On the Trail of Jack the Ripper (ePub)
FOR 134 YEARS, THE MURDERS committed in London’s East End by the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ have baffled the world. The Ripper murders commenced in August and continued freely until the beginning of November 1888 when inexplicably the murders stopped. Five women were brutally murdered and savagely mutilated in and around Whitechapel. The killer was never caught despite the very best intentions of the police and thousands of would-be detectives following his trail.
Since 1888, much has changed and the crime scene locations known to the Ripper and his victims would be quite unrecognisable to them now. Equally, to the modern-day Londoner or visitor, the locations would remain largely unknown…until now. True crime and social historians Richard C Cobb and Mark Davis return to the Whitechapel of 1888 to see what remains from this dark time in London’s history and to take the reader on a step-by-step tour of the modern world of Jack the Ripper.
Using the original police reports, state of the art photographs, unseen images and diagrams, they present the truth about what actually happened in the autumn of 1888 and take a look at other victims that may have been killed by the same man.
Cobb and Davis give the reader a real sense of how the past meets the present in arguably London’s most vibrant and cultural quarter - where the shadow of the Ripper is never too far away.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Chelsea Littleton-Harper
"On the Trail of Jack the Ripper" by Richard Charles Cobb is a meticulous and gripping exploration of one of history's most enduring mysteries. Delving into the gruesome crimes that shook Victorian London, Cobb navigates the labyrinthine alleys of Whitechapel with a historian's precision and a true crime enthusiast's passion. Through original police reports, unseen images, and state-of-the-art photographs, Cobb reconstructs the chilling autumn of 1888 when Jack the Ripper terrorized the East End. Beyond the infamous five victims, the book also considers other potential victims linked to the elusive killer.
Cobb's attention to detail extends beyond the crimes themselves, providing a comprehensive history of the victims, the police investigation, and the enduring impact on the cityscape. With a blend of historical accuracy and modern insights, the book takes readers on a haunting journey through the past and present of Jack the Ripper's London.
For true crime aficionados, armchair detectives, and anyone fascinated by the enigma of Jack the Ripper, Cobb's meticulous research and vivid storytelling make this book an indispensable addition to the exploration of one of the world's most captivating cold cases.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Ashley Huffman
I have read many books on the subject of the Jack the Ripper murders and this is one of the best summary books on the topic I have read.
It is a relatively short read but packs in details that I have not seen in any one book. For any new reader interested in Jack the Ripper murders it will provide the thirst for wanting to dig deeper into the subject matter, whilst those more knowledgeable will find it like me, as an excellent summary read with key facts described.
What makes the book additionally interesting is not just the old photos/sketches of the murder areas of the time but also photos taken of the murder scenes in 2021. Most are now unrecognizable of what they would have looked like, but there are a few small areas and public houses of the area that still exist today.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Taryn Schilling
This is a must read for any true crime lover, especially those intrigued by Jack the Ripper. It was short, but definitely full of lots of history of Whitechapel and JTR. What I found interesting is that due to advances in forensics and understanding of killers and their MO it's possible that JTR had more victims than originally thought. This includes one before the reported victims. The pictures are great to see of what Whitechapel looks like current day. I would recommend this definitely if you love true crime.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Kori Sheridan
This book right here lit up my world!
This was my first by Richard Charles Cobb but this man made an imprint on my soul and I will forever be a fan!
I’m obsessed with Jack the Ripper so the title alone made me interested. Had I known what the content would do to me, I would have requested a medic be on stand by.
On the Trail of Jack the Ripper is what nightmares are made of. Never in my wildest dreams (or night terrors) could I have imagined what this book holds .
Glittering across the pages is a story that will plunge you right into the mind of a madman.
No need to spoil it anymore, buy the book.
Then come join my support group.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Annalisa Alberti
I am obsessed with anything having to do with white chapel, jack the ripper and the Victorian era. I think this is one of the most believable and comprehensive story yet. The pictures are wonderful and really add something special to this book.
It is 5 stars from me for this one – a must read for fans of true crimeDonna's Book Blog
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Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Susan Johnston
I am fascinated by tales of Jack The Ripper and all the various theories and assumptions. The author states clearly that the mystery has never been solved nor will it ever. The things that might have helped from modern day were not available and too much of whatever evidence is left has been too tainted to do much good. Yet, the first serial killer manages to hold interest 130 years later.
The author does a bang up job, going through the canonical five that everyone knows and also looks at others that were, at the time considered one of his works, but have been eliminated by many other studies. One of the things that he does is show the progression of his mania. No serial killer ever started at the top. Like any other “talent”, it must be honed. It certainly makes the argument that the earlier murders were committed by Jack.
