Author's killer theory rips up the textbook

The Northern Echo: Author Simon Webb Author Simon Webb

ONE of the country’s most notorious killers is the subject of a new book by a North-East author.

Severin: A Tale of Jack the Ripper is a page-turning novel by Simon Webb, who lives in Langley Park and works part-time as a librarian in nearby Durham City.

The story points the finger at George Chapman as a possible Ripper suspect.

Mr Webb, 50, said: “Chapman was hanged in 1903 for murdering a girl call Maud Marsh.

“Maud went to live with Chapman above his pub in London. There he poisoned her, but he’d already got away with two other poisonings.”

During Chapman’s trial, Frederick Abberline, a detective who worked on the Ripper case, became convinced Chapman was the man he had been hunting back in 1888.

“The novel recounts what happens when Chapman confesses his crimes to a priest. It isn’t for the faint-hearted,” Mr Webb said.

The author was previously best known for a popular book about Mary Ann Cotton, the County Durham-born killer hanged in Durham in 1873 for a range of murders.

Mr Webb wrote Mary Ann Cotton Victorian Serial Killer with his psychology student daughter Miranda.

Jack the Ripper was the name given to an unidentified serial killer who murdered in the poor areas around Whitechapel, London, in 1888.

Severin: A Tale of Jack the Ripper is available as a Kindle download, priced £1.92.

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