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?

This Issue

February 11, 1971