Jack the Ripper = Jack the Writer? Manuscript Mystery Unfolds in the UK

Last week, The BBC reported that a manuscript by the alleged Jack the Ripper was unearthed and will be published worldwide. Reported to have been written in the 1920s, the manuscript was found in Somerset, UK in October of 2009.  It is said to have been typewritten and bound with a cardboard cover that reads The Autobiography of James Carnac. The book is dedicated “with admiration and respect to the retired members of the Metropolitan Police Force in spite of whose energy and efficiency I have lived to write this book”.

And just who is James Carnac? No public records show that he ever existed. Could it have been a pen name? Jack the Ripper historian, Paul Begg, however, has warned that the manuscript may be a piece of fiction. After studying the piece, Beggs said that the first two parts are reflective of the actual murders and the last part is “very contrived, very poor fiction”, however; there is a part that stood out to him:

“There is a throwaway remark where James Carnac is in the act of murdering the last of the victims, Mary Kelly, where he sees a reflection of himself in a mirror – and this has a profound effect on him.

“I found one newspaper report from an American newspaper which referred to a mirror in Mary Kelly’s room… it is interesting it was found in one newspaper and it plays a profound part in Carnac’s account.”

This story gets weirder when you learn where that the manuscript was discovered at the  Montacute TV and Radio Museum with things that belonged to S.G. Hulme Beaman, a children’s author who created the character “Larry the Lamb“. Beaman claimed to have known Carnac and wrote the introduction to the book/manuscript and in it claims that he took out the more disturbing parts which describe the grisly details of some of the murders.

Begg states that the manuscript looks toyed with in odd way – pages added on, numbered incorrectly, and parts looked to be produced from different typewriters. Begs states,”The main thing for people is that it isn’t as obvious as it appears to be.”

Call me a cynic, but the whole thing sounds like a sham and it was probably written by Beaman himself.

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One Comment to “Jack the Ripper = Jack the Writer? Manuscript Mystery Unfolds in the UK”

  1. I’m with you on it being a sham, a very interesting sham though. I also hope that it isn’t real, I can’t help but feel it would be a shame to actually be able to put a close to the mystery of Jack the Ripper. Some how it would seem wrong to destroy a more or less modern myth by putting an actual face and name to the the man.

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