Jack the Ripper Dossier, XIX – the Macnaghten Memoranda

Welcome to the 19th episode of Richard Walker’s podcast series on Jack the Ripper.

In this, the final – for the time being at any rate – episode in this series, Richard gets to grip with the document “that can make the eyes of a student of the subject light up.” It’s the memoranda written by an insider, Sir Melville Macnaughten  the assistant chief constable.

As with its predecessors, it’s a riveting listen.  Money quote: “from private information I have little doubt that his own family believed him to be the murderer.”

And the usual refrain here, it’s not just what you’re told, it’s how you’re told it. It can’t be said enough in Richard Walker’s case, this is a great storyteller at work. We see the superb craftsmanship of the writer-editor-storyteller in the selection and ordering of detail – every last word is perfect and perfectly placed; and we hear the superb craftsmanship of the entertainer-storyteller in the rustling, dry leaves quality of Richard’s voice and especially in the pacing and cadence of the presentation. This is narration – storytelling – at a very high level. It’s speech with many of the qualities of music.

And, as ever, an important takeaway from the podcast is: “my god, this guy knows his stuff, if I have any questions – either background questions or questions that hug the belt of the subject – I’ve found my guy, this is the man. I’m on the right walk.”

Richard is the actor, adventurer (he sailed across the Pacific in a tiny two-man skiff) and masterful Ripperologist performance artist who’s created a new version of the Ripper Walk. His walk is called Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel. It’s an exclusive VIP Ripper walk (it’s a guaranteed small group tour – the numbers are strictly limited).

The link (just above) will take you to Richard’s much-praised – see all those glowing reviews – walk. But if you’ve wandered away from the link, to find Richard’s VIP, “small group Jack the Ripper tour” do a search for Jack the Ripper on www.walks.com and then click on the one labelled Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel Tour (small group tour).

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