Experts to Reveal New Evidence in 120-Year-Old Jack the Ripper Murders

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On the 120th anniversary of the world famous unsolved Whitechapel murders, researchers will meet to share recent research about the case. The Jack the Ripper conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, will feature the newly discovered photograph of a major police suspect, previously unknown images of the crime scenes, and other presentations by leading experts in the field.

Jack the Ripper stalked London's East End 120 years ago and was never caught

I'm amazed that there aren't more pictures of him available

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From August through November of 1888, a mysterious figure now known as Jack the Ripper killed and mutilated women in the East End of London. Although the murderer was never identified, 120 years later researchers are uncovering new details about the case at an ever increasing rate.

"We may never know for certain who was responsible for these murders," Dan Norder, editor of the journal Ripper Notes, said. "But if the killer is ever identified, it will probably be the result of a worldwide community of researchers sharing their knowledge with each other."

To that end, Norder and Kelly Robinson, a writer with a long-held interest in the Victorian era, will host a conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, October 10-12, 2008 for leading experts in the field to meet and present their findings to others interested in the topic.

One of the most recent discoveries to be discussed at the event is the first photograph of police suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety. Archaeologist and historian Timothy Riordan learned of its existence while searching online records. Prior to this discovery only illustrations of Tumblety were known to exist. The photograph, described by Riordan as "incredibly detailed," will be a highlight of his conference presentation.

Tumblety was an eccentric character who became wealthy selling medicine to the public. He was famous for self-promotion and also for being linked to a number of scandals, including alleged involvement with the Lincoln assassination. "I'm amazed that there aren't more pictures of him available," Riordan said. "It just would be something one would expect of Tumblety."

Photos will also feature in a number of other presentations at the conference. Canadian author Robert J. McLaughlin will discuss the man responsible for most of the mortuary photographs of the Ripper's victims and the history of their publication, including some rarely seen images published in France in the late 19th century. Philip Hutchinson, a London tour guide and author, will present a collection of recently discovered photographs of the Ripper crimes scenes taken by John Gordon Whitby.

The keynote speaker will be Martin Fido, the author of The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper as well as biographies on such figures as Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. "Mr. Fido is one of the most respected historians in the field," said Robinson. "We're thrilled to have him at the conference."

The weekend will also feature a candlelight banquet, an auction of Ripper-related items, the debut of a new documentary and a preview of bestselling author James Reese's newest title, The Dracula Dossier: A Novel of Suspense, which features Tumblety in a major role.

The conference is open to the public, but advanced registration is required. For more information, including the full list of scheduled speakers, see the conference website at

About the Jack the Ripper conference:
Jack the Ripper conferences are held annually and alternate each year between a city in the United States and one in England. The fifth U.S. conference is the first to be held in Knoxville.

About the 2008 conference organizers:
Dan Norder is the executive editor of Ripper Notes, the leading journal about the Whitechapel murders, and the publisher of Neal Stubbings Shelden's The Victims of Jack the Ripper and Stephen Ryder's Public Reactions to Jack the Ripper. Kelly Robinson is a writer with a long-held interest in the Victorian era. The two met at a previous U.S. Ripper conference and announced their engagement at a Ripper conference in England.

Kelly Robinson and Dan Norder
Jack the RIpper 2008 conference organizers
(865) 405-9166
ripperconference @


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