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  • The Final Solution

    I have started this thread in relation to Stephen Knight's 1976 book Jack the Ripper The Final Solution as it was being discussed on the podcast thread and was thus in danger of becoming 'off topic'.

    I have to say that I purchased this book back in 1976 and really enjoyed it. Those were the more innocent, if not halcyon, days of 'Ripperology' and were, in many ways, more enjoyable. It was a pleasure to not know too much.

    Unfortunately I never met Stephen Knight but he was very friendly with a few of my own author friends.

    He was a good writer and his book enjoyed great success. Many parts of it were good, such as the first time publication of some of the official records which Stephen had accessed.

  • #2
    I have a copy but not yet read it so cant comment, however Im sure I saw somewhere on here some newspaper clippings scanned onto a topic about Joseph Sickert who claims he made the whole thing up about Walter and the Royals...

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    • #3
      These?

      Originally posted by Currerbell View Post
      I have a copy but not yet read it so cant comment, however Im sure I saw somewhere on here some newspaper clippings scanned onto a topic about Joseph Sickert who claims he made the whole thing up about Walter and the Royals...
      Do you mean these?


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      • #4
        YES!!!!!!!!!!

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        • #5
          I've read on these boards that the "Final Solution" is at least the most entertaining read - with which I would agree - maybe not now in the current climate

          I read it when it first appeared and was extremely interested in the Masonic angle for a while

          The book seemed to pull every aspect of the case together in one coherent story - including the GSG explanation

          'Tis a great shame this was not the final solution as it is the story everyone would like to be true I think.

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          • #6
            Thanks to SPE for starting this thread. I regret that some of the 'firsts' in Knights book were not mentioned on the show. I can't win them all. At least we were able to comment on the book's entertainment value, that Knight is master story-teller, and Simon Wood was able to get in the comment that, at the time of the book's release, The Final Solution was "absolutely compelling".

            Originally posted by Nemo View Post
            'Tis a great shame this was not the final solution as it is the story everyone would like to be true I think.
            Hi Nemo,

            Why do you say that? I for one find the Royal Conspiracy to be a bit more sinister than if Jack was just some "unknown local man". Especially given the brutal treatment of Crook. There's evil, and then theres more evil. I'm not sure exactly how one would judge such things, but something strikes me that the Royal Conspiracy, if it were true, lies somewhere on the 'more evil' side.

            JM

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nemo View Post
              I've read on these boards that the "Final Solution" is at least the most entertaining read -
              Well written fiction usually does make for an entertaining read.

              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


              • #8
                Personally I found McCormicks book the most entertaining....The first Ripper book I read.......Each suspect he threw up ..I thought Yeah thats him ,everything fits....then when he reached HIS favourite I was buggered if I could see it.....sigh

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                • #9
                  Deluded?

                  Dear Mr E:

                  Thanks for the scans...you have a permanent job here if you want as my scannin' isn't top shelf...but my captions are...thats for Mrs. E.

                  Anyway....over the years and considering that you didn't know Mr. Knight personally....do you get a sense that he may have deluded himself, in light of the scan you provided of his rationalization of Joseph Sickert's confession?

                  Thanks again for the scans.
                  To Join JTR Forums :
                  Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                    Well written fiction usually does make for an entertaining read.
                    I smile inwardly whenever I watch that part of the "Final Solution" documentary where the interviewer, Ray MacGregor, says to Stephen Knight:

                    "The cover of the book is a little battered, but so is the cover of any well-read novel..." (emphasis mine)

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                    • #11
                      Hi Howard,

                      Thanks to Don Rumbelow, who was generous in the extreme during my Annie Crook research, I got to meet Tom Cullen and Richard Whittington-Egan, both of whom grilled me unmercifully on my findings.

                      Don also introduced me to Stephen Knight. Despite having read my research he didn't back off one inch, firmly maintaining that he was right and I was wrong. There was little point in arguing, so we shook hands and declared a draw. He was a very sociable chap.

                      I never got the feeling that he had deluded himself. But I did get the feeling he realised the jig was up.

                      But here's the interesting thing. It didn't matter—not to him, to his agent, to his publisher or to the media Don had also put me in touch with.

                      The Final Solution was unstoppable. It pressed all the right buttons. The press and public lapped it up. Who cared if some earnest researcher had proved it was a load of old horse-feathers? Nobody was going to let the facts stand in the way of a good story, especially when that story had worldwide press syndication and publishing rights and laid the foundation for countless movies and TV documentaries etc.

                      The book even survived unscathed when Joseph Sickert admitted to the press that his story had been a hoax, and went on to become the default Ripper theory, a position once held by the Doctor Stanley story. Try telling any moderately interested person that the Ripper might have been a gay doctor or the nutty nephew of a top policeman. They will immediately glaze over and steer the subject around to the royal conspiracy.

                      I hope when the truth is finally uncovered it is big, dirty, studded with famous names and compromises the Establishment, because if the Whitechapel Murderer turns out to be Fred Pearson from down the Bethnal Green Road people are going to be bitterly disappointed and The Final Solution will remain on its throne.

                      Take care,

                      Simon

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                      • #12
                        Great post, Simon.

                        Here's the original dustjacket from the 1976 book with a photo of Knight.

                        Itsnotrocketsurgery

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post

                          Don also introduced me to Stephen Knight. Despite having read my research he didn't back off one inch, firmly maintaining that he was right and I was wrong. There was little point in arguing, so we shook hands and declared a draw. He was a very sociable chap.

                          I never got the feeling that he had deluded himself. But I did get the feeling he realised the jig was up.

                          But here's the interesting thing. It didn't matter—not to him, to his agent, to his publisher or to the media Don had also put me in touch with.

                          The Final Solution was unstoppable. It pressed all the right buttons. The press and public lapped it up. Who cared if some earnest researcher had proved it was a load of old horse-feathers? Nobody was going to let the facts stand in the way of a good story, especially when that story had worldwide press syndication and publishing rights and laid the foundation for countless movies and TV documentaries etc.

                          The book even survived unscathed when Joseph Sickert admitted to the press that his story had been a hoax, and went on to become the default Ripper theory, a position once held by the Doctor Stanley story. Try telling any moderately interested person that the Ripper might have been a gay doctor or the nutty nephew of a top policeman. They will immediately glaze over and steer the subject around to the royal conspiracy.

                          Hello Simon

                          If he realised the "jig was up" as you got the feeling he did, then he knew he'd sold the public a load of bullfeathers, didn't he?

                          What makes him any different to Donald McCormick, William Le Queux, or Terence Robertson who each made things up and presented it as "the truth"? We might be grateful that to a large extent, the era of "Creative Ripperology" is over. And thank God it is!

                          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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                          • #14
                            "....era of Creative Ripperology"....a great label,C.G.
                            To Join JTR Forums :
                            Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                              "....era of Creative Ripperology"....a great label,C.G.
                              Thanks, Howie. I have to become known for some new phrase related to the case, much as CMD coined the phrase "The great Victorian mystery" for the Whitechapel Murders.

                              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

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