Saturday, June 30, 2007

Revolution! Part Seventeen

In the archives, Mr. Popple, a man who was as Dickensian as his name might have suggested to someone who had never read those sort of books by Dickens, unfolded the story to an eager Andrea.

"What do you know about Jack the Ripper?" he asked her curiously.

"The most famous serial killer in the world," Andrea shook her head. "Never caught, he used to kill Prostitutes and leave taunting letters for the Police. The murders gave a boost to the modernisation of detection."

"Jack the Ripper is officially credited - if that's the right word - with five murders," Mr. Popple told her. "All of the victims were prostitutes, and all were killed in the Whitechapel district of London. Some people have suggested as many as eight victims, some as few as four. The killings followed the same pattern, and the corpses were mutilated. Most experts now think that the letters which identified the man as 'Jack the Ripper' were written by someone else as part of a sick hoax."

"Boo!" Andrea pouted, "that's the best bit!"

"And it might be genuine," the archivist confessed, "but that seems to be doubtful. Anyway, that's no why you're here, is it?"

"No," Andrea smiled, "tell me about your research."

"It's only partly mine," the fat man told her. "In fact, the instigator was an ... er... associate of yours. He wanted a definitive answer about the number of Ripper murders, and I put together a database of all serial killings in London and it surrounding area over a twenty-year period. I was shocked by what I found!"

"How so?" came the obvious question.

"I thought I might find few similar crimes in the immediate area," Popple told her. "Instead of which I found several in Cardiff and Glasgow, also unsolved. Widening the search, I found that these crimes were all connected with areas possessing a high Jewish, or other ethnic minority population."

"What then?" Andrea pressed further.

"Then," a new voice broke in, "I became involved."

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