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In Miller's Court

Format: Print Length

Language: English

Pages: 276

Publisher: Andrew Hoffman (February 19, 2010)


Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub

Size: 8.4 MB

Downloadable formats: PDF

Throughout the autumn of 1888, London's East End witnessed a series of increasingly brutal murders, heralding the birth of the modern serial killer. Jack the Ripper was never caught, and as his terror grew, so did his figure, becoming all things feared to all people in a volatile time. In Miller's Court tells the story of his brutal climb from the most squalid neighborhood in England to abiding mythological status from the perspectives of twelve different figures - six police officials and six popular suspects. Theories on the killer vary wildly, with few substantial clues and much hearsay, but this is the story of the men who chased him and those they suspected.

Each chapter focuses on one character, from the righteous theologian Sir Robert Anderson, Commissioner of the Criminal Investigations Division, to the Polish immigrant George Chapman, who would go on to murder three of his wives and hang in 1903. There is great stylistic variation, as each chapter is told in a manner befitting the character, from the esoteric allusions of the mad, Oxford-educated barrister, to the harsh cockney of the fishmongers and the Yiddish and Russian pidgins of the immigrants. The book continues steadily from the first murder through the last, but the reader is subjected to a series of competing narratives which color the events. The officers advance their own theories and the suspects reveal their own ambitions while the plot moves through the most depraved haunts of Whitechapel, in the heart of the British Empire. As his crimes grow bolder, they cast only more light upon the volatility and brutality of the East End, in the midst of racial tensions, radical strikes, politcal struggles in the Home Office, and a growing world of terror and paranoia.