Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

Now updated with new material that brings the killer s picture into clearer focus.In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London s East End Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes wereNow updated with new material that brings the killer s picture into clearer focus.In the fall of 1888, all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror An elusive madman calling himself Jack the Ripper was brutally butchering women in the slums of London s East End Police seemed powerless to stop the killer, who delighted in taunting them and whose crimes were clearly escalating in violence from victim to victim And then the Ripper s violent spree seemingly ended as abruptly as it had begun He had struck out of nowhere and then vanished from the scene Decades passed, then fifty years, then a hundred, and the Ripper s bloody sexual crimes became anemic and impotent fodder for puzzles, mystery weekends, crime conventions, and so called Ripper Walks that end with pints of ale in the pubs of Whitechapel But to number one New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, the Ripper murders are not cute little mysteries to be transformed into parlor games or movies but rather a series of terrible crimes that no one should get away with, even after death Now Cornwell applies her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise to dig deeper into the Ripper case than any detective before her and reveal the true identity of this fabled Victorian killer.In Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, Cornwell combines the rigorous discipline of twenty first century police investigation with forensic techniques undreamed of during the late Victorian era to solve one of the most infamous and difficult serial murder cases in history Drawing on unparalleled access to original Ripper evidence, documents, and records, as well as archival, academic, and law enforcement resources, FBI profilers, and top forensic scientists, Cornwell reveals that 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 Walter Richard Sickert.It has been said of Cornwell that no one depicts the human capability for evil better than she Adding layer after layer of circumstantial evidence to the physical evidence discovered by modern forensic science and expert minds, Cornwell shows that Sickert, who died peacefully in his bed in 1942, at the age of 81, was not only one of Great Britain s greatest painters but also a serial killer, a damaged diabolical man driven by megalomania and hate She exposes Sickert as the author of the infamous Ripper letters that were written to the Metropolitan Police and the press Her detailed analysis of his paintings shows that 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 present a casebook example of how a psychopathic killer is created.New information and startling revelations detailed in Portrait of a Killer include How a year long battery of than 100 DNA tests on samples drawn by Cornwell s forensics team in September 2001 from original Ripper letters and Sickert documents yielded the first shadows of the 75 to 114 year old genetic evid
Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper Case Closed Now updated with new material that brings the killer s picture into clearer focus In the fall of all of London was held in the grip of unspeakable terror An elusive madman calling himself Jack t

  • Title: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed
  • Author: Patricia Cornwell
  • ISBN: 9780399149320
  • Page: 361
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed”

    1. For weeks, I attempted to finish Patricia Cornwell's "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed" I haven't written a real book review, (or even been inclined to write one,) since High School English Lit but this book frustrated me enough to write one.I've heard from many people what a wonderful piece of forensic investigation it is, how interesting, and that it seems the most plausible answer to the question of "whodunit."It must be confessed, that though I ordinarily like Patricia Corn [...]

    2. Let me first say, I hate when an author prints his or her own name larger than the title on a book cover. That was not the worst thing about this book. I found “Portrait of a Killer” because it rates highly among other true-crime books and I thought I was learning about actual events, until I was about a quarter of the way through and did some research of my own. At that time I realized the only value of this book is a description of the life and times of a successful British artist who shou [...]

    3. Despite the rather presumptuous sub-title of "case closed", Cornwell doesn't prove her thesis. In fact, this book is a text book for how NOT to write a book that solves a historical mystery.Problems1. Cornwall has never heard of footnotes.2. She does not fully explain why she chose to investigate Sickert. It really does sound like she chose him for the killer because she liked the cop who thought he did it.3. When discussing how women were seen at the time, why is Cornwell citing a book written [...]

    4. This was not what I expected. I thought it would be a sort of historical re-cap of the Jack the Ripper killings with Cornwell revealing the person that she thought to be the killer, with evidence to substantiate her opinion. I did not expect to be lectured over and over and beaten over the head with her opinion on the identity of the killer. From what I've read, Cornwell went a little bonky in the head with trying to prove that her guy was the one, spending millions of dollars to acquire paintin [...]

    5. I decided to read Patricia Cornwell's book Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed because I have an interest in Walter Sickert. I continued to read the book, despite the fact that it was by far the most absurd book I've ever read, because I assumed at the turn of every page that it couldn't get any sillier. At some point, I thought, Cornwell would have to present solid evidence that connected Walter Sickert to the Ripper murders. After all, you can't go around accusing people of mur [...]

