Archive for the the rhondda ripper Category

A steaming cesspit of murder and perversion

Posted in a policeman's lot, gary dobbs, james herbert, slasher, the rhondda ripper on 05/29/2012 by vincentstark


Jack the Ripper’s rein of terror lasted for a ten week period in 1888 – London was then the world’s largest city –  the hub of an ever expanding empire. The city was in effect the financial capital of the world and it had enjoyed a long period of financial growth. Things were however starting to change and London was facing competition from America and Germany and a trade slump saw unemployment take a dramatic leap, which resulted in London’s already packed slum areas swelling to bursting point.

It was into this mixing pot that was London’s Whitechapel, that the killer known to history as Jack the Ripper practiced his or her deadly trade, and by proving that he/she could evade capture from the police and authorities only consolidated the general image of the East End as a hotbed of murder and perversion. One report, published in 1888, estimated that out of a population of 456,877 souls more than 60,000 were living on the brink of starvation. Whitechapel at the time was ready to explode – there were racial problems with the high influx of Jewish immigrants coming to the city after escaping persecution in Germany, Russia and Poland – Whitechapel’s Jewish population at this time was estimated as being around 50,000, and as the spectra of mass unemployment threatened the Jews found themselves vilified for stealing British jobs. Indeed when the Ripper killings started the press hinted that an Englishman could not do such a thing and the person responsible had to have come from the vast immigrant population.




The Ripper killings took place over an area that was made up of little more than a square mile. The victims were all prostitutes and we can’t even be clear of how many killings the Ripper was responsible for. The so called canonical five victims come from a report made by Sir Melville Macnaghten who stated in a report in 1894 that he believed Jack the Ripper had killed five and only five women – these are Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly. There are many who dispute this and it is my own feeling that the same hand was not responsible for all of the woman in the so called canonical five.

A lady named Martha Tabran was murdered on 7th August 1888 and many believe, myself included, that she was the first Ripper victim. However in my opinion the double murder of 29th of September 1888 were carried out by two different hands, and not by the Ripper which popular wisdom suggests. I also don’t believe that Mary Kelly was a Ripper victim but I do believe the key to the murders rests with her. Indeed it is the mystery surrounding Mary Kelly that drives the central premise in my current novel, The Rhondda Ripper.

Was Mary Kelly a Ripper victim?

Was it Mary Kelly who was found dead, mutilated beyond identification, in her bed?

These questions can not be answered with any certainty, but logic would suggest that the chance of there being only  five victims is quite wrong, and that the double event of 29th September could not have been carried out by the same person. In order to stick with the canonical five we would have to believe that the killer was disturbed just after killing Elizabeth Stride and then in the middle of the biggest manhunt London, indeed the world, had ever known he runs less than a mile away and takes time to kill and mutilate Catherine Eddowes. Hardly seems likely and the known facts are,  like the legend, buried in myth and fancy. The fog lit image above of the man in the top hat and cape has become the popular image of Jack the Ripper, and at the time it was a person such as this whom the police were concentrating on – it is no wonder they never found him, since the likelihood is that he didn’t even exist.



Ironically some good did come out of the Whitechapel killings and that was in giving publicity to the campaigners who said something needed to change for the working classes in the East End. The killings generated so much publicity that The Lancet, the world famous medical journal, reported – modern society is more promptly awakened to a sense of duty by the knife of a killer than by many thousands of words from earnest writers.

Many social commentators claimed that Jack the Ripper was a product spawned by the dreadful conditions that men, women and children found themselves and was therefore the fault of society itself. None less a personage than George Bernard Shaw wrote to the Times Newspaper, stating the the fiend of Whitechapel had at least drawn attention to the dreadful conditions. He went onto theorize that the killings, although abhorrent, would do more for the areas affected than any of socialist movements could ever hope. And although Shaw was being ironic by congratulating the killer as a social reformer it was true that following the killings a massive program of redevelopment started in the East End.



At 2.55 am on 30th September P.C. Albert Long found the missing portion of Catherine Eddowes’, whose body had been found earlier,  apron in a doorway on Goulston Street. A further investigation found a message scrawled in chalk upon the wall – THE JUWES ARE THE MEN THAT WILL NOT BE BLAMED FOR NOTHING.

