By Tim Mendees, C. Marry Hultman, Thomas K.S. Wake, Jasmine Jarvis, Stephen Herczeg, Drew Starling, Joshua D. Taylor, Jonathan Inbody, Trisha Ridinger McKee, V.A. Vasquez, Holley Cornetto, J.W. Garrett, David Green
Forget what you think you know about the Whitechapel Murders.
In my official capacity as secretary for the Brotherhood, I have been tasked with the dubious honour of finally revealing the mind-bending truth behind the series of atrocities that started in 1887 with the Rainham Mystery and ostensibly ended in 1889 with the discovery of the Pinchin Street Torso. During those nightmarish years, the citizens of the capital were in the grip of a terror hitherto unknown during peacetime. I am now in possession of all the facts and can finally reveal who—or rather what—was behind these savage murders.
The following is a factual account of what truly happened during the reign of terror of both The Thames Torso Murderer and the most famous serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper. I fully understand that what you are about to read will strain credibility, but ask yourself this: Is it any more outlandish than the tales of vengeful midwives, murderous authors, and royal conspiracies that have been doing the rounds for these past 133-plus years?
I think you would have had to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Saucy Jack. There have been more books and theories about the identity of the architect of the Autumn of Terror than about any other killer in history. There have been films, stage plays, radio shows, documentaries, and even a couple of video games that have added to the mystique and have succeeded in muddying the waters even further. Every armchair detective and Ripperologist alike have their own pet theory, but I am almost certain that not a single one of them will have guessed or even suspected the truth.
What many don’t realise is that there were more than one series of murders taking place at the same time during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The lesser-known, but no less grisly, torso murders have often been mixed up and added to Jack’s tally, but—as you will see—there were two distinct forces at work that held the fate of not just London or The British Empire but the whole world in their blood-soaked hands. A war was taking place on the grimy streets of the East End that only a select few knew of and survived with their bodies and sanity intact.
In these pages, you will hear tales of ghastly crimes, deprivation, terror, and insanity. For over a century, a select few have been in charge of the facts, and it has been decided that now, in 2021 when humanity finds itself at its weakest and most vulnerable, to finally let the cat out of the bag. We fear that another attack may be on the horizon. The stars are almost right again. Most of these documents have been locked away in the official files of my organisation. Though others had somehow found themselves in the hands of a writer of weird fiction in Prohibition-era Rhode Island, I fear that the mystery of how or why the writer ended up with them may never have an answer. They recently came to light at a literary auction in Massachusetts and finally filled in some blanks.
Over the past couple of months, I, along with a crack team of scholars, have painstakingly pieced together the fragmentary documentation that finally reveals the truth. Some of the accounts you are about to read have been assembled from witness testimony and police records, others from the perpetrators of the crimes themselves. Where possible, as in the account of the Rainham Mystery, which was found in my great-great-grandfather’s journal, I have included the document verbatim. While some accounts have been embellished somewhat to fill in narrative gaps, this is an entirely factual story. Nothing has been excised, and what you are about to read is not for the weak of stomach or of a nervous disposition.
Some of you will believe this to be a work of fiction. Just one more clever hoax in a field of study littered with them. I will fully understand if some of you deem me and the group that I proudly represent a bunch of crackpot conspiracy theorists. This will be hard for most of you to believe and, had I not seen the proof, I would have scoffed at the madness of it all: The truth is often too much for the human brain to digest.
I entreat you to go into this tome with an open mind. For, as we shall see, the truth of the Whitechapel Murders is far stranger than fiction.
Stuart MacKinnon, Brotherhood of Tamesis, January 2021