Patrick Lucanio will give an illustrated talk about the many versions of the notorious British serial killer Jack the Ripper that have appeared in literature, film, TV, and radio. The presentation is based on his acclaimed book, “Jack the Ripper: His Life and Crimes in Popular Entertainment,” co-authored by historian Gary Coville.
“The identity of Jack the Ripper has consumed public curiosity since the murderer first tormented the East End of London in 1888,” says Lucanio. “Countless theories have been offered as to the Ripper’s identity but a definite answer has always been elusive. He remains in the shadows where, it seems, only imaginative literature has been able to elucidate his meaning to the modern world.”
Lucanio explains that writers have either “plucked him out of history to offer biographical works about his crimes, or they have rendered Jack the Ripper in a more supernatural context,” Lucanio says. “The former works depict Jack the Ripper as an historical figure not unlike Attila the Hun, Billy the Kid, and Al Capone. The latter works depict his deeds as products of a transcending spirit of inhumanity, a sort of urbane evil loose in a civilized world.”
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