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Who Murdered Martha Tabram?

The night of August 6, 1888 in London’s Whitechapel district was dreadfully cold, windy, and rainy, so Martha Tabram spent the evening drinking at the Angel and Crown alongside her friend Pearly Poll and a pair of soldiers the two had met. Drink was a constant companion in Martha’s life; her husband Charles Tabram had left Martha over alcoholic fits in 1875, and her relationship with Henry Turner had just ended over money problems in July. So Martha and Poll got by amid the squalor and poverty by turning tricks in the world’s oldest profession.

At 11:45 that night, Martha and Poll left the pub with the soldiers, Poll taking one of the men up Angel Alley, Martha leading her soldier to George Yard, an alley off Whitechapel High Street. At about five in the morning on August 7, dockworker John Saunders Reeves discovered Martha’s body as he was leaving for work and called a neighbor, cab driver Albert George Crow, who had seen Martha’s body upon returning home from his shift at about 3:30 that morning, and dismissed it as just another sleeping vagrant.

The men called Dr. Timothy Robert Killeen to the scene. Dr. Killeen determined that Martha Tabram had been stabbed thirty-nine times with a short knife in the throat, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, stomach, abdomen, and genitals. Dr. Killeen estimated that Martha had been killed between 2:00 and 3:30 that morning. Residents denied hearing anything unusual. The police investigated, questioning an uncooperative Pearly Poll, but uncovered no solid leads. On August 23, an inquest into Martha’s death was held, and deputy coroner George Collier determined that she had been murdered by person or persons unknown.

On August 31, 1888, after another Whitechapel prostitute, Mary Ann Nichols, was killed, the London press began to draw connections between the two murders. Though the MO was different–Tabram had been stabbed with a short blade; Nichols’ throat and body were slashed with a long, sharp knife–could the same killer have been responsible for both women’s deaths? And was there a connection to the April 3 murder of yet another area prostitute, Emma Elizabeth Smith? Today, Nichols is considered the first canonical victim of Jack the Ripper, whereas Martha Tabram is largely forgotten, a footnote in a case that would grip the public’s imagination and inspire storytellers for the next 125 years.

Did Jack the Ripper murder Martha Tabram? The experts disagree. What do you think?

Tales of Jack the Ripper

This post is brought to you by Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology of seventeen stories and two poems examining the bloody legacy of the most famous serial murderer of all time. Ask for Tales of Jack the Ripper by name at a bookseller near you, or order the Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack from Word Horde.

Tales of Jack the Ripper – First Reviews

The first Amazon reviews of Tales of Jack the Ripper have started to appear, and it seems that people like our little book. Here are just a few of the things readers have said:

Ellie-and-Jack

“…a truly spellbinding collection…”

“A must have for all Ripper scholars.”

“…what this anthology truly has going for it is its relentlessness.”

“Blood starts to seep from the pages (yes, even on the Kindle), and pools around the words.”

“The ‘Must-Read’ Jack the Ripper Anthology”

“Jack the Ripper stories that will keep you up at night reading (or hiding beneath your covers).”

“These stories will have you feverously flipping pages in a hungry suspense–each holding that ‘one more page’ grip that established readers search for.”

“I suggest cutting into a copy as soon as possible…”

What can we say but, “Wow!”

Even though our official street date isn’t until August 31, Tales of Jack the Ripper is now available to order in Trade Paperback from Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, Powells, and The Book Depository. A Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack is available directly from Word Horde. Tales of Jack the Ripper is also available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook.

Thanks for reading. And if you enjoy the book, please tell your friends.

Put Tales of Jack the Ripper on your bookshelf

August brings with it the 125th anniversary of the Whitechapel murders and the legacy of the most notorious serial killer in history: Jack the Ripper. To mark this sanguine anniversary, Word Horde presents Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology of seventeen stories and two poems by many of the most distinct voices in dark fantasy and horror, including Laird Barron, Ramsey Campbell, Ennis Drake, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Joe R. Lansdale, E. Catherine Tobler, and many others.

JTRShelf

Now, you can put Tales of Jack the Ripper on your own bookshelf. Tales of Jack the Ripper is now available to order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and is coming soon to an independent bookstore near you (ask for Jack by name!). Or you can preorder The Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack direct from Word Horde. The Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack includes one signed Trade Paperback of Tales of Jack the Ripper, one eBook in the format of your choice, and a bloody good selection of Jack schwag. The eBook will be emailed to you when your order is processed, so you can start reading as soon as possible.

Details at: http://wordhorde.com/product/jtr-deluxe/

And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Tales of Jack the Ripper trailer author Patrick Tumblety made, do yourself a favor and hit play.

Jack’s Back

We’re in the home stretch, with Tales of Jack the Ripper just about ready to go to the printer. To celebrate, how about a little extortion? If one hundred twenty-five of you drop by the Word Horde Facebook page and like and/or share the cover photo below, we’ll show you Jack’s back! That’s right, all you have to do is click through and LIKE or SHARE, and once we hit that magic number, we’ll reveal the back cover. Help spread the word, and help Word Horde show the world Jack’s back!

Tales of Jack the Ripper

Press Release: Jack the Ripper to return fall 2013

1888: One hundred and twenty-five years ago, a killer stalked the streets of London’s Whitechapel district, brutally–some would say ritualistically–murdering five women (that we know of): Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly.

