This show reminded me of Geraldo Rivera's "Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults". There was a lot of build up that (obviously - for most) didn't go anywhere.
The team of Jeff Mudgett and (the supposed) "former CIA operative" Amaryllis Fox used the term "evidence" to mean just about anything but actual evidence. Everything was speculation. Boat manifests, vague eye witness accounts (some 20+ years after the Ripper murders), similar killing styles, pictures found in a box, burial wishes, etc. were somehow evidence that H.H. Holmes was really Jack the Ripper.
Every time an analyst said, "I can't determine one way or the other", Mudgett took that to mean "Well, my hypothesis hasn't been proved 100% wrong, so it's probably correct!" Fox made a few protests to some of Mudgett's ideas, but I think that was the producers way of bringing "balance" to the show.
Every time Mudgett was told that his ideas didn't pan out, he looked like a kid that was told that Santa isn't real.
I am not an investigator, but I would have approached this case very differently. However, my way wouldn't add drama or suspense to the show, nor would it have caused the show to last so long.
Wouldn't it make sense to compare a timeline of Holmes' locations against the London Ripper murders BEFORE you travel to England? Couldn't they use a (sonar?) device to determine items buried underground without digging up the actual ground? (I've seen it used in other shows, like Hunting Hitler). When the team was told that they couldn't dig up the grounds of the former "murder castle" they didn't explore any other alternatives. (Or maybe they did, but it proved to be a dead end - thus not for entertainment value).
After the team got back from England and went off on their wild goose chases, I asked myself, "How does this help prove that Holmes was Jack the Ripper?" All the so-called evidence that the team uncovered could have tied Holmes to a lot of different killers.
I'm sure the Ripper wasn't unique in his killing style. He just happened to be famous. Surely there were a lot of "copy cat" killers during the time, due to the headlines that the Ripper cases generated.
I would have enjoyed the show more if they focused on the horrific details that they could prove about H.H. Holmes. The "murder castle" alone would have been an interesting topic for a few episodes.
Sure, Mudgett's great-great grandfather was a horrible person, but I do not want to see this guy on TV anymore. The ending was exactly how I suspected. There is no real tie to Holmes and the Ripper.
The History Channel's choice of historical programming is not very historical.
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