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5 Questions With: JOHN ADCOCK

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  • 5 Questions With: JOHN ADCOCK

    Mr. Adcock kindly contributed to this Forum with the following....

    1. How long have you been involved in the collection of Penny Dreadfuls ? Is there any single one that stands out in your mind....or are they all just as dear to you?

    My interest in penny bloods and penny dreadfuls dates back to 1975 when I discovered E. S. Turner's book Boys Will Be Boys. I discovered that the University of Alberta, where I live, had one of the finest collections of dreads in North America. My first was Jack Harkaway's Schooldays by Bracebridge Hemyng, in a well-preserved original. I've now read all the classics, Mysteries of London, Black Bess, Blueskin, Edith the Captive, Sweeney Todd, Spring-Heeled Jack &c. The high point would be when I found Wild Boys of London on microfilm at the University of Calgary. The two I would most like to have on a desert island are Blueskin or Charley Wag.

    2. Do you have a general overall view of the Case, as you think that one of the suspects thats been named to date is the killer, but we just don't have all the details together yet?

    I'm convinced the answer will never be known but if pressed I would favour Tumblety.

    3. What one aspect or detail within the Whitechapel Murders makes it unique from other crime skeins,murders, or crimes ?

    The monstrous ego displayed by the killer. I distrust the FBI profiling character sketch of Jack the Ripper, it's a one size fits all proposition. In my view he was probably a psychopath, or "moral imbecile" as they were called in the twenties, cunning, intelligent, confident and fearless. I don't believe any of the letters were written by the murderer but the From Hell letter is a lovely piece of literary invention.

    4. Out of curiosity, did your original interest in the WM emanate from either the Royals Conspiracy Theory...the Sickert ( as theorized by Cornwell ) theory or perhaps the Maybrick Diary ? If not, then what ?

    My interest came about through readingTom Cullens 1965 Autumn of Terror and later Rumbelow's 1975 volume of the Complete Jack the Ripper. The Sickert and Maybrick theories I consider rubbish * and I'll stick a smiley in here to show I mean no offense to anyone by that statement.

    5. You've been a member for a fortnight now. What one feature of the site impresses you the most?

    I like groups like this which have dedicated frequent posters so there is always some new and interesting discussion going on.
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