    6. What a phenomenal and utterly disturbing book. I learned:1) The identity of Jack The Ripper, with 98% certainty, is the British artist Walter Sickert, proven by intense forensic analysis.2) He not only killed the prostitutes for which he is best known, but possibly 40+ others, including children, men and non-prostitute women, some of whom he hacked to pieces and possibly ate.3) 1888 London was an absolute shithole and why anyone would have wanted to live in those conditions is beyond me.4) Scotl [...]

    7. I have to say, I know I am in the minority when I say that I find this argument for artist Walter Sickert to be the Ripper rather convincing. Not everyone is going to agree, and that's ok -- I feel that the truth behind the Ripper killings in 1888 London will remain a mystery for all time. There just isn't enough data out there on the killings to point the finger at one particular person. All that said, what makes this book so interesting is how Cornwell draws out the pathology of a sociopath. W [...]

    8. I started reading Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed while I was down in Florida, and finally finished it the day before yesterday. I remember reading reviews of the book when it first came out a few years ago, and never picking the book up. I found it by chance in the stacks at my godmother's house, and decided to give it a try.It's not that I'm not interested in Jack the Ripper. When I was in high school, I could be counted on to track down just about any bo [...]

    9. I read this during a time in my life when I wanted all mysteries solved! Unfortunately, my needs weren't fulfilled with this book. In fact, I think I had more questions afterward than I did when I started.Am I satisfied that she may have, in fact, closed the case and the mystery of Jack the Ripper's elusive identity has finally been solved? Sorry, no. And I think that this is one mystery that I am content to leave just that.

    10. Patricia Cornwell has more money than sense. I can't believe that she spent a million dollars of her own money to research the true identity of Jack the Ripper.d, despite the title, she has come away with little to no proof - she relies a great deal on mitochondrial DNA evidence that she admits is inconclusive, and paintings done by Sickert years after the fact. Sickert seems to have been an ass, and perhaps he was the Ripper, but Cornwall has done nothing in this book that would allow her valid [...]

    11. (copied from my amazon review)If a prosecutor went to court and presented a case against Walter Sickert with the evidence the author gives us in this book, the judge would laugh hysterically and require of the prosecutor to chose another profession. So let's see what are some of the evidence that would make Sickert the killer. He knew a guy who was american and laughed with a "ha ha". In the ripper letters, the ripper writes "ha ha", so he's gotta be Sickert! Or because Sickert occasionally wrot [...]

    12. Patricia Cornwell apresenta na obra “Jack, o Estripador – Retrato de um Assassino”, o que eu considero ser apenas “mais uma” teoria acerca da identidade de Jack, o Estripador. Não apreciei a estrutura narrativa do livro que pretende ser um “documento” em que se deslinda a identidade do homem que cometeu a série de assassínios brutais no East End de Londres (e possivelmente noutros locais) a partir de 1888… As ideias, os factos, as asserções por vezes não têm grande ligaç [...]

    13. I liked this book because Patricia Cornwall presented quite a stirring case for her argument that the killer was a rather famous artist named Walter Sickert. She compared pictures painted by the artist with photos from the crime scene and of the victims, postmortem, and the similarities gave me shivers! She created this protrait of Sickert with such passion, convinced she really has solved this case, that I couldn't help but get excited, too. It didn't hurt that I read it the week leading up to [...]

    14. Hey lady! Don't write a book saying you solved a case when the best you can do every other line is something "probably" or "may certainly" have happened.

    15. After months, I finally buckled and put this one down I should have taken it into the yard and shot it It literally was that bad

    16. Oy.I'm one of those folks who is forever entranced by the Jack the Ripper saga. Victorian crime in the grimy, fogbound, poverty-ridden streets of London. I've even done the walking tour. So, I picked up this volume with high anticipation. Oy.Prior to this, I had never read a Patricia Cornwell book, so I was not a follower of her mystery books. Safe to say, after making it through this "expose" of the Ripper, I won't be reading any other Cornwell books. She could have made her case fairly quickly [...]

    17. so, patricia cornwell has solved the ripper case. she's convinced she has; and she doesn't tire to try to convince you, too. which makes portrait of a killer an extremely annoying read. you'll be forced to wade through plenty of the brackwater of standard bourgeois reaction to anything and anybody involved with prostitution (hey compassion - hey contempt!), the standard true-crime-solved insight about the psychological mechanism (yes, singular: one mechanism, and one mechanism only) that produce [...]

    18. Buddy read with the awesome Sarah! We read different publications of the same book, which I initially thought was a completely different book.Disclaimer: I recently had a med adjustment, so I've been really drowsy until my body adjusts (usually about 2 weeks), so I'm not sure how much this is me vs the book. I need to re-read this one eventually. I also skimmed starting 50% in. If it wasn't for the buddy read, I would have put this one on hiatus until I was in a better head space.Pros:-She reall [...]

