A historian who has told the true story of Jack the Ripper’s victims has spoken of the “offensive”, “stupid” and almost “laughable” trolling she has received from Ripperologists.
Hallie Rubenhold said she had even been compared to Holocaust denier David Irving for her book, in which she challenges the traditional narrative that the murdered women were all sex workers.
The reaction had been extraordinary, Rubenhold told the Hay festival. “I knew it [the book] was going to be controversial. I had no idea how controversial. There are people out there who feel they have ownership of these women’s stories and there is an orthodoxy.
“If you question those ‘facts’, then God have mercy on you. The response I’ve had to this has been unbelievable.”
Rubenhold argues three of the five women were not sex workers and paints a more rounded picture of their lives.
This has led to accusations of Rubenhold having a cynical, feminist agenda and that she was trying to make Jack the Ripper work for the #Me Too age. “Well, #MeToo hadn’t actually happened when I started writing the book,” she said.
“It is absolutely absurd, it’s offensive and it’s laughable. The amount of trolling … and it’s constant.”