Whitechapel, London, England – 1888
used to going out alone and she had no fear of the night. After all, right was on
her side. Lucy Tiddle was her tenth victim, but would not be the last. In her view,
these sluts deserved all they got. This had been her husband’s latest ‘sexual excursion’.
His storytelling was sweet but for her, Lucy Tiddle’s death was even sweeter.
liaison with a Whitechapel prostitute, her husband had enjoyed telling his wife
about his sexual liaisons in minute detail. For him, that was part of the excitement
and it was a small part of hers. It fired up her particular lusts and sparked a
darker desire. The first killing was revenge but the fire had kindled a deeper more
base desire resulted in many more deaths. From then on her husband’s description
of his escapades, complete with names and places, provided the means to her own
ends. That was her own desire to experience the pleasure of killing and mutilating.
found the tenth victim in a side alley in an impoverished area in the Whitechapel
district of London in the autumn of 1888.
1888 Samual Toone, the Police Surgeon reported:
is similar in style to the previous so called ‘Ripper’ murders. It leads me to believe
that all of the murders were committed by the same person. In the first four, the
throats appear to have been cut from left to right, in the last case, owing to the
extensive mutilation, it is impossible to say in which direction the fatal cut was
made. However, arterial blood was found on the wall in splashes close to where the
woman's head must have been. The circumstances surrounding the murders led me to
form the opinion that the women must have been lying down when murdered and in every
case the throat was cut first.’
that the culprit possessed no knowledge of butchery or horse slaughter. In his opinion,
the killer must have been a man of solitary habits, brutish intellect, subject to
attacks of homicidal and erotic mania, possibly indicating hypersexuality.
Toone noted that even if the homicidal impulse may have developed from a revengeful
or brooding condition of the mind, religious mania might have been the original
her ‘killing excursions’ well into 1895 when she died of natural causes. Her total
may have been as many as one hundred. To this day, the police believe that by the
nature of the brutality, a man must have been responsible for the murders. It never
occurred to them that ‘Jack the Ripper’ was in fact Emma. Emma was above average
intelligence, a nobly born woman.
was born at ‘Somerset Hall’ in 1930 and, as was the tradition in the family, only
the father and the family physician attended the birth. They called her Emma, after
her Grandmother. Her mother, Lady Lucinda Somerset died in childbirth and Sir Aubrey
Vivian Somerset went into a sulk, not so much over the death of his wife but that
his only child was a girl.
Sir Aubrey Somerset saw fit to remarry soon after his wife’s death. He married Agnes
Cooper, the divorced wife of a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. The two
had met at an Officers’ Mess reception whilst Agnes was still married. She became
Lady Agnes Somerset and soon after their marriage bore him a son, Richard of whom
Sir Aubrey was proud. Richard soon became ‘Dick’. He was a ‘late developer’ and
it soon became obvious that the nickname ‘Dick’ was, in his case, apt.
age of seven, Emma Somerset was aware that her presence in the household was resented
and barely tolerated. For Sir Aubrey, Emma reminded him of the disgrace of marrying
a woman who was not strong enough to survive childbirth and even worse, unable to
give him a son. Even so, he tried to raise Emma as an equal to his son, whom he
considered a fine boy. But whilst he treated ‘Dick’ with manly affection, he treated
Emma with unintended indifference. She found herself having to work to receive any
scrap of affection from her father, real or contrived.
By her twelfth
birthday, Emma had grown into a tall robust girl with long black hair and strong
features. For her birthday, her father introduced her to hunting and the pleasure
for him of chasing down a fox or deer. She’d followed him on horseback as the small
group chased the fox. The ‘kill’ had been saved for her. She watched as her father
dismounted, grabbed the injured and thrashing fox and held it firm. He called to
her and she joined him in the ditch. She found the dying and terrified animal ‘interesting’.
He gave her the knife and held her hand steady.
knife through its throat Emma. Quickly, don’t hesitate, don’t let it suffer,” said
her hand and helped her push in the knife. The blood spurted, splashing onto her
face and the front of her red coat. The warmth surprised her, although it was quite
pleasant. The animal jerked but her father had a firm grip on it. Without his prompting,
she twisted the knife so that more of the animal’s blood ran over her hand. Less
than a minute later, the fox was still and she was transfixed at the experience
of taking a life so easily. She asked her father if she could cut off its tail as
a keepsake, he laughed but agreed. Her smile was well hidden, she had experienced
little in her short life that could match this. It had awakened a latent desire
that could not be pushed back into her psyche and eventually it would demand indulgence.
However, in killing the animal, at least she would not bring shame to her father.