The story of Jack the Ripper captured lurid headlines and the public’s imagination, and the first fictionalization of the Ripper killings, John Francis Brewer’s The Curse Upon Mitre Square appeared in October of 1888, mere weeks after the discovery of Jack’s first victim. Since then, hundreds of stories have been written about Bloody Jack, his victims, and his legacy. Authors ranging from Marie Belloc Lowndes to Robert Bloch to Harlan Ellison to Roger Zelazny to Alan Moore have added their own tales to the Ripper myth. Now, as we arrive at the quasquicentennial of the murders, we bring you a few tales more.

From Word Horde and the editor who brought you The Book of Cthulhu and The Book of Cthulhu II comes Tales of Jack the Ripper, featuring new and classic fiction by many of today’s darkest dreamers, including Laird Barron, Ramsey Campbell, Ed Kurtz, Joe R. Lansdale, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Stanley C. Sargent, E. Catherine Tobler, and many more.

Table of Contents

Tales of Jack the Ripper

Tales of Jack the Ripper edited by Ross E. Lockhart coming August 31, 2013

Whitechapel Autumn, 1888 – Ann K. Schwader
A Host of Shadows – Alan M. Clark and Gary A. Braunbeck
Jack’s Little Friend – Ramsey Campbell
Abandon All Flesh – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
God of the Razor – Joe R. Lansdale
The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker – Ennis Drake
Ripping – Walter Greatshell
Something About Dr. Tumblety – Patrick Tumblety
The Truffle Pig – T.E. Grau
Ripperology – Orrin Grey
Hell Broke Loose – Ed Kurtz
Where Have You Been All My Life? – Edward Morris
Juliette’s New Toy – Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Villains by Necessity – Pete Rawlik
When the Means Just Defy the End – Stanley C. Sargent
A Pretty for Polly – Mercedes M. Yardley
Termination Dust – Laird Barron
Once November – E. Catherine Tobler
Silver Kisses – Ann K. Schwader

Tales of Jack the Ripper is coming fall 2013 from Word Horde

$15.99 Trade Paperback: 978-1-939905-00-0
Ebook also available

Cover Art by Arnaud de Vallois
Cover Design by Claudia Noble

To request a copy for review or arrange an interview, email:
publicity[at]wordhorde[dot]com

Word Horde – PO Box 2074 – Petaluma, CA 94953-2074 – www.wordhorde.com

Praise for Ross E. Lockhart’s The Book of Cthulhu and The Book of Cthulhu II:

“The enduring allure of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, now nearly a century old, is evident in this representative anthology of modern tales, most of which were written in the last decade. The breadth of cosmic horrors they evoke range from the parochial fear of monsters found in Michael Shea’s ‘Fat Face,’ to the apocalyptic doom forecasted in Ramsey Campbell’s ‘The Tugging.’ Some of the stories, notably Brian Lumley’s ‘The Fairground Horror’ and Brian McNaughton’s self-consciously satirical ‘The Doom that Came to Innsmouth,’ are ripe with Lovecraftian references. Most others, including Joe R. Lansdale’s weird western ‘The Crawling Sky’ and Laird Barron’s backwoods monster tale ‘The Men from Porlock’ (original to the book), are more oblique and allusive. To the book’s credit, none of the twenty-seven stories read like slavish Lovecraft pastiche, which makes this volume all the more enjoyable.” –Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Gathering Cthulhu-inspired stories from both 20th and 21st-century authors, this collection provides such a huge scope of styles and takes on the mythology that there are sure to be a handful that surprise and inspire horror in even the most jaded reader.” -Josh Vogt, Examiner.com

“There are no weak stories here–every single one of the 27 entries is a potential standout reading experience. The Book of Cthulhu is nothing short of pure Lovecraftian gold. If fans of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos don’t seek out and read this anthology, they’re not really fans – it’s that simple.” -Paul Goat Allen, BN.com

“…thanks to the wide variety of contributing authors, as well as Lockhart’s keen understanding of horror fiction and Lovecraft in particular, [The Book of Cthulhu] is the best of such anthologies out there.” -Alan Cranis, Bookgasm.com

The Book of Cthulhu is one hell of a tome.” -Brian Sammons, HorrorWorld.org

“…an impressive tribute to the enduring fascination writers have with Lovecraft’s creation. […] Editor Ross E. Lockhart has done an excellent job of ferreting out estimable stories from a variety of professional, semi-professional, and fan venues […] to establish a sense of continuity and tradition.” -Stefan Dziemianowicz, Locus

“…a stunning collection of Lovecraft inspired tales all centered around the infamous Cthulhu myth.” -Drake Llywelyn, Dark Shadows Book Reviews

“As he did for his previous anthology, Lockhart has cast his net far and wide to haul in outstanding stories from publications both well-known and obscure, none sampled more than once. He has also commissioned four new stories, several so good that they are likely to be selected for reprint anthologies in the future.” -Stefan Dziemianowicz, Locus

“…any fan of Lovecraft can’t afford to miss out on this one.” -Justin Steele, The Arkham Digest

“The second volume of The Book of Cthulhu exemplifies the richness of Lovecraft’s legacy: gloomy terror, mystery, thrills, vivid action, chilling visions, satire, science fiction, humor–all of that, and then some, is crammed into more than 400 pages awaiting readers eager for some apocalyptic horror.” -Dejan Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue