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More 5Q With Tom Wescott

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  • More 5Q With Tom Wescott

    There will be one final 5Q with Tom along with the responses from Debra Arif a.s.a.p.

    Thanks again to Tom for the effort here.


    Do you utilize books from before 1980 such as Odell's, Cullen's,Farson's, or Rumbelow's for your research or just casual reading ?
    I utilize many books written before 1980, but none of them Ripper books.

    Without identifying it, what was the most you can recall spending on a Ripper related item ( Convention, book, magazine sub, trip, peripheral book, Ebay item...) ?
    Probably only $100 or $200, but I've had some good deals.

    What is one area of the Case which you would like to see someone approach in the way Alan Sharp handled the Irish Press, or Robert McLaughlin did with the photographs of the victims ?
    I would like to write the ultimate book on the Berner Street Mystery, but everyone tells me that's not a good idea and that I should stick to my suspect book. But who knows, maybe one day. I also plan to do a volume on the London Anarchists one of these days. Short of that, I'd like to see more books like Chris Scott's 'Will The Real Mary Kelly...' Works like that are more likely to lead to breakthroughs in the case than biographies of the victims' early life, etc.

    Give as many areas,sources or avenues of research you think would be fruitful which still remain relatively untouched ? Such as the PRO, the newspapers which have yet to be digitized, etc....
    I think they're all untouched and need to be gone through again from beginning to end with a new perspective.

    Any free and useful advice to anyone who is not researching at the present time ?
    My advice is to re-check your sources every couple of years; go back and re-read important books or press reports, because as you learn more and are open to new avenues of thinking and research, your perspective changes and I can guarantee you will see things you didn't see before. This plays into my answer to #9.
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  • #2
    You didn't miss much Tom, as far as the books are concerned, with the possible exception of Rumbelow's.

    Digitizing all of the relative newspapers would certainly be a worthy project. It has been said that we must be careful when using press reports in investigative research. That is true, but witness testimonies in many ways are no more reliable. The great thing about the press reports is that we are fortunate to have many to draw from and each, even when covering the same topic has some little nugget that is useful. They are our best way of feeling the 'pulse' of the people and the contemporary reaction to events as they unfolded.
    Best Wishes,
    Cris Malone
    ______________________________________________
    "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

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    • #3
      I agree about the press reports. I find them useful for providing another view, and they often inspire me to look at new avenues but should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some of the Australian newspapers online provided me with more infomation on Frederick Bailey Deeming, and his antecedents whilst in Australia, whilst the local press reports gave me more information about his trial and frauds in Hull. Whilst this must be looked at carefully, it did help with the bigger picture.

      That said once I begin searching these online newspaper resources, I find myself getting addicted and spend hours on them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cris Malone
        You didn't miss much Tom, as far as the books are concerned, with the possible exception of Rumbelow's.
        I have most of the books, I just don't use them for my research. As for Rumbelow's, he updated his a few years back.
        Originally posted by Mike Covell
        That said once I begin searching these online newspaper resources, I find myself getting addicted and spend hours on them.
        Much to the delight and benefit of us all!

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