Portrait of A Killer

Portrait of A Killer

Jack the Ripper--case Closed

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The number-one New York Times -bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell is known the world over for her brilliant storytelling, the courage of her characters, and the state-of-the-art forensic methods they employ.

In this headline-making new work of nonfiction, Cornwell turns her trademark skills for meticulous research and scientific expertise on one of the most chilling cases of serial murder in the history of crime-the slayings of Jack the Ripper that terrorized 1880s London. With the masterful intuition into the criminal mind that has informed her novels, Cornwell digs deeper into the case than any detective before her-and reveals the true identity of this elusive madman.

Enlisting the help of forensic experts, Cornwell examines all the physical evidence available: thousands of documents and reports, fingerprints, crime-scene photographs, original etchings and paintings, items of clothing, artists' paraphernalia, and traces of DNA. Her unavoidable conclusion: Jack the Ripper was none other than a respected painter of his day, an artist now collected by some of the world's finest museums.
Publisher: New York : Putnam's, 2002
ISBN: 9780399149320
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 Cornwell
364.1523 Cornwell
364.1523 C821
Characteristics: 387 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 01, 2015

She really nailed it. She really uncovered Jack the Ripper, and this book makes clear there was never a more evil, ugly-hearted human on earth.

Mar 22, 2013

very convincing, but then again they all seem to know who did it !

Jan 13, 2012

Very, very disappointing. Cornwell makes an assumption based on little evidence and continues to build her entire case on it! Drivel. Don't waste your time.

Oct 23, 2011

Very disappointing book. Cornwell makes a decent case for Walter Sickert being Jack the Ripper, but the whole book is hampered by extremely poor editing. The result is tedious and confusing.

Sep 16, 2011

worst book on jack the ripper ever! I've read some pretty bad, bizarre, outlandish, even downright goofy accounts of jack but this one takes the prize. after 100+ years, we will never know who the killer's true identity. her DNA 'proof' just added to the already ridiculous pool of misinformation out there. she couldn't even have bothered to do any basic fact-checking about life in london in the 1800s. I will never read cornwell again.

Jun 29, 2010

I found this book really interesting. I've never read any other books about Jack the Ripper so far... The author makes a pretty convincing case against Walter Sickert (the artist). There's almost too many coincidences to overlook. However, it makes sense that the police, in this time period in England, would not have been eager to convict someone in the upper class of society. A penniless pauper could be hanged for petty theft (on very circumstantial evidence) whereas, the uppercrust in society, was given much more than the benefit of the doubt, even when all the evidence is before them.

Dani_106 Oct 23, 2009

I found it too repetative and a little on the boring side. I enjoy her fiction novels much more.

Nov 08, 2007

It seemed like she was just guessing.

Jun 09, 2003

Sometimes it seems that there are crimes that are in fashion that people talk about every so often when a new book comes out. Sometimes it seems that there are crimes that are a flash in the news media pan. And every once in a while there is a crime that transcends time. Jack the Ripper is one of these last cases. And everyone wants to be the one who solves this case! Patricia Cornwell is no different. Yes, she does make a valid point about the suspect, and she backs it up quite nicely with blood samples, partial fingerprints, and written evidence. But it has been a very long time since the murders and eye witnesses were scarce even at the time. At times this book meanders down too many roads and spends time on proving to the reader over and over that she has found her man! I do, however, like the fact that she has the courage to make such a case 120 later.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top