    19. I admit to having a great interest in the Jack the Ripper case and have for many years. I was interested to see what Cornwell could come up with as to who could have done the killing. I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. It was basically filled with Cornwell's guesses that she put out as facts. What really set me off was that part of the book where she was walking down the street with her editor (I think) and says, "I know who did it." From then on, I had a feeling I wasn't going to enj [...]

    20. Patricia Cornwell delves into the Jack the Ripper case. There's probably not many adults in this world who don't know the name of the serial killer who murdered women in the White Chapel District in London. She claims to have identified who The Ripper was. I believe her insight and knowledge of the murders, papers, and other evidence during the killings is very well portrayed in her book. I'm not entirely convinced the true killer is identified, but of all the evidence and other books I've read [...]

    21. The day of Christine’s funeral was blustery and cold, and the procession was late. Sickert didn’t pour her ashes into her grave. He dug his hands inside the urn and flung them into the wind, which blew them onto the coats and into the face of his friends.Who was Christine? Sickert’s third wife… and who was Sickert??? The world famous artist… and a psychopathic serial killer calling himself, “Jack The Ripper”… who killed the innocent in many ways. Most of the victims were children [...]

    22. It's interesting to observe how "common knowledge" sometimes lags behind real knowledge. Just the other day, I heard someone on television say what I've heard all my life: that the true identity of Jack the Ripper has never been discovered. Not true. Patricia Cornwell figured out who he was, made her case compellingly, and closed the file in 2002. The only mystery left in my mind is how some people can read the book and not be convinced. It should not be surprising that the murderer turned out t [...]

    23. Man, I had this whole summer of reading books I thought I'd love but didn't (Da Vinci Code, Under the Banner of Heaven, and this). So I wasn't quite as disappointed with this one as the other two, but it's not good. I love Patricia Cornwell's mysteries (although they're definitely guilty pleasures), and I love stories about Jack the Ripper (or really anything that takes place in London). But geez, you can't name a book "Case Closed" and then present such a shoddy case. I really hope PC sticks wi [...]

    24. Finally I found out who Jack the Ripper was! For the longest time I thought if I ever wanted to know the true identity of Jack the Ripper I would have to go under cover as a man and join the Freemasons to learn all their secrets, since I heard on the Jack the Ripper tour I went on in like 1999 that the only people who really know who Jack the Ripper was are the Freemasons. Needless to say, reading this book has proved a lot easier than my previous plan. Thanks Patricia Cornwell!

    25. I cannot claim to be a Ripperologist, but I have read a fair number of books about the Ripper murders and none so arrogant and uninformative as this. Before I say any more, let me just say that I enjoy Patricia Cornwell's novels, she's a good writer, so I am simply unable to decide what on earth made her write this. In the beginning of this book, the author states that she became interested in the Ripper murders on a visit to London and was soon convinced that the artist Walter Sickert was respo [...]

    26. I had to give up on this one after just over 100 pages. I didn't like the writing style and I was quite bored. The story didn't really follow any kind of timeline or logical progression, it was all over the place. I was also disappointed because I expected it to be more scientific, with actual facts, but it seems to be what the author's personal opinions are based on very circumstantial evidence. She herself admits on numerous occassions that there was no evidence to back up whatever she was tal [...]

    27. Cornwell is somewhat of a "guilty pleasure" for me as a number of the Scarpetta novels really got me hooked and "Hornet's Nest" and "Southern Cross" are better still. The Jack the Ripper case is of course both horrifying and fascinating and I picked up the books with some high hopes. Unfortunately, none were met. Cornwell goes about her task the "wrong way": after introducing "her" killer, she dedicates the book to nag us into believing what she believes, and not successfully either. The basic p [...]

    28. I am constantly supprised by the range of Cornwell's writing. I am a loyal fan of her books and this one took me by surprise. It has been on my to read book shelf for a while as I pursue my own writing career. I finally read it and was shocked as to why no one else had put this together. I think she really found the real idenity of Jack The Ripper, so many years after the crimes occured. My hat is off to Cornwell for her research and writing skills. While many may still disagree with her conclus [...]

    29. Patricia Cornwell is an author I both admire and enjoy, which is one reason why reading JACK THE RIPPER- CASE CLOSED is so mind boggling. Cornwell claims to have identified Jack the Ripper more than a century after the fact and even prefaces the book with a passage where she is tormented about accusing even a dead man (painter Walter Sickert) of such ghastly crimes, and considers not publishing this book. But in the end, she says, she had to publish it, because she knows the truth. She's sure of [...]

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