He also does a thorough job of taking the reader through the reality of the time and allows the reader to overlay modern London with what it was like in 1888. Any remaining glimpses are highlighted. The fact that the author is one of the many guides who take tourists through the streets of the crimes makes him an excellent source and a riveting story teller. There are many books out there but I would recommend this highly as it has a different skew. Five purrs and two paws up.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Michelle Coates
As a fan on true crime I devoured this book! For 132 years, the ghastly and horrific murders committed in London’s East End by the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ have gripped and baffled the world. The Ripper commenced his series of atrocities at the end of August and continued freely until the beginning of November 1888 when inexplicably the murders stopped…In all, five women were brutally murdered and savagely mutilated in the most unimaginable way. The killing spree centered in and around the impoverished rabbit warren of alleys and rookeries of Whitechapel. The invisible killer was never caught despite the very best intentions of the police and thousands of would-be detectives following the grim proceedings.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Claire Knight
I have read many books within the true crime category and also about Jack the Ripper himself (if indeed you think he is a man), but this book still had something to offer. I was particularly interested in the way that the author talked about the geographical detail both past and present and I feel that those who have attended a Ripper tour would get a lot out of this (unfortunately I have not). The author also covered all of the murders that might have been the Ripper killings rather than the usually assigned victims, he also offered interesting arguments as to why these maybe associated with the Ripper. The author had a very engaging style but did not wax lyrical about their theory of who the Ripper actually was, the book was balanced throughout and really stuck to the facts and had clearly well researched the subject. I enjoyed the author's writing style so much that I am currently reading his works on the Yorkshire Ripper which I am very much enjoying. Certainly, recommended for those interested in true crime but also the geographical history of Whitechapel.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Kara C
I really liked this book. The story of Jack the Ripper always interested me. I didn’t/couldn’t put it down. There was so much information to take in. I can honestly say I devoured this book from beginning to end. The author did an amazing job writing this book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Jenny Little
On the Trail of Jack the Ripper by Richard Charles Cobb was an interesting read of the work of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in Whitechapel in London. I enjoyed the fact it did not focus on who Jack the Ripper was but on where he operated his murders. I really enjoyed it.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Rob O'Driscoll
This was a very interesting work on Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in Whitechapel in London in 1888. In addition to the accepted ‘Canonical Five’ victims, the book also covers several other murders in the months before and after that may or may not also be the work of Jack, some of which I had not known about previously. I also learned that the final of the five accepted victims likely originally came from my home town of Limerick in Ireland, again something I had never known before!
The drawings of the crime scenes help to give some context to the description of each murder, while the photos showing how each location has changed since those times was really interesting, particularly those that still bear some resemblance to how they would have looked then and whose photos were taken at night and in black and white. I also appreciated some of the author’s recommendations of documentaries to watch to see video footage of some of the locations before the were demolished, a few of which I have managed to track down on YouTube and Vimeo.
A quick but very informative read! Recommended!
This book discusses the five canonical victims in detail, especially the locations connected with each murder and how they relate to London as it is now. There are lots of helpful maps plotting London as it was in 1888 over the street layout today. The sad thing is that many of the streets and locations have now been lost, many in the last decade or two with building works. I went on a Jack the Ripper tour in Whitechapel last year with a friend and it’s amazing how little actually remains, so those locations that do remain are more significant in a way.Tudor Blogger
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Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Patricia Herrera
I felt as if I was actually there in some instances. Very intriguing and presented a bit differently than other Jack the Ripper books. I enjoy a good true crime but one that actually takes these victims and their murders and psychologically grabs ahold of your thoughts and visions with the gruesome details Is a plus for me ! Enjoyed this Jack the Ripper story as opposed to many I have read in the past.
I thought I knew all that I needed to know about the infamous Jack the Ripper. However, this story introduced more information that I was unaware of. I appreciated the photos and drawings to help me envision the brutal slayings. I loved gaining additional context and information that was not previously provided (at least, to me). This was a nice, quick read. I highly recommend to true crime fans and those who may want an additional prospective of one of the most notorious serial killers.NetGalley, Amber Brooks
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Lional Jones
Excellent book covering the murder sites then and how they look today. You are transported back to 1888 and how the area and people were and how they coped with life then. Thoroughly recommend this book.
