Four in a series: Jack the Ripper

4. Jack the Ripper

I’m reading a book about Jack the Ripper. The author is Patricia Cornwell. The book’s title is Portrait of a Killer. The book was published in 2002. Ms. Cornwell identifies the killer as being a man named Walter Sickert. He was born in 1860 and died in 1942. It’s a fascinating book and explains how present-day use of forensics help isolate him as being the violent killer that stalked the streets of London. If you’re looking for a good read I would suggest this book. But I think the book offers more just a good story. It is a non-written study on how to properly research and develop facts, even though she does not dwell on that as that is not the purpose of the book.  I believe it is also a study on humanity.

I’m not sure what could corrupt an individual to the extent that Walter Sickert was mentally and morally corrupt. Ms. Cornwell offers up an opinion for the principal cause. But I don’t think that the answer is so simple. There are too many variables.

We even see situations in our current society that are astonishing, cruel, and unbelievable in many cases. I’m not sure if humankind will ever move past such events. The reason I don’t think it will is because society is too complex as is the human mind. Both are subject to diseases. We as a society can only hope that proper research will identify circumstances which will lead to preventing such events.

Walter Sickert was born male. He was a monster. He may have had the physical characteristics which would identify him based on age as being a man; but I wonder if his existence would qualify him in our lexicon as being a man. Some might say he was, others might disagree. So, the quest continues to define what a man is.

I suppose in the end it will come down to an individual classification for each male alive, dead, and yet to be born. Society may claim that it understands just what a man is; but I think society will be eternally wrong

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