In the department of “Doth Protesteth Too Much”

By Carmen Comment

Poor Patricia Cornwell. Why won’t anyone believe her? Why won’t anyone play in her Jack the Ripper Sandbox? But the story of her obsession with Walter Sickert, which first saw publication in the god-awful PORTRAIT OF A KILLER, isn’t going away — in fact, it’s picking up far more hilarious steam:

Crime author Patricia Cornwell has taken out full-page ads in two national newspapers to deny she is obsessed with Jack the Ripper.

Cornwell claimed artist Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper in a book in 2002. Ripper experts rejected that theory.

In Saturday’s Guardian and Independent, Cornwell stands by her claim and calls on others to disprove it.

The ads are thought to have cost more than £10,000 each. An updated edition of her book will appear next year.

Now, until someone sends me a .jpeg version of the ad (and please do if you have one) I guess I’ll have to content myself with laughing hysterically at the transcript:

Cornwell wrote in the advert: “My ongoing investigation is far from an obsession but an excellent opportunity to provide a platform for applying modern science to a very old, highly visible case.”

In Saturday’s adverts, Cornwell called the case “far from closed” and challenged her critics to come up with concrete evidence of another suspect’s guilt.

“I welcome everyone to investigate this case and perhaps find new evidence that factually argues for or against anything I have discovered,” she wrote.

“If it turns out that something indisputably proved that this notorious killer was someone other than Walter Richard Sickert, I would be the first to offer congratulations and retract my accusations.”

And of course — ta da! — the “updated version” of the book will be out next year. Oh frabjous day, indeed.