... a very interesting detailed book about Jack the Ripper, where, how and whom he murdered.NetGalley, Andrea BM
What makes this book so interesting is the fact that there a re lot of pictures - as well from the old victorian London, and as well from the modern London. Most of the time these pictures are exactly at the old ones areas - so that you can use this bok as an Hiking guide to all the different places within London =)
Really great for London Fans or "Serial Killer" Fans (shudder)
Although I have read a good number of Jack the Ripper books, I found this one to be clear, interesting and still very informative even though it is about an old crime, ideal especially for a younger market.The History Fella
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I can't read enough about JTR! It's just one of the true crime cases that live rent free in my head! I mean....how can it not?! It's crazy, how many theories, controversies, mysteries, and madness there is related to JTR, and there's a reason why even after decades we are still reading n writing books about him. Mind boggling to think that in one of the cases the body was still warm when they found it meaning JTR must be so near but he still never got caught! He was one lucky POS!NetGalley, nerd.on.the.loose ..
Anyways coming to the book review lol! This is truly what the title suggests. It's like following JTR through time and place. The original crime scenes, where they are located now, and what remains of that dark time even today. And yeah, the best part is the photos (crime scenes, victims, morgue photos, maps, old and current places and locations, other morbid memorabilias etc. I remember going to shady websites looking for these back when i first read about JTR.
All that and it is still very concise. Pretty sure there is more info (facts not fluff) packed in here than many out there, and in such a way that it never gets boring. I for one actually found something new in these pages, even though I read n watch everything JTR that i come across. The best part is how the author has pointed out the exact locations in modern buildings which were once the most grisly of crime scenes. This is a must read if you're as obsessed with this case as i am.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Wendy M Rhodes
As a true crime author, and addicted fan of the genre. I was looking forward to reading this book. Having read lots of books about Jack the Ripper and the differing opinions on who the murderer was. While we will never know for certain unfortunately.
I found this book fascinating, and a good read. I particularly enjoyed the psychology behind the book and the documentary way in which it was written.
The book discusses the suspects in great length, covers all of the "canonical five" victims (Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly), the "allegedly" sixth victim, Martha Tabram, and other unsolved Whitechapel murders. The author paints a picture of what each murder site looked like and how it appears now, which distinguishes the book from other "Ripper" works. When I say the author "paints a picture," I don't simply mean with words; the book also contains illustrations and both old and new photographs.NetGalley, Billy Burgess
I found On the Trail of Jack the Ripper to be a fascinating book overall.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Odette Lattimer-Gittins
I have read a lot around this over the years and have always been fascinated by the subject matter. It is very well put together and amazingly researched and I learnt a lot.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Gayle Noble
It seems that true crime aficionados cannot read enough about the murders committed by the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ in 1888. I count myself in those gripped by the case as I've read countless books about the subject & I'm as fascinated as ever. This book is the literary equivalent of a walking tour around the sites which would have been frequented by those who lived in Whitechapel in 1888.
It seems wrong to say that you enjoyed reading a book about a series of real-life murders, but in this case, the focus is more on the physical places where the crimes occurred rather than the crimes themselves. (Having said that, there are several quite graphic photographs of some of the deceased). I found that the detailed photographs of the streets today & maps of Whitechapel allows the reader to picture Victorian London, & understand how small the area was where most of the murders took place. I also really liked the quick history of the Ten Bells public house.
The author goes beyond the 'Canonical Five' & asks whether several murders preceding & following the accepted victims may have also been the work of the Ripper. I also thought their hypothesis of the Ripper injuring himself at a scene as possibly being the reason for a month without attacks is intriguing given the evidence. It's a fairly short book but it keeps the attention & the author has obviously done their homework.
"Welcome to Jack the Ripper's London"NetGalley, Debra Cohen
Jack the Ripper has baffled the world for 132 years. He killed from 1888-1891. We (me) are still fascinated by his murders and his identify. He killed in a time when the police had very little forensics to utilize. DNA would not be used in a criminal case until 1986. His murders are cold cases and there have been theories about his identity since his killings began.
"Jack the Ripper is regarded as the father of the modern day Serial Killer as he is the first early example of this type of murderer." The term "Serial Killer" was not used back then. It was first used by Robert Ressler, an investigator with the FBI in the 1970's.
Ripper's crimes were brutal and be warned that this book shows the mortuary photographs of his victims. One photograph is of the actual body (thankfully not a close up - but you see enough of his last and most brutal killing). Readers also get to see pictures of where the victims were found and what is there now.
I found this book to be informative and very well presented. If you are familiar with the case, you may be familiar with most of the information on the victims and what was known of Ripper. There was a theory presented that made sense in terms of the Ripper possibly injuring himself at one of the scenes to explain a month-long break in killings. But it is a theory as if everything else. Other murders are also presented. Eleven women killed but only 5 are counted as his victims.
I enjoyed how the information was presented and found the pictures to be a nice touch. While reading this, I couldn't help but wonder how fast he would have been apprehended if the investigations had better forensic tools to use.
This is not a long book and can easily be read in one sitting if you can stomach the descriptions of the killings. It's informative and laid nicely. Fans of True Crime and history will enjoy this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso
Jack The Ripper is always a fascinating topic and this was an interesting book featuring facts and hypothesis.
There's a lot of details, descriptions of what happened, and even some pics of the victims.
Even if it's a well know story there's something new and it was an interesting read.
I read my first Jack the Ripper book over 20 years ago and of all the books since I have to say this is one of my favorites.NetGalley, Ann Busby
With well-rounded research and additional information to what I've seen before, it's thought-provoking in its complexity and will be a great read for those interested in Jack the Ripper, serial killers, or unsolved mysteries in general.
Information ranging from police accounts to the economic situation of Whitechapel both before and after the killings, give you a very vivid picture of the life these people were living and why so many made the choices they did just to survive.
It's odd to say I enjoyed a book on this subject but I did and found myself walking away with more information than I had walking into it which is a testament to the research and detailed writing that went into this book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Aria Harlow
I love history and true crime so this was the perfect book for me, and one of the historical criminals that fascinates me the most is Jack the Ripper - who was he and how did he get away with it for centuries, will we ever find out who he was? I certainly hope so.
I loved the way this book was written and it felt like I was watching a documentary on a cold case, it is so well researched and there are such good descriptions in the book I felt like I was visually there.
I loved the bringing in of original police reports and the discussion of old whitechapel versus the whitechapel that there is now and how the ripper is never far away.
In many ways it was a chilling read but I loved it.
On the Trail of Jack the Ripper by Richard Charles Cobb simulates the London Terror Walk Tour through its captivating photography and engrossing narrative. Although over a hundred years have passed since the Whitechapel Murders occurred, you will still experience the eerie setting of those nights of shadows.NetGalley, Eric Henderson
The author provides a great introduction for beginning Ripper readers and will engage with seasoned enthusiasts as it explores the case murders and similar crimes not officially assigned to Jack the Ripper.
If you love True Crime Fiction then this is a must read!
If you are fascinated by Jack the Ripper or want to learn more, I highly recommend this book.NetGalley, Jennifer Bucher
A great informative read. It doesn't go too in depth but gives an overview of the cases. I particularly enjoyed the comparison to modern day Whitechapel.NetGalley, Victoria Matthews
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Jennifer Christensen
This book reignited my interest in him and the time period.
I found this book so interesting . I really enjoyed all the details of this book. Definitely would recommend to anyone who enjoys history.NetGalley, Amanda Rosario
On The Trail of Jack the Ripper, is a quick read that contrasts the London of 1888 with London today. It's like taking a trip to London for a Ripper tour. It explores the crimes of The Ripper as they were in 1888 but it also shows you why these crimes were easy to commit then versus now, by showing how the city evolved over time. For someone who may never get a chance to visit London, this is a great alternative to taking a tour.NetGalley, Holly Bender
I have always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper. Any book on this topic is hard for me to resist. On The Trail Of Jack The Ripper, by Richard Charles Cobb, did not disappoint . So often. after reading so much on the topic, it is hard to find any new details on the subject but this book took a slightly different angle.NetGalley, Rachael Fryman
Cobb did give the basic details that everyone knows but also went into what “Jack the Rippers London” looks like today. I have always wanted to go on a Jack the Ripper tour but have never had the opportunity. All the pictures and diagrams were helpful in picturing the crime scene areas, then and now. Cobb also included several details I had not heard previously.
So often, non fiction can be very dry but this one was fascinating until the end, even knowing most of the material. An easy interesting read, I would recommend it to all who are interested in the Jack the Ripper story.
Richard Charles Cobb paints a new picture for me with ON THE TRAIL OF JACK THE RIPPER, especially regarding the canonical five women. The book has some graphic portions as you could expect, but it also explores a lot of the psychology of what we know. I love how so much of the book states things that are suppositions vs facts. There is so much we do not know, and there's a reason we do not know some of the true ins and outs. The book has a steady flow and pace... There are some interesting photos scattered throughout, most of them I had not seen before. Cobb is definitely a Jack The Ripper expert and so much can be gleaned from reading this true crime book.NetGalley, Alex Pearson
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Donna Maguire
I love a good true crime read and I am not ashamed to admit that I am fascinated by serial killers and what makes them tick, commit the crimes they did and how they picked their victims.
