Jack the Ripper keeps Cabarita author in time warp
A CABARITA journalist's fascination with Jack the Ripper is claiming headlines around the world, with detailed claims the notorious serial killer ended up in colonial Sydney.
Stephen Senise has just released the second edition of his fascinating theory on Jack the Ripper, 130 years after the killer first stalked the streets of London's East End, expanding on his first book published last year.
The new book, False Flag Jack The Ripper is an official entry in the 2018 Ned Kelly awards - Australia's longest running and most prestigious true crime literary prize - and has already gained interest in the UK, US and Israel.
Using information uncovered in the NSW State Archives, Mr Senise believes Jack the Ripper fled to colonial Sydney on board a ship of union-busting sailors during the Great London Dock Strike of 1889.
Mr Senise believes he has located one of the case's most important witnesses and latter-day suspects - unemployed labourer George Hutchinson who disappeared from the record at the height of the murder spree and arrived in Sydney at the same time the killings stopped.
Hutchinson was later arrested in Forbes for a shocking sex crime against two young children.
Mr Senise's research includes two never-before published photos of the man he believes to be Jack the Ripper, which appear in the book.
The images tally with eyewitness descriptions of the notorious London serial killer, and an illustrator's sketch of Hutchinson which appeared in the London newspaper, the Illustrated Police News in November 1888 after the murder of canonical fifth victim, Mary Kelly.
As part of his investigation, Mr Senise travelled to London in 2015 and 2016 where he visited the murder sites.
He further proposes the murders were part of an anti-Semitic campaign aimed at tarnishing the standing of London's Jewish community.
Mr Senise said he felt like he had been "stuck in 1888” since undertaking this project.
"I am stuck in 1888 and I'm stuck in East London and I can't stand the joint,” he said. "The quicker I'm out of here and back in Cabarita the better I'll feel. But for the moment I am marooned, stranded.
"It gets a hook into you and particularly because I feel I have a responsibility to say what was happening in 1888. We can talk about the guy with the top hat and the cape and the monacle for another 130 years, but don't we have a responsibility here to say what were the politics of that moment, what were the social conditions of that moment, what was happening in Whitechapel and what was Whitechapel in 1888?
"I just feel the responsibility that I need to challenge this imagined landscape we have inherited from 1888 that is not historically accurate.”