[2.6.06] [Andrew Gallix]
STEWART HOME & JACK THE STRIPPER
Stewart Home (pictured), who made a celebrated impromptu appearance at 3:AM's book launch on Monday, has written a review of David Seabrook's Jack of Jumps (Granta, 2006) in which you can "discover the name of the bloke he insinuates is Jack the Stripper (but doesn't actually name) and a critique of his complete lack of evidence". Here's an extract:
"When I was introduced to Seabrook at the launch party for Tom McCarthy's novel Remainder at the end of last year, he told me the murderer was still alive and he was named in this book. I thought this unlikely then, and I remain just as sceptical after reading his text. The publishing industry has been running scared from the absurdly stringent UK libel laws for decades. Clearly, neither Seabrook's publishers nor the libel lawyers they consult would allow him to name the man he insinuates is the killer; nonetheless it took me just a few minutes at the British Library to identify this individual as former Metropolitan Police Detective Andrew John Cushway. I must stress here that there is no smoking gun. Detective Superintendent William Baldock who investigated Cushway, and whose theory is disinterred by Seabrook, 'in the end failed to build a case against the suspect' (page 362). Short of a fit up, there was and there remains no evidence which might have led to Cushway being charged, let alone convicted, for the nude murders.
Indeed, according to Seabrook even Baldock believed that if Cushway was the killer, he would strike again after the murder of Bridie O'Hara, but the killings stopped. Seabrook's response to this is qualified (presumably at the insistence of his publishers and their lawyers) but ultimately unambiguous, the relevant passage runs in part 'If -- and it's a big if -- this man were the murderer and revenge his motive, then he would have good reason to stop when he did... Well bad things, like good things, must come to an end. That's life I suppose, and it doesn't mean you have to kill yourself. So let's just say: The suspect did not kill himself. He is not dead'".
More from Stewart Home here and there.