There was a large Jewish community and fearing race riots the police wiped the writing from the wall. This was done on the orders of Sir Charles Warren. It was a highly controversial decision but Warren always defended what he had done and claimed that far greater crimes would have been carried out against innocent Jews had it been left for further examination.

The facts are that After the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes , police searched the area near the crime scenes in an effort to locate a suspect, witnesses or evidence. As reported above it was Constable Alfred Long of the Metropolitan Police Service who discovered a dirty, bloodstained piece of an apron in the stairwell of a tenement, 108 to 119 Model dwellings, Goulston Street The cloth was later confirmed as being a part of the apron worn by Catherine Eddowes. Above it, there was writing in white chalk upon the wall.


Suspects were legion – many were considered suspects totally due to general speculation, others because of descriptions, locations or occupations. One popular theory named Queen Victoria’s grandson who was known as Eddy and was known to have consorted with prostitutes. It was alleged that the Royal physician William Gull performed the murders in order to hide the fact that the prince had fathered a child with one of the victims, supposedly Mary Kelly. Another theory was that the prince carried out the killings himself because of brain damage caused by contracting syphilis of the brain.

Over the years there have been many suspects ranging from the plausible, George Chapman to the ludicrous, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.




The Victorian police have been the subject of much criticism by the media over the years, and some of it is likely deserved. But it must be remembered the criminal science was in its infancy at the time of the Ripper killings. Fingerprinting was not even an established practice and the locations where the killings took place were connected by an intricate warren of alleys and passageways, all of them unlit.

The Ripper is widely considered the world’s first serial killer, and given that the area of operation was one of the most densely populated, not to mention transient, areas in the entire city then it is little wonder that he/she was able to evade the police.



Police Inspector Frank Parade carries out his daily duties in Pontypridd, duties complicated by the presence of 500 members of Buffalo Bill Cody’s touring Wild West Show, not to mention the thousands attending the show every day. A series of depraved murders quickly makes things even more complicated for the policeman.

Soon Frank Parade find himself on the trail which stretches backs to London’s Whitechapel killings and Jack the Ripper. Secrets are revealed and the answer to the greatest mystery in criminal history is answered by a British policeman and an American legend.

Click HERE


It’s difficult to say too much in this review without giving away some major points that would ruin this well crafted story. It’s set in South Wales in 1904 and features a visit by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Circus – apparantly this actually took place. And concerns itself with a series of killings that ultimately reveal Jack the Ripper in an original and plausible way. Amazon readers review

Gary Dobbs partners up Parade and Buffalo Bill making for an enjoyable detecting duo. He does a fine job of bringing the famous Wild West showman to life and his descriptions of Pontypridd, the era, and people sparkle. I’m hoping Mr. Dobbs doesn’t leave Frank Parade on the sidelines too long because I’m betting there are more adventures in him. Or, maybe Bill Cody — there’s an idea worth exploring — Buffalo Bill as a world-traveling crime-solver. The Education of a Pulp Writer

Gary Dobbs (AKA Jack Martin) continues his string of fast paced books with “The Rhondda Ripper” Not a western per se, as are his Jack Martin books, “The Rhondda Ripper” still has some of that western sensibility and it even features Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show on a visit to England, Wales in particular.

The story takes place a number of years after the Whitechapel murders but ties back to those murders in a most interesting way. I won’t give more away because the twist at the end is original and took me well by surprise. Yet, it made perfect sense within the storyline of the book. Mack Captures Crime

One word: Wow. This is a good book.

The story begins slowly, a man’s morning routine as he gets ready for duty and faces the possibility of a busy day, but he has no idea how “busy” it’s going to get! Throw in Buffalo Bill, a Wild West show, murders that may or may not be connected to Jack The Ripper, and you have a really hot read. I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving something away, but it’s a well-written yarn and you will get hooked right away. It’s also, for me, a nice change of pace from the modern urban hard-boiled junk I’ve been digesting lately. Brian Drake 



Is the identity of the world’s first serial killer buried in secret Scotland Yard files?

Posted in a policeman's lot, gary dobbs, the rhondda ripper on 05/22/2012 by vincentstark

Scotland Yard are currently fighting a bizarre court case in order to keep a selection of old files, relating to the Jack the Ripper case a secret. There is much speculation as to why the authorities in 2012 would want the files to remain a secret, leading many to believe that the files contain the answer and that it was all hushed up  at the time of the murders in order to avert a scandal.

