On this day in 1888, prostitute Mary Ann Nichols is found murdered and mutilated. Mary Ann is the first known victim of London’s notorious serial killer known as JACK THE RIPPER. Over the next few months, four more victims would be identified as being killed by the same man, but no suspect was found. It is believed that “Whitechapel Jack” was behind the murders of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly; however, some believe that Jack The Ripper could have been responsible for up to eleven separate murders in London between 1888 and 1891. There has been endless speculation, and there have been numerous claims to have “solved” the Whitechapel murders, but historians and other “experts” cannot agree. History buffs, true crime fans, and mystery lovers can all agree it is a case that intrigues us still to this day.
Jack the Ripper has inspired numerous accounts of his heinous crimes on film and in print, including both fiction and non-fiction. Will this case ever be solved?
Halloween is not the only time to put you in the mood to be scared with terrifying stories and creepy movies. If chilling stories are for you, then an overlooked section of nonfiction would be the true crime section, beginning with the call number 364. Section 364 is the true crime section, where you can read real stories and accounts of actual crimes and people, like unsolved murder mysteries, information on different serial killers, and more. Not only will you be scared witless, you’ll learn a little something along the way as well.
I believe true crime stories like the ones housed throughout the Aurora Public Library District continue to fascinate us because we want to understand the psychology of those who are different, especially those who are accused or convicted of horrendous crimes. We want to see what makes them so different from us “normal” people when we all look “normal” on the outside– at least, that’s why I find them so fascinating. What makes these accounts all the more terrifying is the fact that they actually did happen and could very well happen to anyone today.
A few of the titles you’ll find on the shelves are:
The 10 Worst Serial Killers by Victor McQueen
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
Cellar of Horror by Ken Englade
Cruel Sacrifice by Aphrodite Jones
The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall
Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? by Ann Rule
Along with the physical copies of true crime stories housed at the Aurora and Dillsboro branches, we also have several digital copies of various true crime stories available from the Indiana Digital Download Center. Stop by one of the branches to browse the shelves or you can always browse our virtual shelves online.