|Alan Hicken decided to publish the |
manuscript after he discovered it in 2008.
London’s most notorious serial killer, who butchered five women during a reign of terror on the capital’s Victorian streets, was born in Tottenham, a new book claims.
The Autobiography Of Jack The Ripper opens with the words “I was born at Tottenham”, meaning the man whose name struck fear into the hearts of many a 19th century woman of the night could have once walked along the High Road or visited the local parks.
The new book is based on a manuscript handed to Sydney George Hulme Beaman – an author and illustrator who created the “Toytown” radio series for children.
He claimed the yellowed pages were given to him in the 1920s by a one-legged acquaintance named James Carnac, who asked him to publish it after his death.
In fact, it was never published before Beaman himself died in 1932, and it lay untouched for nearly 80 years until being rediscovered in 2008 by Alan Hicken - owner of the Montacute TV Radio and Toy Museum in Somerset. He acquired the Carnac manuscript along with a collection of artwork, photographs and books once owned by Beaman, who died in 1932.
It wasn’t the kind of thing he expected to find.
“I put it to one side for a week or so, but then I started reading it at 10pm one night. I was up until about four in the morning. I couldn’t put the book down. It was about his deeds, and it was about him growing up in Tottenham.”
According to the book, Mr Carnac – or Jack the Ripper – lived in the area until he was about 20, when his parents died a “grizzly” death.
“He mentions certain streets and everything else – even Bruce Castle,” said Mr Hicken.
But whether or not the book is a true account, or a figment of Tottenham-born Beaman’s imagination, is another matter altogether. Beaman’s daughter Betty certainly believed it was, as do a number of experts who say the level of detail in the book indicates he either was the Ripper, or had a very good source.
“Who knows,” said Mr Hicken. “It is up to the reader to decide.’’
"This time, I don’t think anyone is going to know one way or another.”