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5Q With : Jonathan Menges January 24, 2015

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  • 5Q With : Jonathan Menges January 24, 2015

    Many thanks to JM for his replies and time !!

    Questions :

    1. Since the first episode of Ripper cast back in 2008....what have been some of the most interesting remarks that you can recall.....and if that is too hard to do at this time, which single remark or moment in any episode stands out in your mind right this minute ?

    2. What areas of JTR Forums do you feel have the most value for the casual non-participant ( lurkers ) and if you have a suggestion on how to improve the boards, please do.

    3. I'm one of the fortunate men & women whose wife or husband is also very interested in the Case. Does this resemble your situation with your better half ? Do you ever catch hell for the time you spend in studying or preparing for Rippercast episodes ?

    4. Its been a few years since the first Ripper documentary written and produced by Ripperologists, Jeff Leahy's Jack The Ripper : The Definitive Story, appeared. How do you think it has held up in the interim and is it still at the top of your favorite documentaries ?

    5. From what you've read so far about Alice Mackenzie's far, as there is always the chance something might turn up one day or something may change your view six months from likely or unlikely do you regard her murder as being a Ripper murder ?

    6. Please name the latest article in Ripperologist which you felt was a little more special to you than any other.

    Answers :

    1. There have been too many great moments while recording Rippercast to possibly come up with a ‘best’ or ‘most interesting’. Some of my favorite conversation occurs at the beginning of the show, as the guests are being joined, and hearing them chat casually to one another as if they’re at a family reunion. Martin Fido is particularly fond of this pre-podcast ritual of catching-up, and his off-the-record chats with Robert McLaughlin, Chris Scott, Paul Begg etc as the show is getting settled down is wonderful to hear, and often I’m forced to jump in with an “all right boys, it’s time to record this thing” as the chit-chating amongst these old friends can go on and on and on. I’d say that’s the most special aspect of the podcast when it’s bringing together friends who haven’t spoken to each other in a while. Some of my personal favorite moments hosting the show is when Gareth Williams is a guest and he draws upon his vast knowledge of the case, and especially his knowledge of Wales and the Welsh language, to better educate the listener on some of the more complex aspects of the Mary Kelly mystery. And, of course, Chris Scott, whose episodes I can listen to over and over. I’ve picked out a section of his ‘Ripper in Ramsgate’ show in which he gives words of advice for young researchers:

    2. I think that JTRforums’s biggest strengths and weakness are somewhat related. While the site for quite a while now seems to be the go-to place if you’re looking for the most current research discoveries posted by the best trawlers in the field, lending the site a place more suited to serious students who are at the stage where they crave and absorb the microscopic details, I think that it also as a tendency to get bogged down in new threads started of a more pub talk variety, causing a visitor like me to have to scroll past many joke posts or links to viral videos in order to get to what I’m here for. So when it comes to new Ripper stuff, the site has no competition, I personally can do without the “look a this crazy off-topic thread”.

    3. My situation with my better half is that she knew about my interest as soon as we met. We’ve been together 14 years and when we first began dating back in 2001 I was transcribing press reports for Casebook and researching Kansas/Missouri Civil War era, (which included poking around for Tumblety and Luke Blackburn) at the Kansas Historical Society. She is very accepting of my hobby, not interested in it at all, and only gets annoyed when my entire weekend is occupied by Rippercast.

    4. While I’d still say ‘The Definitive Story’ is the best (as far as most accurate) Ripper documentary, I believe my favorite is 1993’s “The Diary of Jack the Ripper- Beyond Reasonable Doubt” and I tend to enjoy the docs from the late 80s and 1990’s more so than more recent ones.

    5. I believe Alice Mackenzie could very well be a victim of Jack the Ripper. The only strikes against her as far as I know is supposedly the size of the knife, some superficial wounds to the abdomen, and no sign of strangulation. The hand the murderer favors (left/right) also may be an issue. She is very much like Stride in that one can find reasons to accept or reject her, but my current opinion is that, like Stride, it’s best to include her as one of the victims of the same perpetrator unless more evidence is discovered that points away.

    6. For this question I’m going to give a shout out to my old friend Simon Wood and his article “One Lone Maniac Too Many”. Also I’ll say that the first thing I flip to when I receive each new issue is the reviews, and Paul Begg should be commended for taking the time to provide these for the readers. It’s a great resource for keeping up on whats happening in the world of true crime and we’re all lucky to have Paul managing this section.
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  • #2
    I've a question for you Jon,

    Would you consider being a guest on the Podcast? I, for one, would be very interested in hearing such an episode.



    • #3
      Hi Monty,

      Yes, I'd be a guest. The idea of interviewing me has been mentioned a few times but for whatever reason hasn't happened yet. Maybe some day.



      • #4
        I look forward to it, because from what I've heard, on the podcasts, and read, you have a unique take on the case which always draws me to look at things in an alternate way, which is good. And manage to highlight the obscure and lesser know facets, and those who have studied it, which somehow has eluded me...not that they shouldn't.

        Also, you have a deep knowledge on other crimes, especially the US ones, which always interests.

        You'd make a great guest.



        • #5
          Thanks for those words, it means a lot coming from you. I tend to think the opposite and that I'd be uninformed and pretty boring, which is kind of funny since that's the exact type of fear I hear from others before their first appearance as a guest.