Friday, August 29, 2003

Walter Sickert: Jack the Ripper?

Walter Sickert: Jack the Ripper? Patricia Cornwell published a book titled Portrait of a Killer. In it, she presents strong evidence that the English artist Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper. There are a variety of proofs. Several of the "Jack the Ripper" letters received by London police in the 19th Century have been identified by handwriting experts as the handwriting of Walter Sickert. Further, throughout the life of Sickert, wherever he lived, prostitutes died. For example, when he lived in France, local prostitutes were murdered at a high rate in which ever town he was living in. Walter Sickert also painted a self-portrait which he titled "Jack the Ripper." It will probably will be impossible to ever prove this assertation. But the proof is strong. This is a good story for any librarian trying to teach information evaluation skills. Has Cornwell solved this case or is it wishful thinking on Cornwell's part?