Portrait of A Killer

Portrait of A Killer

Jack the Ripper--case Closed

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
The number-one New York Times-bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell is known the world over for her brilliant storytelling, the courage of her characters, and the state-of-the-art forensic methods they employ.

In this headline-making new work of nonfiction, Cornwell turns her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise on one of the most chilling cases of serial murder in the history of crime-the slayings of Jack the Ripper that terrorized 1880s London. With the masterful intuition into the criminal mind that has informed her novels, Cornwell digs deeper into the case than any detective before her-and reveals the true identity of this elusive madman.

Enlisting the help of forensic experts, Cornwell examines all the physical evidence available: thousands of documents and reports, fingerprints, crime-scene photographs, original etchings and paintings, items of clothing, artists' paraphernalia, and traces of DNA. Her unavoidable conclusion: Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world's finest museums.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the century-old series of murders that terrorized London in the 1880s, drawing on research, state-of-the-art forensic science, and insights into the criminal mind to reveal the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper.

Book News
Crime fiction writer Cornwell adds yet another volume to the Jack the Ripper literature. She argues that the serial killer had to be the painter Walter Richard Sickert (d. 1942) and that the killings continued beyond the 1888 murder spree. She presents a portrait of Sickert as deranged by genital deformations and points to clues in his paintings and his biography as giving weight to her description of him as psychopathic. Explorations of the physical evidence, including DNA tests commissioned by Cornwell are presented and new clues are sought in the accounts of the murders of the Ripper's victims. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
Between August and November 1888, at least seven women were murdered in London's Whitechapel area. The gruesome nature of their deaths caused panic and fear in the East End for months, and gave rise to the sobriquet that was to become shorthand for a serial killer - Jack the Ripper.
For over a hundred years the murders 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, Patricia Cornwell has applied the rigorous discipline of twenty-first-century police investigation to the extant material, and here presents the hard evidence that the perpetrator was the world-famous artist Walter Sickert.
By using techniques unknown in the late Victorian age, Patricia Cornwell has exposed Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters to the Metropolitan Police. Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows how his art continually depicted his horrific mutilation of his victims, and her examination of this man's birth defects, the consequent genital surgical interventions and their effects on his upbringing presents a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.

& Taylor

The best-selling novelist turns her attention to the real-life, century-old series of crimes that terrorized London in the 1880s, drawing on meticulous research, state-of-the art forensic science, and insights into the criminal mind to reveal the true identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper. 750,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Putnam's, 2002
ISBN: 9780399149320
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 CORNW
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 01, 2015

She really nailed it. She really uncovered Jack the Ripper, and this book makes clear there was never a more evil, ugly-hearted human on earth.

Mar 22, 2013

very convincing, but then again they all seem to know who did it !

Jan 13, 2012

Very, very disappointing. Cornwell makes an assumption based on little evidence and continues to build her entire case on it! Drivel. Don't waste your time.

Oct 23, 2011

Very disappointing book. Cornwell makes a decent case for Walter Sickert being Jack the Ripper, but the whole book is hampered by extremely poor editing. The result is tedious and confusing.

Sep 16, 2011

worst book on jack the ripper ever! I've read some pretty bad, bizarre, outlandish, even downright goofy accounts of jack but this one takes the prize. after 100+ years, we will never know who the killer's true identity. her DNA 'proof' just added to the already ridiculous pool of misinformation out there. she couldn't even have bothered to do any basic fact-checking about life in london in the 1800s. I will never read cornwell again.

Jun 29, 2010

I found this book really interesting. I've never read any other books about Jack the Ripper so far... The author makes a pretty convincing case against Walter Sickert (the artist). There's almost too many coincidences to overlook. However, it makes sense that the police, in this time period in England, would not have been eager to convict someone in the upper class of society. A penniless pauper could be hanged for petty theft (on very circumstantial evidence) whereas, the uppercrust in society, was given much more than the benefit of the doubt, even when all the evidence is before them.

Dani_106 Oct 23, 2009

I found it too repetative and a little on the boring side. I enjoy her fiction novels much more.

Nov 08, 2007

It seemed like she was just guessing.

Jun 09, 2003

Sometimes it seems that there are crimes that are in fashion that people talk about every so often when a new book comes out. Sometimes it seems that there are crimes that are a flash in the news media pan. And every once in a while there is a crime that transcends time. Jack the Ripper is one of these last cases. And everyone wants to be the one who solves this case! Patricia Cornwell is no different. Yes, she does make a valid point about the suspect, and she backs it up quite nicely with blood samples, partial fingerprints, and written evidence. But it has been a very long time since the murders and eye witnesses were scarce even at the time. At times this book meanders down too many roads and spends time on proving to the reader over and over that she has found her man! I do, however, like the fact that she has the courage to make such a case 120 later.


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