On the tail of Jack the Ripper’s trail

Author Peter Hodgson
Author Peter Hodgson
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A FYLDE coast author has revealed who he believes could be the real ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Peter Hodgson has delved into the past to write about the killer and his infamous series of murders in Victorian London.

The 55-year-old wordsmith from Wyre Grove, Blackpool will promote his new book ‘Jack the Ripper: Through the Mists of Time’, at Waterstones next month.

The 10-year project compares the fictitious Ripper who has appeared in books and films, such as ‘From Hell’, with the reality of the ghastly events in Whitechapel in 1888.

It also explores the scandal-prone royal family, the Victorian police, their simplistic methods of investigation and the man he believes was behind the attacks.

Peter, an energy analyst at Springfield Fuels Ltd, told The Gazette; “At an early age I got into the Sherlock Holmes books and became fascinated with crime fiction.

“When I was a teenager I bought a book about Jack the Ripper and I was fascinated by it and kept buying books about the Victorian killer.

“I kept thinking I would eventually like to write my own book about him but working full time doesn’t give you much opportunity.”

The husband and father, who trained to be a teacher in the 1970s, said it was a ‘relief’ when he finally received the completed version back in his hands.

He said: “I was over the moon when I saw the printed book, the front cover has a ghostly image of The Ripper on it, it looks very good.

“I’m not expecting hundreds of people to turn up at Waterstones, but I’m proud of my achievement. It has taken a long time to put together with a few hurdles on the way.”.

Peter, who has also written a crime fiction novel, Critical Murder, says he has another fiction novel in the pipe line.

He said: “There is something I would like to write but it will probably take about three years to complete if I am being realistic.

“Writing is a great hobby, I haven’t had formal training but have developed my own style which I think will improve the more I write, I just need the time.”

As for who ‘Jack’ was, Peter points the finger towards someone who until now has been little mentioned by other Ripper scholars.

He says: “The reader is presented with an insight into the career of this iconic criminal, and I offer a plausible solution to his identity.”

Peter will be at Waterstones on Bank Hey Street, Blackpool on Saturday September 10.