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Friday, August 16, 2013

The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper - James Carnac

Release Date - September 2013


Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After the death of S.G. Hulme-Beaman, an unpublished manuscript containing the supposed autobiography of one James Carnac was found in Hulme-Beaman's possessions. With no way to know if the autobiography was Hulme-Beaman's work or truly the admission of the man behind the Jack the Ripper murders, it is left to the reader to decide if this book is fact or fiction.

The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper is definitely detailed. There are aspects of Carnac's life that fit with my image of the killer. He supposedly knows facts about the killings that were never revealed. The story is gripping and definitely kept my interest, but in the end, there really is no way to know if this supposed autobiography closes the case. It also doesn't really shed any light on who James Carnac was.

The story behind this "autobiography" seems odd, too. Hulme-Beaman, creator of popular children's character "Larry the Lamb," was supposedly given the manuscript to publish when Carnac died. Hulme-Beaman removed sections he felt were gruesome, wrote a foreword, and then never published it. It supposedly sat untouched until a museum curator purchased a number of Hulme-Beaman's things in 2008, and then sat on this autobiography until 2009 when he had it published overseas.

In the end, I recommend The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, but I have strong doubts that this is more than a very imaginative piece of fiction.

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