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Jack the Ripper: The Simple Truth

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  156 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The identity of the most notorious murderer of all time has long remained a mystery. After 12 years of research, Bruce Paley believes he has uncovered the real face behind the chilling murders of Jack the Ripper. In this book, Paley presents the evidence he has collected and identifies his suspect.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Trafalgar Square Publishing (first published 1995)
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Mar 03, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
Paley's descriptions of the East End are superb, and because he's gone to the trouble of quoting from lesser-used sources his narrative never feels like a rehash of other Ripper books. In short, however many Ripper books you've read, you'll get something out of this.
Where it slightly falls down is in the laying-out of his theory. From the get-go Paley names Joseph Barnett as the Ripper and the case he presents is convincing enough: Barnett certainly has the opportunity and he fits a sort of ser
I don't remember how I stumbled across this one. It may have been a Kindle recommendation. Regardless, I was intrigued by the recommendations from "Ripperologists" about the detail and detection work, so I picked it up.

Author Bruce Paley offers his solution at the beginning, that the Ripper was Joseph Barnett, the estranged common-law husband of the Ripper's final victim, Mary Jane Kelly.

He builds a good case, using relevant facts. Paley has dug into some detail about Barnett's life and the inve
May 10, 2015 Joanie rated it really liked it
I have not read a lot of literature on Jack the Ripper, but Paley does make a compelling case as to the potential identity of Jack the Ripper. It is well researched and raises some very valid points, however at time Paley might be accused of trying too hard to make the puzzle pieces fit together. My one other criticism would be that he later speaks with such certainty as though it is a fact that Joseph Barnett was the killer, when in reality this has not been proven. It is still a great read tho ...more
Apr 06, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Paley did some excellent research about conditions in the East End for his book, and found very interesting information on Joseph Barnett. Where it falls down is his absolute conviction that the murderer absolutely had to be Barnett. It's certainly possible, but I've never been able to get behind writers who insist that their solution is the only one.

It is quite interesting that Barnett lost his steady job right before the killings, as well as the information on the key to Mary Kelly's room. I
Jul 26, 2011 Marissa rated it really liked it
I'm not a big true crime reader but every now and then I become obsessed with criminal cases... I blame my father who was a big fan of Lizzie Borden and heartily believed she didn't do it! Anyway, I've been super into Jack the Ripper lately and so I did some digging and found this this book is one of the most highly acclaimed Ripper novels. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, I wasn't entirely blown away but I think this has to do more with my inexperience in the genre. I think once I get in ...more
Doug DePew
Mar 04, 2012 Doug DePew rated it really liked it
Bruce Paley has written a great piece of Ripper literature. "Jack the Ripper: The Simple Truth" is meticulously researched, well written, and quite entertaining. It paints a picture of Whitechapel and East London that made it quite real to me. He lays out a convincing case against Joe Barnett. Paley's thesis was quite original when he first introduced it. There is very little actual evidence against Barnett, but Paley uses modern methodology to point right at the person who would be one of the f ...more
J Bailey
May 01, 2015 J Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have always been interested in stories about Jack the ripper. The authors beliefs on who the killer was is about as plausible as any I have read before. Vivid descriptions of life in the east end and the extreme poverty endured by it's citizens make this book a worthwhile read.
joy allen
Apr 29, 2015 joy allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Ripper facts

Good for beginners like myself. Focuses on one person as a suspect and backs up his claim extensively.

Only thing that makes it almost unbearable is all the typos. Some were easy to glance over but many had to make me stop and think for a second.
Oct 03, 2015 KJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boy oh boy, does somebody need to run this one past a decent proofreader! In my opinion this book stands roughly halfway between the lunacy of Knight and Cornwell on the one hand and the workmanlike thoroughness of Rumbelow and Sugden on the other. In other words, Mr. Paley has a theory and he intends to bend some of the evidence to make his case when he feels it necessary.

To be completely fair, Paley's suspicions do appear to have some basis in reality, but I nearly gave up with this one halfw
A fascinating, well researched and persuasive case for a previously neglected Ripper suspect. The background details on the horrific conditions in the Victorian East End of London are particularly interesting. A 'must read' for Ripperologists.
Feb 16, 2015 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Very well written, I have read some history on "Jack" , and seen documentaries, but this book gave a lot more in person insight. Very well done.
Carole Gill
Oct 16, 2012 Carole Gill rated it it was amazing
I've read some pretty good books about Jack the Ripper but I have to say I find this one to be outstanding.

There is a well-presented case made for who the author thinks is responsible for the horrific crimes. He gives reasons for his opinions too that one should consider seriously. I never thought this suspect guilty and now I do.

He writes of the times with clarity and a great deal of depth yet it is never presented in a dry way. This is how great non-fiction should be written in my opinion.

Mm. I don't know about this one. It was a good recounting of the crimes, but not very persuasive on Barnett. At least, not persuasive to me. Paley laid out the facts, then he slightly applied Barnett to it. Then, at the end, he just kind of insinuated who it was by restating points he should have made earlier on in his argument. All in all, I wasn't persuaded. I'm also a bit biased since I completely buy into what was perpetuated by Naming Jack the Ripper.
E. T. Brother
Feb 25, 2015 E. T. Brother rated it did not like it
Boring and poorly written.
Paul Smith
Feb 07, 2012 Paul Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose everyone's a little bit interested in Jack the Ripper, as there are so many theories and counter theories that the subject is almost infinitely rich. I've read a couple of Ripper books before, but had never heard of the suspect who Paley puts forward as definitely being Jack. There's certainly no faulting the conviction of Paley's work or the clarity with which he sets out his case, and I must admit that by the end of the book I was inclined to believe him. It's enthralling stuff.
John Dow
Three stars due to the vivid portrayal of life in Whitechapel in the 19th Century. I think we should all be grateful that Mr Paley is a writer and not a judge. The 'evidence' presented here ranges from the circumstantial to the downright ridiculous and each 'step' in his reasoning is founded on little more than speculation and surmise.

An interesting read, but not exactly enlightening.
Jan 09, 2013 Jim added it
It was like reading an episode from Criminal Minds. Paley makes a convincing argument for the identity of Jack the Ripper.
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“Among other things, it was determined that the man who called himself Jack the Ripper was a white male, aged 28–36, who lived or worked in the Whitechapel area, and probably worked at the sort of job in which he could vicariously experience his destructive fantasies, such as a butcher. He would have come from a family with a weak, passive or absentee father, and would probably have suffered from some sort of physical disability, such as a speech impediment. He would have displayed” 0 likes
“strong dislike of prostitutes, and during the course of the investigation he would have been interviewed by the authorities and consequently overlooked or eliminated as a suspect. His ordinary, neat and orderly appearance would not have fitted the prevailing impression of the Ripper as being an odd or somehow ghoulish-looking man.” 0 likes
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