Book Review

The Five


Five women living in the Whitechapel District of London were murdered by a person history remembers. However, what about his victims and what led them to their ultimate demise? 

My Thoughts 

Mary Ann Nicholes.

Annie Chapman. 

Elizabeth Stride. 

Catherine Eddowes.

Mary Jane Kelly. 

Do those names sound familiar? 

What about Jack the Ripper, the Whitechapel Murderer, or Leather Apron? 

Do those sound more familiar? 

As a true crime freak, I’m obsessed with serial killers and all the weird, deprived, and truly horrible things they do to their victims. True crime is such a vast and popular genre and such a guilty pleasure for so many people around the world, including myself. However, we remember the names of the madmen and not the victims and that is SOOOO WRONG. I am so guilty of this and this book has changed the way I view true crime and what I should be listening to and remembering. 

I have studied the case of Jack the Ripper since my first year of college. I did an informative speech about Jack the Ripper and his five victims for my Communications class and my teacher was less than thrilled. I mean I thought it was an unique idea and would really pop as a speech, my audience was horrified and I got an A. However, the only thing I really discussed about this serial killer’s victims was how they died and their profession. I researched and researched to get an idea of who these people were and that was all I could find. Or my research skills weren’t that great. Either way, I knew nothing about these unfortunate women and what happened to them before they were the recipients of Jack and his sharp blade. 

The author goes through each of the victims’ lives from birth to death and each of them gets their own section. The victims are also placed in order of when Jack got to them. Each woman’s story is worse than the next and all seem to be so hauntingly familiar to one another. These women weren’t just some trashy alcoholics selling their bodies for their next drink. NO SIR. They were victims of a society that was made to be against them. They tried so hard to do the right thing and EVERY SINGLE TIME it just blew up in their faces. This society was so truly awful and if you didn’t come from a good family or have a rich person on your side, you were just screwed. 

Not only does the author go into detail about the biographies of these poor women, it also explains the history of England during that time period and what led to these many unfortunate horrors. I was just shooooook in the worst way. The poor house was awful and the men during this time period were such selfish scum. I wanted to go back in time and punch ALLLLL of their lights out. These women were not only victims of a horrible serial killer, they were also victims of their society EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

This book was so enlightening and so interesting to me. It taught me as a true crime to remember the victims as well as the madmen that made them that way. 

My Book Rating

5/5 Informative 

5/5 Interesting 

4/5 Writing 

5/5 Effect 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book Details

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold 

Genre: Non Fiction 

Published on February 26, 2019 by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd 

Copy Read: Audiobook (Audible) 

Minutes: 10 hours and 19 minutes 

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