The Met Police is fighting the legal battle to keep files detailing the investigation into the notorious Jack the Ripper case secret because and in their words, ‘To maintain confidentiality for Victorian ‘supergrasses’. The documents are said to include four new suspects for the serial killings which terrorized Whitechapel in 1888 and have become one of the world’s most infamous unsolved cases.

The historic ledgers have 36,000 entries detailing police interaction with informants between 1888 to 1912.

However, Scotland Yard reportedly believes disclosing the names could hinder recruiting and gathering information from modern informants, affecting terrorism investigations – and even lead to the Victorians’ relatives being attacked.

Trevor Marriott, a Ripper investigator and former murder squad detective, has spent three years attempting to obtain uncensored versions of the documents.The ledgers provide details of the police’s dealings with thousands of informants from 1888 to 1912, including some who provided information during the original Ripper investigation.

A sample of about 40 pages from the Scotland Yard ledgers was released to last week’s tribunal, but with the names of informants and other key details blacked out.

According to Mr Marriott, the files contain the names of at least four new suspects, as well as other pieces of evidence.He said: “I believe this to be the very last chance that we may have to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper.

“To have any possibility of getting near the truth about those horrific crimes we must see what these ledgers contain.“It may be that within them we find the final piece of the jigsaw that would unlock this mystery and lead to the identity of the killer, or killers, albeit 123 years too late.”

Jack the Ripper slaughtered at least five women between August and November 1888 in the slums of Whitechapel, east London, but various experts have claimed other murders may have been committed by the killer on earlier and later dates.

The police made several mistakes in the inquiry and detection techniques of the time were basic – with no fingerprinting and science unable even to distinguish between animal and human blood.
As a result, there is no conclusive evidence to point to the true identity of Jack the Ripper and the case remains one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. Among a long list of possible suspects are Queen Victoria’s grandson the Duke of Clarence, who died in an asylum in 1892, and the painter Walter Sickert.

Mr Marriott, who joined Bedfordshire Police in 1970 and worked as a detective constable until the mid-1980s, began researching the Jack the Ripper case in 2003. He has previously published one book on the subject which put forward the name of Carl Feigenbaum, a German merchant executed for the murder of a woman in New York, as a new suspect.

On uncovering references to the ledgers in 2008, Mr Marriott applied to see the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The Met refused and he appealed to the Information Commissioner who also decided the books should not be revealed.Now Mr Marriott has undergone the final appeal stage to the Information Tribunal, in which the case is heard by a panel of three judges.

The three-day hearing involved a detective inspector, identified only as ‘D’, speaking to the court from behind a screen because of his sensitive role running the force’s intelligence-gathering operation from informants.Detective Inspector ‘D’ told the tribunal that unveiling the files could deter informants from coming forward in future, and could even put off members of the public from phoning Crimestoppers or the anti-terrorist hotline.

“The interpretation on the street will be that the police have revealed the identity of informants,” said ‘D’.“Confidence in the system is maintaining the safety of informants, regardless of age.”
Det Insp ‘D’ said the passage of time did not make publication of informants’ identities less sensitive because their descendants could be targeted by criminals with a grudge.

“Look at one of the world’s best-known informants, Judas Iscariot. If someone could draw a bloodline from Judas Iscariot to a present day person then that person would face a risk, although I know that seems an extreme example,” the officer said.Another senior officer, Detective Superintendent Julian McKinney, told the tribunal that releasing names would make police officers less capable of preventing terrorist attacks and organised crime, and make informants vulnerable to attack.
Det Supt McKinney said: “Regardless of the time, regardless of whether they are dead, they should never be disclosed.

“They come to us only when they have the confidence in our system that their identity will not be disclosed.”

But Mr Marriott said a number of historical files have previously been released which contained details of informants.He argued there was no evidence to show descendants of informants who have been named had come to harm.

The tribunal decision is expected later this year.

The blood runs FREE – the final stages

Posted in a policeman's lot, classic horror, classic horror campaign, george romero, horror fiction, horror magazines, HORROR MOVIES, horror novels, HORROR WRITERS, the dead walked, the rhondda ripper, the undead, the walking dead, thrilles, vincent stark, walkers walkers everywhere, WALKING DEAD, wild bill williams, zombies on 05/12/2012 by vincentstark

We’re on the final stages of the free eBook promotion – Indeed Arkansas Smith II, has now reverted to the usual price but there’s still time  to grab free downloads of The Dead Walked and The Rhondda Ripper. So if you haven’t secured your free copies then do so now.

