James Willoughby Carnac admits in his autobiography that he is Jack the Ripper; but it is the curator of the Montacute TV, Radio, and Toy Museum in Somerset, Alan Hicken, who has brought the book to light.
Hicken acquired the manuscript in a bundle of memorabilia from the family of S.G. Hulme-Beaman, creator of a popular British children’s cartoon character, Larry the Lamb. Hulme-Beaman was Carnac’s executor and apparently was unable to publish the manuscript per Carnac’s wishes, even after expunging the lurid evisceration descriptions. The story here is accompanied by a lengthy, almost line-by-line analysis by journalist and noted Ripper-ologist Paul Begg (Jack the Ripper: The Facts, 2005, etc.). The analysis is repetitive, tedious and unnecessary; readers can decide for themselves on the believability of this tale. The Ripper’s story, and his obsession with knives and blood, make for interesting reading, as it deals with the man and his stalkings more than his atrocious acts. Whoever wrote it seems to understand the mind of this killer, certainly a madman, who murdered solely for the love of killing. His parents’ murders/suicides seem to be the beginning of his bloodlust, and his desire to cut flesh naturally followed. The six Whitechapel murders committed in 1888 began and ended with no cause, no clues and no conviction. Here is the man who admitted to hearing voices and had a vision of a man who assured him he’d never be caught. The bizarre dream of his ancestors as hangmen and torturers lining the streets of London show a man possessed. Throughout the book, as he insists on his obsession with knives cutting flesh, readers may wonder why he didn’t become a coroner or an anatomy teacher, dissecting bodies all day long. Also included are facsimiles of the original manuscript and some brief information on the victims.
Fiction or not, a decent book, easily read and worth it for the ending.