Review: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed, by Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell is a very good writer of crime fiction. I have enjoyed several of her novels featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta. But I think she should have stuck to the fiction. This 365-page tome is full of speculation, but completely lacking in evidence. It was widely panned when published and Cornwell’s response was to write an even longer version, still without any evidence.

There are many theories regarding who was the infamous Whitechapel murderer who terrorised London in the 1880s. The idea that the painter Walter Sickert may have been the killer had been around for a while when Cornwell wrote this book. None of those authors proved Sickert’s connection to the crimes. Cornwell did not succeed either. The case is most certainly not closed.