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Old February 20th, 2015, 07:36 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default Time Warner On The Diary

Time Warner finds diary of Jack the Ripper a hoax
Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition
September 8, 1993





NEW YORK -- Warner Books said it won't publish "The Diary of Jack the Ripper" because investigators it hired say the book is a hoax.

Laurence Kirshbaum, president and chief executive officer of the Time Warner Inc. unit, said the publisher won't lose money because "acceptance of the manuscript was always contingent upon our independent identification of the diary's authenticity." Mr. Kirshbaum said he is "disappointed" in the appraisal, because bookstores had already ordered more than 200,000 copies in advance and "we anticipated a major bestseller."

The only cost to Warner appears to have been that of the experts, who were led by Kenneth Rendell, a well-known dealer in historical documents.

"All of our examinations prove this is a forgery, a hoax," said Mr. Rendell. "First, the diary identifies a man named James Maybrick as Jack the Ripper, but a comparison to Maybrick's signature on his will clearly shows this wasn't written by him."

Nonetheless, British publisher Smith Gryphon Ltd., from which Warner bought U.S. rights, may publish the book still, said Mr. Kirshbaum. "I think they still believe it's real," he said. "And there is such a fascination with Jack the Ripper in England."

The British publisher couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. The diary was to be published with documentation by British experts proving it is genuine; to take advantage of Rippermania, the U.K. publisher may elect to tack on the opinion of Warner's experts and leave it to the readers to decide.
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