Walter Sickert, The Camden Murder, 1908

At one place of lodging, Sickert’s landlady told him that she suspected to have rented the same room to Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who murdered and brutally sliced up the abdomens of at least five women in the poor London neighbourhood of Whitechapel in 1888. Sickert became fascinated with the murderer and painted ‘Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom’ in 1907 (see below). A year later he painted ‘The Camden Murder,’ which he originally titled ‘What Shall We Do for the Rent?’ He changed the title, probably because murder makes for a more interesting painting. Sickert was never suspected of being Jack the Ripper in his own time, but later authors/journalists have claimed evidence that it was he. Stephen Knight, Jean Overton Fuller, and Patricia Cornwell have all written books stating that Sickert was Jack the Ripper’s sidekick, or even the Ripper himself.

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