I love the psychology of it all and for me Jack the Ripper is a fascinating character as with him and the Victorian period in which he "operated" for want of a better word, you also get a mix of social history and an insight in to what the East End of London was like at the time.
The book was easy to follow and whilst it does contain a few of the mortuary pictures they are factual and show the injuries inflicted, they are not added to sensationalise, they just illustrate what happened and they do add to the book in my view.
The mix of old and new photos are ideal and the book is mixed with that and the events themselves; you really do get to go back in time as the author uses vivid descriptions of the sites where the murders happened as well as the general Whitechapel area overall. Not much remains now but what does he covers off really well - I have read another book that the author has written on Jack the Ripper and he is clearly an expert on the topic and it comes over in his writing.
It is 5 stars from me for this one - a must read for fans of true crime.
This book is as close as you will get to taking a tour of East End Victorian London without actually being there. It covers both the physical and social structures of the time and truly puts the crimes and victims in the context of their time. The author’s personal interest in the case is clear and this makes the book a genuine labour of love - it is written with such care.NetGalley, Louise Gray
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Alexa Netgalley
Jack the Ripper was a brutal serial killer whom lots people knew about his name but I am sure most of them lost with details. I am one of those people.
As the title author showed his dedication to picked trails on the evidences through books and personal research to provides readers with detail infos and chronology about this famous killer. We will find data about unfortunate women as victims, the killing methods, map places, the investigation and photograph with vivid details. With so much uncertainty data and lack of modern investigation we have now, the crime remained unsolved for almost 132 years.
Reading true crimes book is new experience for me. I learned so much and author narration is great description but still easy to follow. The real facts about how far human can hurt another human is intriguing but also bring goosebumps. Great book for fans of true crime book and crime history.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Brenda Carleton
At the mention of Jack the Ripper, nearly everyone will instantly know who you are talking about. Though his brutal serial killing spree of five women ("unfortunates") lasted ten weeks, eleven women were killed in a span of three years and several may be attributed to Jack the Ripper. Though there were differences in methods, serial killers "find their feet" and come into their own after they grow more experienced. So, who knows? As the author mentions, some are unlikely but others more questionable. What is known is there were the Canonical Five.
Based on personal research and poring over books such as Living London, author Richard Charles Cobb takes his readers through each killing in graphic detail (including photographs) with a focus on the victims' characters which really personalizes thereby making the acts even more heinous. Not only does he include information such as definitions on what constitutes different types of murderers, maps, murder scene layouts and photographs of the areas then and now (when possible) but also discusses London's East End specifically in great detail. It was deemed the most impoverished area of London where crime was rampant and in fear people turned a blind eye. This adds to the fascinating yet awful atmosphere of the murders...was Jack the Ripper seen just before, during or after his acts? This book addresses and answers many questions but in turns asks even more including the most puzzling of all...why did the murders suddenly stop? The author reminds us that the police force had inadequate numbers of officers and there was no such thing as DNA tracing or fingerprinting (though the fingerprinting idea had been submitted and rejected in the era).
So much can be learned about Jack the Ripper by what he did and did not do. I like that the author explored what is known and what is not. It caused me to really think about possibilities. We know some about the what, where, how and when but much less about why except that the victims were all "unfortunates" who were butchered cruelly. The mysteries go unsolved to this day, 132 years later. A few relics are to be found in London but many are lost or destroyed. Amongst the many most interesting to me are the missing Dear Boss letter and the Victorian tiles. The author explains why the Jews in Whitechapel were blamed and that the press drew attention to the dreadful living conditions of that part of London.
While this book is not for everyone (it is graphic) it is eye opening and deeply engrossing. Those who wish to learn more about Jack the Ripper and the women he killed from a psychological perspective, this book is unmissable. The subject matter is certainly not enjoyable but as a person very intrigued by true crime, I learned so much. It is important to remember history, the good and the bad.
My sincere thank you to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this gripping and thought provoking book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Kathryn McLeer
This was a really well done nonfiction book about Jack the Ripper, it was what I was expecting from the description. I was never bored when reading this and could tell that Richard Charles Cobb has done a great deal of research. Mr. Cobb has a great way of presenting the information in a way that would keep the reader engaged. I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
“A serial killer does not emerge fully formed. Even he must learn his craft - and Jack learned quickly”.Georgi Lvs Books !!
Jack The Ripper is another true crime case I am obsessed with due to the fact that we just don’t know who he was and probably never will.
This was a quick read and perfect for any true crime or ripperologist reader.
‘Dubbed ‘unfortunates’, these women would ply their trade within brothels and dark alleys. London’s West End May have thrived in the Victorian period, but the East End was drowning.’