Jack the Rip­per keeps Caba au­thor in time warp

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - Nikki Todd nikki.todd@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

A CABARITA jour­nal­ist’s fas­ci­na­tion with Jack the Rip­per is claim­ing head­lines around the world, with de­tailed claims the no­to­ri­ous serial killer ended up in colo­nial Syd­ney.

Stephen Senise has just re­leased the sec­ond edi­tion of his fas­ci­nat­ing the­ory on Jack the Rip­per, 130 years af­ter the killer first stalked the streets of Lon­don’s East End, ex­pand­ing on his first book pub­lished last year. The new book, False Flag

Jack The Rip­per is an of­fi­cial en­try in the 2018 Ned Kelly awards – Aus­tralia’s long­est run­ning and most pres­ti­gious true crime lit­er­ary prize – and has al­ready gained in­ter­est in the UK, US and Is­rael.

Us­ing in­for­ma­tion un­cov­ered in the NSW State Ar­chives, Mr Senise be­lieves Jack the Rip­per fled to colo­nial Syd­ney on board a ship of union-bust­ing sailors dur­ing the Great Lon­don Dock Strike of 1889.

Mr Senise be­lieves he has lo­cated one of the case’s most im­por­tant wit­nesses and lat­ter-day sus­pects – un­em­ployed labourer Ge­orge Hutchin­son who dis­ap­peared from the record at the height of the mur­der spree and ar­rived in Syd­ney at the same time the killings stopped.

Hutchin­son was later ar­rested in Forbes for a shock­ing sex crime against two young chil­dren.

Mr Senise’s re­search in­cludes two never-be­fore pub­lished photos of the man he be­lieves to be Jack the Rip­per, which ap­pear in the book.

As part of his in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Mr Senise trav­elled to Lon­don in 2015 and 2016 where he vis­ited the mur­der sites.

He fur­ther pro­poses the mur­ders were part of an anti-semitic cam­paign aimed at tar­nish­ing the stand­ing of Lon­don’s Jewish com­mu­nity.

Mr Senise said he felt like he had been “stuck in 1888” since un­der­tak­ing this project.

“I am stuck in 1888 and I’m stuck in East Lon­don and I can’t stand the joint,” he said. “The quicker I’m out of here and back in Cabarita the bet­ter I’ll feel. But for the mo­ment I am ma­rooned, stranded.

“It gets a hook into you and par­tic­u­larly be­cause I feel I have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to say what was hap­pen­ing in 1888. We can talk about the guy with the top hat and the cape and the mona­cle for an­other 130 years, but don’t we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity here to say what were the pol­i­tics of that mo­ment, what were the so­cial con­di­tions of that mo­ment, what was hap­pen­ing in Whitechapel and what was Whitechapel in 1888?

“I just feel the re­spon­si­bil­ity that I need to chal­lenge this imag­ined land­scape we have in­her­ited from 1888 that is not his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate.”

PHOTO: STEPHEN SENISE

AS­SAS­SIN’S TRAIL: The au­thor (above and inset) out­side the old Dar­linghurst gaol in Syd­ney.

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