Tuesday, December 12, 2006

“Orgy of Murder”

Following up on its interview last week with M.J. Rose (The Venus Fix), the Murder & Mystery Books 101 blog turns the spotlight on Simon Read, the author of a new, dramatically composed non-fiction work called In the Dark: The True Story of the Blackout Ripper. It’s based on the peculiar tale of Gordon Frederick Cummins, a member of Britain’s Royal Air Force who preyed on women in World War II-era London, even as the German Luftwaffe was raining bombs down on the city. “Over a five-day period [in 1942],” Read explains on his Web site, Cummins “murdered with a lightning-fast ferocity that stunned and baffled investigators. Dubbed ‘The Blackout Ripper,’ he left few clues in his bloody wake--until a slip-up revealed his true identity, and shocked a city that thought it had seen it all.”

Read relates the roots of his interest in the Blackout Ripper towards the beginning of this interview:

MM101: When did you first hear about, “The Blackout Ripper”?

SR: I first learned about the Blackout Ripper back in 2004. I was reading a book about crime in wartime London, which made a brief reference to a serial killer who stalked women during the city's blackout. It struck me as a great idea for a book and subsequently began doing the research.

MM101: What interested you most about “The Blackout Ripper”?

SR: What interested me about the story was the time in which it takes place. Wartime London was a dangerous place. Not only did you have bombs falling around you on a daily basis, but you had roving gangs, spies, murderers, thieves--criminals of all sorts who took advantage of the chaos brought on by the war. I knew, going into the book, there’d be plenty of material to work with!

The full piece can be found here.

1 comment:

Euro Crime said...

I understand, Laura Wilson's 'The Lover' has a fictional take on the 'Blackout Ripper' as does 'The London Blitz Murders' by Max Allan Collins.