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Ripperology—a sometimes obsessive interest in studying the crimes of Jack the Ripper—is a subject of timeless interest that has suffered from confusion, exaggeration, and hyperbole for over a century. Jack the Ripper was probably the first serial killer to appear in a large metropolis at a time when the general populace was literate and the press was a force for social change. The press was also partly responsible for creating many myths surrounding the Ripper.
Robin Odell's Ripperology is the first study to present a sequential history of literary investigations of Jack the Ripper's crimes and to address the seven principal phases of Ripper speculations: the initial wave of journalism that followed the 1888 murders; the “revelations” of highers-up in Scotland Yard who pretended to know more than they actually did; the period between 1925 and 1949 when sensational and factually shaky book-length “solutions” were proposed, including the theories…[more]