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Jack & Eddie

In response to:

Magsmen, Macers, Gonophs, Footpads and Pimps from the December 17, 1970 issue

To the Editors:

In his analysis of Jack the Ripper’s identity, Noel Annan [NYR, December 17] rather glibly dismisses Prince Edward as a candidate for this dubious honor. Mr. Annan eliminates Edward by reason of his “vacuous” and unimaginative character. Premorbid character of a benign nature does not insure against the development of distorted, pathological processes. A syphilitic infection of the central nervous system, even in a member of the royal family, may lead to excited episodes of a homicidal nature. Jack and Eddie may not have been one and the same, but even Dr. Jekyll was a nice guy.

Alfred D. Kornfeld

Psychology Department

Eastern Connecticut State College

Willimatic, Connecticut

Noel Annan replies:

I didn’t “glibly” dismiss Prince Eddie as the Ripper solely on psychological grounds. I hardly thought it worth underlining the other reasons, namely historical evidence and common sense. Are we to leave it as an open question that Queen Victoria wrote In Memoriam?