TALKS BEYOND TIME AND PLACE – EPISODE SEVEN: PAUL KENNY
Paul Kenny is the author of “Reid and the Ripper – A novel exploring the mind of Jack The Ripper and the detective who hunted him.”
Paul was a university and college lecturer for 31 years, until his retirement in 2018. After studying the case for 30 years, he published his views in the form of the novel “Reid and the Ripper”. He finds the case fascinating not only because it is unsolved, but because it is intriguing as to the type of person the Ripper was and why he committed such crimes.
In the seventh episode of “Talks beyond time and place”, we chat about his book “Reid and the Ripper” and about Inspector Edmund Reid, who was one of the leading investigators in the Ripper case.
0:00:00 London beyond time and place Intro
0:03:18 How and when did your interest in Jack the Ripper begin?
0:05:04 What do you think, why are there so many people still interested in the Ripper case, what is so special about it?
0:07:44 The book has the subtitle “A novel exploring the mind of Jack the Ripper and the detective who hunted him.” What is the book about?
0:15:22 In most Ripper fiction, Inspector Abberline is the main investigator, but you chose Inspector Reid as the main protagonist and Abberline as his sidekick – and you create a contrast by their two very different policing methods. Where did the idea come from?
0:19:18 The real Edmund Reid was undoubtedly a fascinating character. What fascinates you most about him?
0:22:04 In recent Ripper literature, Reid seems to step into the spotlight much more. I think of “Ripper Street” for example. Have you been influenced by the series?
0:25:02 Much of the story plays out in pubs of the area. But you move away from “The Ten Bells” or the “Britannia” and focus more on other pubs like “The White Swan” in the opening chapter and of course “The Princess Alice”. What made you choose these pubs instead of the prominent ones?
0:30:43 “Your” Ripper is probably quite similar to Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski. Do you have a personal theory about who the Ripper was?
0:34:49 Are there other crimes or serial killers that you are interested in?
0:41:24 You also include many non-canonical victims in the novel and let the murderer develop his modus operandi with each attack. Which victims do you consider Ripper victims?
0:48:20 Why do you think the Ripper stopped?
0:58:09 Do you agree that the name plays a very important role in creating the myth/the legend of the murderer or do you think he would be just as famous if he was only known as the Whitechapel murderer?
1:01:36 In the novel, you deal very cleverly with what some of the witnesses saw. Do you think Israel Schwartz or Joseph Lawende saw Jack the Ripper?
1:07:16 What is your opinion on the Ripper letters? Is one of them genuine?
1:11:26 You manage to recreate the Spitalfields and Whitechapel of 1888 very well. You also include different dialects and accents to show the variety of people from all over the country in the East End. I often talk to writers and many of them say that the research often takes more time and can be as fun as the writing itself. Did this also apply to you?
1:17:29 Would you like to go back in time and have a pint with Inspector Reid in a Whitechapel pub in 1888?
1:19:06 What is your personal theory about the night of the murder of Mary Kelly?
1:22:54 Do you think the police could have caught the Ripper with the methods used by Reid in your book?
1:25:38 Have you been to the area?
1:26:59 In the Acknowledgements you mention that you had a lot of help from your family. For example, your son-in-law Adrian Newell is a graphic designer and created the front cover and the maps. Can you tell us a bit about how your family was involved in the project?
1:30:40 Would you like to see the book turned into a film or a series?
1:39:30 What is your next project? Are you writing another novel?
Richard Jones in Conversation With Paul Kenny
TALKS BEYOND TIME AND PLACE
“Talks beyond time and place” is a series of online conversations by author Philipp Röttgers of “London beyond time and place“. Philipp and his guests chat about how London influences their lives. In every episode, they cover certain topics, depending on the individual guest. Among his guests are scholars, historians, tour guides and more and the atmosphere feels like a conversation in a pub.
Music by Bryan Kolarczyk