Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

To solve a century-old murder sometimes it takes the mind of a crime novelist to think as a killer would. In her book, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed, Patricia Cornwell has presented the most plausible suspect yet in the notorious crime spree of "Jack the Ripper" infamous for the gruesome series of prostitute slayings in London the late 1800's. In addition to her ability to break down the facts of the case in an organized fashion, Cornwell has systematically eliminated the primary alternate suspects such as royal Prince Albert and the doctor to the monarchy. Her assumptions, theories, and findings make for a fascinating case. Equally intriguing is that the suspect was a moderately famous artist in his own right.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Patricia Cornwell has compiled an impressive amount of dated and modern forensic investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders that panicked London's East End in 1888. She focuses on suspect Walter Richard Sickert, a successful artist who once studied under Whistler. Though compelling, Ms. Cornwell is a little sold on herself for having irrefutably 'solved' the mystery; potential jurors will not be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael S. Casteel

Paticia Cornwell has gone all out to reveal the Ripper's identity. She used any evidence that miraculously survived the century as well as modern day technology. Additionally, Cornwell takes us on a tour of the Ripper's killing ground revealing to us all of the customs and expectations for 1888. Having such knowledge puts much of the circumstantial puzzle together coupled with modern forenzics. When all is said and done, you will feel you have walked in Jack the Ripper's footsteps.
The review of this Book prepared by Tracey Ray

Patricia Cornwell is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt she can identify the elusive Jack the Ripper. Defying many Ripperologists, Cornwell uses more than forensic technology to reveal the 1888 serial killer.   The history of London during the nineteenth century adds a necessary insight that marries the circumstantial evidence to forensic technology and documents of the Ripper.   
The review of this Book prepared by Tracey

Patricia Cornwell utilizes modern day forensic science to solve one of the ninteenth century's greatest mysteries: the identity of notorious Whitechapel serial killer "Jack the Ripper".
The review of this Book prepared by LaPierre

Patricia Cornwell searches for the true identity of Jack the Ripper. She presents a strong case against one particular suspect.
The review of this Book prepared by Lisa

Patricia Cornwell put forward evidence to suggest that Walter Richard Sickert the artist was the infamous Jack The Ripper. She describes his troubled childhood, possible causes of his behaviour and presents facts that link him to the murders in a chilling way.
The review of this Book prepared by Ally

Putnam, Nov 2002, 27.95, 387 pp.
ISBN: 0399149325

When this reviewer realized that Patricia Cornwell had written a nonfiction work focused on solving the cold case of the Ripper, the initial thought was “just what the world needs, another solve the Ripper Case'. Immediately after that idea came the thought that if anyone could do it Patricia Cornwell can and started reading the book only to find out it is so well written and fascinating, that it impossible to put down until the last page is turned.

She and her team applied modern day forensic techniques and crime scene methodology, and historical sleuthing to determine whom Jack the Ripper was. Several tons of documents and other physical evidence such as fingerprints, photographs, museum paintings, fine arts accouterments, and even DNA, etc. were evaluated. Using the assumption that Jack remained free and still operated after his several month killing spree in 1888, Ms. Cornwell follows the paths of the prime suspects and looks at police blotters near where they lived. This concerted effort led to Ms. Cornwell to declare unequivocally that Jack the Ripper is none other than: read the book.

PORTRAIT OF A KILLER: JACK THE RIPPER CASE CLOSED is a fascinating version of the Ripper case and the chronicle of how Ms. Cornwell and her team step by step drew their conclusion. The key to this true crime account is not the final claim though that is appealing, but the powerfully interesting nonfiction elucidation that hooks the reader to follow along as if Dr. Scarpetta was working the crime scene. Ms. Cornwell shows she could rule the true crime genre if she permanently switched fields perhaps to try to uncover the identity of Deep Throat next.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 13.8%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 47.5%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 13.8%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 25% Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Murder of certain profession?    -   prostitutes/stripper/porn Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Big focus on forensic evidence Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   artist Ethnicity/Race    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Cynical or arrogant


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   biology/medical Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

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