October 1st, 2012

Headstone/wings

Halloween Countdown, Day 1

Welcome to this year's Halloween Countdown!

On this day in 1888, the morning issue of London's Daily News printed the text of a message allegedly written by the serial killer who was terrorizing Whitechapel at the time. The missive later became known as the "Dear Boss Letter," and it remains significant because it was the first time the name "Jack the Ripper" was given to the murderer. The letter had been postmarked and received on September 27 by the Central News Agency of London. The letter read as follows (sic):

Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn't you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck. Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. ha ha


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Text of the Day: Today's text of the day is a disturbing short story by French author Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), set in the very streets Jack the Ripper walked: "A Night in Whitechapel."

Excerpt: At first we tried to note these things exactly in our memory, but there were so many of them, and our brains got muddled so quickly, that just then we had no very clear recollection of anything or anybody. Even objects immediately before us passed by in vague, dusky phantasmagoria, confounded with things farther away in an inextricable manner. The world became a sort of kaleidoscope to us, seen in a dream through the penumbra of an aquarium.

Suddenly we were roused from this state of somnolence, awakened as if by a blow on the chest, forced to fix our attention on what we saw, for, amid this whirl of strange sights, one stranger than all attracted our eyes, and seemed to say: “Look at me.”

It was at the open door of a public house. A ray of light streamed into the street through the half-open door, and the revealing ray fell right on to the specter that had just risen up there, dumb and motionless.

It was indeed a pitiful and terrible specter, and, above all, most real, as it stood out boldly against the dark background of the street, which it made darker still!

Read the Complete Short Story: Here

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