Ripperologist JON REES recommends top guides for people wanting to learn about Jack the Ripper
So you want to learn more about Jack the Ripper? There are a lot of books our there on Jack the Ripper. Some are very good. Others are absolutely awful!
Many suspect based books ignore key facts or try and shoehorn their man into fitting them. Others are poorly researched and lack any sort of balance whatsoever. The world of the East End in 1888 was very different today so it is also important to be able to understand what life was like back then, before you can understand the circumstances that surrounded the victims and their murders.
So what should you read to get a better idea on the times and the crimes?
Here is my guide to must read books to learn more about Jack the Ripper:
The Complete Jack the Ripper by Donald Rumbleow
Don Rumbleow is one of the worlds foremost researchers on Jack the Ripper and has made many key discoveries into the crimes. His book “The Complete Jack the Ripper” is a great introductory overview to the case, but beware there are one or two contentious theories in there but it is well written and very approachable for beginners.
Jack the Ripper: The Facts by Paul Begg
A great introductory overview to the case. Not as accessible as Rumbleow, but a must read for any serious student.
The Complete History of Jack the Ripper – Philip Sugden
Another overview book on the case, it is often considered to be the most complete and balanced work, but it is getting a little dated. It is also quite dry at times so beginners may struggle to work through it.
Jack the Ripper – CSI: Whitechapel by Paul Begg and John Bennett
As 125 years have passed and the area has changed greatly because of slum clearance, WW2 bombings and general progress, very few of the original crime scene locations remain unchanged. This book contains some great computer recreations of these locations which really help you to picture what the area would have been like at the time.
The Complete Jack the Ripper A-Z by Paul Begg, Martin Fido and Keith Skinner
The ultimate encyclopaedia on the case, written by three of the greats and being updated every few years with the latest research, this really is a key resource to anyone studying the crimes.
The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook by Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner
Another indispensable reference, this time containing police memos, reports and testimonies.