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After an evening of magic and illusions, the performer produces a letter that he/her states they have purchased off of some on-line auction site or from a private collector, etc. (the original is in the archives of Scotland Yards). The performer goes on to tell that they do not believe the letter to be genuine but when they went to contact the seller, they were not to be found. He/her now uses it as a conversation piece and usually brings out the controversial letter to set the mood for the next few illusions (come up with a few more illusions on the bizarre side to do as a final for your act). The performer hands out the letter for inspection, asking that the handlers be careful with it as it is so old.†† Once examined, the performer places the letter in the center of the table for all to see. He/her states, "Letís have some fun. I want to see if we can get the spirit of Jack the Ripper to come into the room. Perhaps he will finally divulge who he really was. Letís start by reading the letter. At that point, the performer starts to read the letter. It is recommended that you memorize the text before the performance begins. This will aid in the effect as you get into the body of the letter. Once the letter stars to be read, the performer is using a normal voice and pacing. As he/her gets to the middle of the body of the text, the performer starts to act strangely (right about where it says "The next job I do, I shall clip the ladies ears off)". At that point he/her starts to stumble over the text and becomes demented. As he/her continues, they adopt an English cockney accent. At this point, the performer is Jack. As he/her gets to the end of the letter, the performer hold their hand up high for all to see. The hand is completely clean and shows no sign of any discoloration (The hand should go up right at the point where it reads, Yours truly, Jack the Ripper). The audience needs to get a good look at your clean hand). As the performer reads the end (P.S. They say I am a doctor now. Ha ha. Wasn't good enough to post this till I got all the blood off my hands). Boom, right there, the performer slaps his hand down on top of the letter. The performer then turns over his/her hand to reveal that a bloody hand print has been left on the letter. The combination of the loud slap on the letter and the visualization of the bloody hand print gets them every time. Donít be surprised if people run from the room and those in the group never talk to you again. The letter may be autographed by the performer and left with the eveningís host as a souvenir, if they can be found!
During the Autumn of Terror in 1888, hundreds of letters were sent to the police and local press purporting to be written by the Whitechapel fiend. Most of them were deemed to be fakes written by either newspaper men trying to start a story or fools trying to incite more terror. Many Ripperologists believe them all to be hoaxes. Other experts believe some (specifically the "Dear Boss" letter, Saucy Jacky postcard, and From Hell letter) are genuine.
The "Dear Boss" letter
Received on September 27th, 1888 at the Central News Agency, this letter was originally believed to be just another hoax. Three days later, the double murder of Stride and Eddowes made them reconsider, especially once they learned a portion of the latter's earlobe was found cut off from the body, eerily reminiscent of a promise made within the letter. The police deemed the "Dear Boss" letter important enough to reproduce in newspapers and postbills of the time, hoping someone would recognize the handwriting.† A postcard received at the Central News Agency on October 1st, making direct reference to both the murders and the "Dear Boss" letter, is believed to have been written by the same hand. Whether or not the letter is a hoax, it is the first written reference which uses the name "Jack the Ripper" in reference to the Whitechapel murderer.
The fifteen letters you are given to perform this illusion are exactly as written by the Whitechaple fiend. Careful attention to detail and historical accuracy was given when putting this presentation together. Only slight modifications were made to the text so as to make the effect more easily performed. You are actually reading the words as written by Jack himself over one hundred years ago (more or less).