The aim of this promotion was to kick start the books in the increasingly competitive Amazon market place and I do hope that those who downloaded free books will eventually leave reviews on Amazon, and that all those who downloaded the first part of The Dead Walked trilogy will be back for the second book in the series later this summer.

And please, all my Blogging buddies, publicize this offer on your blogs, websites etc. Let’s make these final two days go with a rush of downloads.

Sill available for free:
The Dead Walked Book One by Vincent Stark

The Rhondda Ripper by Gary M. Dobbs

THE RHONDDA RIPPER: The story begins slowly, a man’s morning routine as he gets ready for duty and faces the possibility of a busy day, but he has no idea how “busy” it’s going to get! Throw in Buffalo Bill, a Wild West show, murders that may or may not be connected to Jack The Ripper, and you have a really hot read. I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving something away, but it’s a well-written yarn and you will get hooked right away. It’s also, for me, a nice change of pace from the modern urban hard-boiled junk I’ve been digesting lately. Brian Drake

THE DEAD WALKED – Vincent Stark, otherwise known as Gary Dobbs, presents a new look at the zombie story. A group of people trying to survive in a world gone nuts. Sound familiar. Of course.But Stark has injected his own elements into the story. A pregnant woman and a plot thread I’ve not seen in a zombie story before. The ending threw a twist in and sets up the next part of the story, coming soon.

Zombie stories are not a type I read a lot of, but I’ve come to expect good stuff from Stark/Dobbs/Martin, whatever genre he writes in.I read this one straight through while drinking coffee early this morning.Recommended.  George R. Johnson

The blood runs FREE

Posted in a policeman's lot, the rhondda ripper on 05/11/2012 by vincentstark

For the last few days I have, in association with Amazon, been running a promotion where several of my titles are available for free download for a limited period.

Now obviously I’ll not make any money from this but I do believe the promotion is a success – in terms of gaining readers, some of which will hopefully come back for more, it has been a mega success. And besides money is not the motivator, if it were I’d find a far more lucrative use of my time than writing. For me I write because I MUST and to have people reading my books is always the chief concern. So if you haven’t downloaded any of these titles then please do so now – you’ve got nothing to lose, not one single blood stained penny

At the time of writing there are still several days to run on the promotion and the total worldwide downloads per title stand at:

The Rhondda Ripper  700 downloads
Arkansas Smith II 768 downloads
The Dead Walked 1178 downloads


It is worth pointing out that The Rhondda Ripper is only on its second day of the promotion, while the other titles are going into their third. Now there are two things I want from this promotion – I am hoping that some of the readers leave a review, good or bad, on Amazon and also that many of these readers will return to my work – The second part of The Dead Walked trilogy is only a few weeks away and so if only a fraction of those who downloaded the freebie return for the paid for sequel I will be happy.

It’s a new world out there and we are all struggling to make a dent in the eBook market. There’ll be a lot of trial and error but rest assured we will be talking about both our successes and failures along the way. And at the end of it all, when the end is near and I face my final curtain, I will, at the very least be able to croon – I did it my way.

Available for FREE download now

The Dead Walked Book One by Vincent Stark
Arkansas Smith II: The Tumbleweed Trail by Jack Martin
The Rhondda Ripper by Gary M. Dobbs

Who was Jack the Ripper – find out for FREE in our huge giveaway

Posted in gary dobbs, jack the ripper, the rhondda ripper on 05/10/2012 by vincentstark

Could we get any more generous? My novel, The Rhondda Ripper, previously published as A Policeman’s Lot, now joins our massive promotion and is available  for immediate free download HERE. It joins Arkansas Smith II and The Dead Walked as part of our massive promotion.

The offer is for a limited period only so download the eBook now

All I ask if you take advantage of this promo is that you please leave a review, good or bad, on Amazon and please share this info with your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers.

Think you know the Jack the Ripper story?

Think again.

Police Inspector Frank Parade

Inspector Parade carries out his daily duties in Pontypridd, duties complicated by the presence of 500 members of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, not to mention the thousands attending the show every day. A series of depraved murders quickly makes things even more complicated.

Soon Frank Parade find himself on the trail of a killer which stretches backs to London’s Whitechapel killings