The Life and Death of Emily Dimmock
On the morning of September 12, 1907 the body of Emily (known as Phyllis) Dimmock was found in her rented rooms in Camden Town, North London. Her throat had been cut, almost to the point where her head was severed from her body. The murderer has never been found.
This is the story of Emily's life; along with an account of the times in which she lived and the circumstances surrounding her death.
A recent survey by Discovery Channel ranked the Camden Town Murder as Britain's third most famous unsolved murder after the Whitechapel killings of Jack the Ripper and The Peasenhall Mystery .
After almost four years of research into all aspects of the case including hitherto unpublished letters and correspondence, contacts with other writers and journalists; and with the benefit of modern forensic knowledge, a solution to this mystery may now have been found.
Robert Wood, a designer and artist was tried and acquitted of her murder. It is generally acknowledged that he was saved from the gallows following a brilliant defence conducted by Edward Marshall Hall QC.
It is never easy after almost one hundred years to be able to state with absolute certainty that the murderer can be identified beyond any reasonable doubt, but in the conclusion to this book the guilty man can finally be named. This new book presents all the background and the evidence; the reader can make up their own mind as to whether this provides the proof that would have been sufficient for a conviction in 1907.
Brief details of the case as originally published on my web pages here: The Camden Town Murder
John Barber's take on the Camden Town Murder is a book that will appeal to both aficionados of true crime cases as well as Ripperologists. The book, which is split into 10 chapters looks at the basics of the case and the background to Emily Dimmock's earlier life. This is where the book really excels and takes the reader on a journey into the life of Dimmock, based on primary sources such as Census returns and other genealogical data. The chapter is also packed with photos and maps showing the locations mentioned in the text. The next few chapters deal with the murder, investigation and trial of Robert Wood. Again the text is accompanied by photographs of people and places mentioned, plus maps of the locations. Chapter 5 deals with other possible suspects that were mentioned at the time, but never really explored or investigated. It is Chapter 6 that will catch the attention of Ripperologists, with a look at Dimmock as a possible Ripper suspect. In this chapter Barber looks at the connections and anomalies between the murders, explores the theories put forward by Ripperologists, and explores such popular topics as The Royal Conspiracy Theory, and Walter Sickert. I must say that this chapter is a breath of fresh air. Barber takes the work of both Jean Overton Fuller and Patricia Cornwell and argues against the circumstantial evidence that they had raised in their works on the case. The book then features chapters that cover such topics as "Who Killed Emily Dimmock?" and the aftermath of the case. The book continues with a postscript that features the lecture given at the Whitechapel Society on February 8th 2008, a chapter that features the final word, and a supplement that concludes the book.
Many of the chapters are referenced, but Barber explains in the text where the information is gleaned from anyway. My only grumble with the book, and it is a minor one, is that the images seem to have been added to the book from a digital/video source which makes some of the images unclear and in some cases pixelated.
That said, it is a fascinating read and worth it alone for the Jack the Ripper chapters.
From the Amazon Book page:
"Her throat was cut, from ear to ear; her head almost severed from her body." On the morning of September 12, 1907, the body of Emily Dimmock was found in her rented rooms in Camden Town, London. The murderer has never been identified. This is the story of the victim; along with an account of the times in which she lived, and the circumstances surrounding her death. Is this another crime of the imagination? Recent books have seen parallels between The Camden Town Murder, and the Whitechapel killings of Jack the Ripper, and The Peasenhall Mystery of 1902. Case Solved !!! In The Camden Town Murder, John Barber presents the reader with a modern day investigation, analysing and retracing the events with the story's protagonists; as well as bringing to light vital clues which, back then had escaped the judges's attention . This is a social history and an account of the human condition of the people living in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the upper classes and their domestic servants, the 'fallen women', the music-halls, the artists, and the demi-monde.