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  • Des McKenna R.I.P.

    Claudia Aliffe was kind enough to post the following at the Casebook and I thought I'd share it here.

    Hi all,

    I'm sorry to have to report that Des McKenna died last week. His funeral was today. Those of you who have been able to attend the UK conferences in the past will no doubt remember Des and Anita (his wife) who will both be sadly missed from our future gatherings.

    Please feel free to pass this email on to anyone whom you feel should or needs to be made aware.

    If you particularly want me to pass on my consolences, I shall be dropping a line to Anita in due course as they are not on email. Please send anything my way via the conference email address and I will be sure to pass your messages on.

    Regards,

    Claudia

  • #2
    Tom:

    Thanks very much for sharing this information...

    Mr.McKenna was a pretty prolific writer whose work appeared in Ripperologist,Ripper Notes,WS1888 (and if he appeared in Ripperana,I am not sure..).

    Mr.McKenna's (perhaps) last piece just appeared in the WS1888 Journal ( On Frederick Deeming).

    This is sad news...

    R.I.P. Mr.McKenna
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    • #3
      Originally posted by How Brown
      Tom:

      Thanks very much for sharing this information...

      Mr.McKenna was a pretty prolific writer whose work appeared in Ripperologist,Ripper Notes,WS1888 (and if he appeared in Ripperana,I am not sure..).

      Mr.McKenna's (perhaps) last piece just appeared in the WS1888 Journal ( On Frederick Deeming).

      This is sad news...

      R.I.P. Mr.McKenna
      Hi Howard and Tom

      Des was a prolific and provocative writer and he will be missed. I had the pleasure of meeting Des and his wife Anita in April 2000 at the first U.S. convention in Park Ridge, New Jersey, organized by Casebook Productions, Inc. As a fellow Scouser, I enjoyed Des's Scouse humour as well as his colorful ideas on the case. I was though disappointed to hear him say that he had no interest whatever in football (soccer) which I was surprised to find out -- Liverpool being divided into armed camps of Reds (Liverpool FC) supporters, myself included, and Blues or Toffees (Everton FC) fans! Des made some interesting and lasting contributions to Ripperology. My sympathy goes out to Anita. Look for an obituary by me on Mr McKenna in Ripperologist 79.

      Chris
      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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      • #4
        I'm really going to miss Des. Though we never met, he was always a great guy and a true friend to anyone he interacted with in the field.

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        • #5
          I came across the following self-written bio by Des McKenna along with a photograph of Des and his wife Anita. They were sent to me in late 1999 or early 2000 as we were gearing up for the first Jack the Ripper Convention that I helped organize in Park Ridge, New Jersey in April 2000, and where Des was a speaker. Des published a number of articles on Jack the Ripper in various magazines. He passed away in April 2007. I spoke by telephone to Anita after he passed away and she told me there was talk of publishing a book of his ideas on the case. I don't know where plans for that stand.



          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for that, Chris. Des is one of the only people who sent me handwritten letters. Very nice guy and always willing to share. I believe his last work was published in Ripperologist. I enjoyed one article he wrote in particular, I believe it was a fellow that people in the town called Jackrippa?

            Yours truly,

            Tom Wescott

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            • #7
              Tom:
              Yes, it was about the Welsh doctor...I remember it too.

              Nice stuff, CG....thanks.
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              • #8
                Hi Chris,

                Thanks for your post. Now this is really weird because I woke in the middle of the night and for some reason my mind turned to dear departed friends, including ripperologists, and I began to wonder if people could make contact from the 'other side' and how that might manifest itself. Des was the one who lingered in my thoughts as he always had a smile on his face, had a wonderful way with words and his enthusiasm was infectious.

                He could have entered my thoughts just as you were posting his words. When I saw just now that this thread had been active overnight my heart skipped a beat. No chills though - only warmth for a very lovely person.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post
                  Thanks for that, Chris. Des is one of the only people who sent me handwritten letters.

                  Tom Wescott
                  Richard Whittington-Egan always writes his letters, but be warned you will need a microscope to read them! I always scan them in and enlarge them on the computer.

                  Nice find about Des McKenna.
                  www.darkdeedswales.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                    Hi Chris,

                    Thanks for your post. Now this is really weird because I woke in the middle of the night and for some reason my mind turned to dear departed friends, including ripperologists, and I began to wonder if people could make contact from the 'other side' and how that might manifest itself. Des was the one who lingered in my thoughts as he always had a smile on his face, had a wonderful way with words and his enthusiasm was infectious.

                    He could have entered my thoughts just as you were posting his words. When I saw just now that this thread had been active overnight my heart skipped a beat. No chills though - only warmth for a very lovely person.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Hi Tom, Caz, Howard, et al.

                    Thanks, Caz and Tom, for your memories of Des McKenna.

                    Caz, interesting story about your thoughts of departed Ripperologists within the last 24 hours. Yes that is indeed strange.

                    I was doing some cleaning in the computer room in recent days and Des's cover letter and bio plus photograph turned up out of the blue. Glad that the bio and photograph conjured up some pleasant memories of Des for several of you!

                    In regard to the book of Des's thoughts on the case, when I spoke to her by telephone in 2007, Anita told me there was some contention between herself and Des's son in regard to publication of the book. I don't know if they might have reached some agreement about the book since then. I will try to contact her again to find out.

                    Best regards

                    Chris
                    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Recording another side of the late Ripperologist Des McKenna, wherein the Wigan man was an Egremont "gurner." Des took second place after entering the contest in England's Lake District "on impulse" if the article is to be believed. Get ready. . . It isn't going to be pretty!








                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A very nice letter from Abigail Mackley.....Des McKenna's grandaughter.
                        ************************************************** *******

                        Hi my name is Abigail Mackley, I am the granddaughter of Des McKenna.

                        I work for the NHS and saw an advertisement for a Anatomy Live Lab session based on Jack the Ripper, it reminded me of my grandad. I knew he wrote about Jack The Ripper so I googled it and came across your forum, including his Memoriam section.

                        I wanted to thank the lovely people for their kind words towards my grandad. It really warmed my heart to know he had a caring community that he could share his interests with.

                        Some of the people who posted in that forum may be familiar with the picture that I attached in this email. It is displayed in my living room and reminds me of how funny and silly Des was!

                        Kind Regards,
                        Abigail


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