Montague John Druitt – a teacher in Blackheath who was sacked under mysterious circumstances and died after the last killing. He was presumed to have been Jack the Ripper by his own family and Sir Edward Macnaghten.
  • Aaron Kosminski – a mentally unstable Polish man from a hard working family was believed to have been Jack the Ripper, because the killings stopped when he was incarcerated in a mental asylum, as well as from the hand written notes of Chief Inspector Donald Swanson and Assistant Commissioner Sir Robert Anderson.

OK then, so now that I have seen the complete show, I can now give you my full and final account of ‘Jack the Ripper – The Definitive Story’. Well? I can in part – as in essence, I am slightly disappointed with the final chapter of this program. Now this does not have anything to do with how it was put together in all of its CGI glory. Or even anything to do with the manner of what was put on show. Instead, I found that this concluding part was less focused than the first part – because it did meander back towards the more ‘conventional’ Jack the Ripper fare. Its linier – I flimflams in places – and then it does what most true-crime programs try to do – guess who the culprit is.

Newspaper Image of Jack The RipperFair enough, I know that this is all part of the norm where a ‘Jack tale’ is concerned. However, I was hoping that it would present to us something ‘other’, something ‘special’, and hopefully something ‘new’. But alas, I did not get this – as what I got was a very nice looking program that dotted all the ‘I’s’ and crossed all the ‘T’s’ as if this was an episode of CSI. OK – OK – OK – I understand that nothing ‘explosive’ would have come out of this program as if it was a fireball blasting in the hemisphere. Still, it would have been nice to have been treated to something that made it stand out from the crowd.

Listen now, apart from my own silliness, ‘Jack the Ripper – The Definitive Story’ is well worth the watch for a ‘Jack the novice’. Nevertheless, I did notice that it skipped over a couple of facts in its recount, such as: (1) Mary Kelly’s ‘partner’, Joseph Barnett, was the only witness who lied in his testimony – and some people believed him to be Jack. (2) Most of the victims were strangled before they were stabbed – except Elisabeth Stride. (3) The location for the ‘writing on the wall’ was in a neighbourhood where Jewish market traders peddled there wares – and this scrawl could have been from a disgruntled customer. (4) Most of the ‘police experts of yesteryear’, whom ‘believed’ that x, y, and z, was Jack the Ripper, did not have any ‘hands on experience in the case’ – except for Abberline. (5) When Catherine Eddows was in police custody prior to her death, there were two facts not touched upon in this program. Fact 1: Upon her release, she signed her name ‘Mary Kelly’ – which was the name of the victim after her. Fact 2: When she left the police station, she walked in the opposite direction to where she lived – even though the police officer who let her go said otherwise. And (6) It would have been nice to have Tumblety’s association with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln spelt out in this show too.

Oh! So you might have guessed by now, that I know quite a lot about Jack the Ripper, huh? And do you know why I know so much about him?


The Streets of Whitechapel

Just kidding – though ‘Jack the Blogger’ does have a nice ring to it. And I suppose in some way this show does too, DING-DONG! As it tells a tale – it tries to do something different with the he use of CGI graphics – but overall it just repackages the same old same old.

Nice documentary, and well worth the watch for ‘Jack the novice’


JACK THE RIPPER – THE DEFINITIVE STORY (PART 2) JACK THE RIPPER – THE DEFINITIVE STORY (PART 2) Reviewed by David Andrews on October 10, 2011 Rating: 5
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