Jack the Ripper

  • Clare Smith
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)


It is possible, on a well-known internet site, to buy a ‘Jack the Ripper Halloween costume’ consisting of a top hat, Gladstone bag and cape. This seems unremarkable until one realises that Jack the Ripper was never caught and therefore, what was being worn. I contend that the store is not selling the historic reality of the Ripper but the imagined Ripper used in films. This screen persona is so prevalent that anyone looking at the costume would know this is supposed to be Jack the Ripper. In 2015 controversy erupted over the Jack the Ripper Museum in Cable Street, London. The museum had been presented to the community as a museum about women’s history in the East End and the first realisation that community had that the museum had changed its narrative toward the Ripper was the unveiling of the museum sign. The sign depicts the silhouette of a figure in a top hat and cape with a smear of blood at his feet. The screen Ripper masquerading as the historic unknown Ripper.


Time Machine Serial Killer Film Version Witness Statement Female Ripper 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wales: Trinity St. DavidUK

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