Monday, February 26, 2007

The Camden Town Murder - John Barber vs Patricia Cornwell

The Camden Town Murder - HERTFORD author v Patricia Cornwell
Body: Author usurps crime queen's Ripper theory

A HERTFORD author has slammed crime writer Patricia Cornwell's theories on Jack the Ripper in his latest book.

John Barber, who is also the town centre manager, has penned The Camden Town Murder and is due to take part in a BBC documentary about the killer.

In his book he pours cold water on the American crime queen's speculation that a girl from Standon was the last victim of the Victorian serial killer.

Ms Cornwell spent a fortune trying to prove that prostitute Emily Dimmock was killed by artist William Sickert, whom she believes was the Ripper.

But John, 59, who has been researching the circumstances around Emily's tragic death, claims Ms Cornwell has wasted her time and money.

In the chapter entitled 'Was Emily Dimmock a Ripper Victim?' he writes: "In attempting to answer this question, one problem springs to mind. Why was there a gap of 19 years between the murder of Mary Kelly [a Ripper victim] and Emily Dimmock?

"Surely a serial killer kills and then kills again until he is caught or
dies. Rarely do they wait 19 years to strike. Yet this is what Patricia Cornwell would have us believe."

John, who lives on Folly Island, told the Mercury: "Ms Cornwell has got it wrong. It's highly improbable that Emily was the Ripper's victim.

"Her throat was cut but the Ripper's trademark was tearing open vital organs and sometimes taking body parts.

"Sickert might have been the Ripper but he didn't kill Emily - you'll have to read the book to find out who did."

John, who has admitted that his fascination with the Ripper and Emily's murder became an "obsession", has been asked to take part in a BBC documentary on Sickert.

He will take a film crew around north London and Whitechapel, in the East End, to the key sites of the Ripper attacks and the Camden Town murder.

TV prankster Jeremy Beadle has already snapped up a signed copy of the The Camden Town Murder, which is available in Waterstones, Foyles, W H Smith,
Barnes & Noble, Tesco and through Amazon.

It is published by Mandrake and costs £19.99 or £13.99 online.

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