The Ripper’s Haunts

Written by Michael L. Hawley
Review by Wendy A. Zollo

Michael Hawley has carefully researched an arguably favorite Scotland Yard suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, Dr. Francis Tumblety, and judiciously and notably traced his steps through Victorian London, using past and present-day documents and opinions. Admirably, it doesn’t profess to offer a final solution. Hawley freely notes an absolute in this department will always be open to interpretation. Instead he presents in a well-edited, concise theory, showcasing his calculated interpretations and research.

Giving note to Tumblety’s whereabouts, association with a curious macabre wax-museum close to the murder sites, and his occupation as an Indian herb doctor, which gave him a unique access to the Whitechapel area, Hawley establishes a theory of influence, previous crimes and a credible timeline without undue bias. He refutes misinformation with facts, making this one of the more persuasive Ripper books in recent years.

Francis Tumblety was Scotland Yard Ex-Detective Chief Inspector John Littlechild’s favored suspect. Hawley uses this and other little known factoids, notations, notes and newspapers to link Dr. Tumblety to the crimes without becoming fantastical. And while the reader may not nor should be persuaded by all the connections and conjectures the author presents, he largely offers interesting, persuasive arguments not easily dismissed. Well worth a read.