Jack Of Jumps | Granta

  • Published: 07/05/2007
  • ISBN: 9781862079281
  • 130x20mm
  • 400 pages

Jack Of Jumps

David Seabrook

Between 1959 and 1965, eight prostitutes were murdered in West London by a serial killer. These murders were the most notorious unsolved crimes of the twentieth century. The killer’s motive and identity were the subject of endless speculation by the media, who dubbed him ‘Jack the Stripper’. Links to the Profumo scandal, boxer Freddie Mills and the notorious Kray twins were rumoured. By the time the body of the eighth victim was found in February 1965, a massive police operation was underway to catch the killer. The whole country waited to see what would happen next. The police had staked everything on the murderer striking again. But he didn’t … By October that year, the Daily Express was asking ‘Is the Nude Killer Dead?’ In 1970, the detective who had led the enquiry announced in his memoirs that the police knew the identity of the killer – that he had committed suicide as the net closed around him, and that the police had vowed never to reveal his identity. And that was that. Until now. Seabrook has interviewed surviving police officers, witnesses and associates of the victims and examined the evidence, the rumours and the half-truths. He reconstructs every detail of the investigation and recreates the dark, brutal world of prostitutes and ponces in 1960s West London. He questions the theory that the police’s prime suspect was Jack the Stripper and confronts the disturbing possibility that the killer is still at large.

Seabrook is to be congratulated not just for revealing the skull beneath the skin, but for polishing it so effectively as well

Robert Carver, Times Literary Supplement

The Author

David Seabrook lived in Canterbury. He studied English and American literature at the University of Kent and was also a TEFL teacher. He is the author of two non-fiction books, All the Devils Are Here and Jack of Jumps. He died on 18 January 2009.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

All The Devils Are Here

Twenty years ago, in a series of mysterious, incandescent writings, David Seabrook told of the places he knew best: the declining resort towns of the Kent coast. The pieces were no advert for the local tourist board. Here, the ghosts of murderers and mad artists crawl the streets. Septuagenarian rent boys recall the good old days and Carry On stars go to seed. Clandestine fascist networks emerge. And all the time, there is Seabrook himself – desperate perhaps, and in danger.

Dark, strange and immediate, this is a classic work of sui generis British literature.

There are devils here, and the reader will remember them.

David Seabrook on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

All the Devils Are Here

David Seabrook

‘A seaside shelter in the middle of autumn – it seems a strange choice.’