With a brother as her rival, Emma became increasingly assertive, especially where
youths of her age were concerned. She saw them as a challenge,
that is until she discovered that they were mainly weak, especially where
hormones were concerned. If she perceived them as her intellectual equal she engaged
with them on her own terms, if they were not then she could, if they amused her,
make use of them. Few adolescence youths got the better of Emma Somerset. But underlying
this, she was aware that there was something missing, something she sought but couldn’t
quite identify, yet.
in December 1943, Sir Aubrey Vivian Somerset received a special guest at Somerset
Hall. His guest was received at the request of the President of the ‘Bishops’ Conference’,
also known as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, who had taken his direction
from the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as ‘The Pope’. Sir Aubrey was not a Roman
Catholic, indeed he claimed that his ancestors had received their titles as far
back as Henry VII and had been sworn Protestants for centuries. In fact, Sir Aubrey
even considered the current King George VI of somewhat lower aristocracy. His visitor
was tall and slim, olive skinned with long jet black hair, which occasionally fell
forward over his slightly hooded eyes. The two men were roughly the same height
but separated by two decades in age. On first meeting, Sir Aubrey was drawn to Guglielmo
Bianco’s eyes. Regardless of their difference in age, Bianco held the older man’s
gaze with confidence. He smiled with his unusually bright blue eyes and Sir Aubrey
was strangely attracted to this tall handsome Italian. Within seconds, Sir Aubrey
had decided that he could trust him.
of Westminster reasoned that Cardinal Guglielmo Bianco’s meeting with Sir Aubrey
at Somerset Hall and his mission would be difficult, but if successful, it would
have added credibility. At the age of 32, Guglielmo Bianco was the youngest ‘Cardinal’
in the Catholic Church and had been given the nominal rank of ‘Cardinal Deacon’
solely for this mission. He was considered an ‘intellectual’, which was dangerous
in the Catholic Church. A church run by conservatives. As the Pope’s special emissary,
Cardinal Guglielmo Bianco was received politely but without enthusiasm. But as divergent
as their religions were, they shared one important passion, they both considered
themselves progressively spiritual thinkers. Sir Aubrey read the letter from ‘His
Holiness’ as well as the other papers provided by Bianco, then sat deep in thought
for almost one hour. Cardinal Bianco sat in silence, occasionally looking across
at his host.
Finally, Sir Aubrey looked up at the priest with
a grave expression. Sir Aubrey and Cardinal Bianco spent several hours alone in
the large library. They talked of both spiritual and religious matters, and as the
shadows lengthened and the wood fire started to burn low, Sir Aubrey concluded their
meeting and invited Bianco to stay for dinner and to resume their business the following
day. Sir Aubrey found the documents and indeed Bianco himself to be so persuasive
that he was convinced that their work should continue for as long as necessary and
until their business had been successfully concluded. Bianco, Sir Aubrey felt, could
be a guest for some time. That evening, Cardinal Bianco joined Sir Aubrey for dinner,
together with his wife Agnes, Dick, Emma and a few special guests.
been taught at home by a private female tutor, who had taken it upon herself to
ensure that she received no sexual education. Nevertheless, Emma Somerset was besotted
with Bianco and regardless of the fact that he held the rank and title of Cardinal
of the Roman Catholic Church, it was of no particular obstacle for her. Bianco did
not complain, nor did he withdraw, when their legs touched under the dining table,
he did not object when Emma paid him a visit in his bedroom that first night. Neither
did he object when she visited him on subsequent occasions during his stay at Somerset
Hall. Cardinal Guglielmo Bianco had been tempted for the first time and had succumbed
to that ‘First Temptation’.
and Guglielmo Bianco knew that it was wrong, but neither could resist one of the
darkest yet sweetest temptations, any more than they could chant ‘War and Peace’
backwards in Latin. Not that it would have made any difference, but Guglielmo Bianco
was unaware that his lover for several nights was only sixteen years old. After
a few minutes alone with her, age was the last thing on his mind. He was after all
Italian, and Emma was aware that Bianco’s affections were grounded in a purely carnal
direction. However, the seed of their desire was as evil as the hell in which it
was sown and their lust was as intense as it was corrupt. The problem was that they
both perceived it as right and heaven sent.
later, business between Sir Aubrey and the Cardinal was concluded with the good
news that agreement, at least between Sir Aubrey and the priest, had been reached.
Bianco departed for Rome in high spirits. He arrived at the Vatican well in time
for Christmas, bearing good tidings for Pope Pius XII.
Emma, it came as a little surprise, that in the early spring she found herself pregnant.
The only person she could tell of her condition was her father. Her stepmother was
above such considerations and in any case, the latter had made it clear that Dick
was her responsibility, Emma her father’s.
her father alone in the drawing room after dinner.
do you have a minute?”
Emma, what is it? You look worried. Need more money?”
can we sit for a minute?”
on the sofa together and Emma broke the news to her father. He was calm and looked
towards finding a solution, dealing with the culprit could come later. Although
he had to tell the new Lady Somerset, he made it clear to his daughter that this
was his problem to solve and not hers or Agnes’s. Sir Aubrey made ‘phone calls and
it was arranged. He told Emma that ‘the situation would be corrected’ as he put
it. Finally, he demanded to know who the father was.
him to his core to learn that the offender was none other than Cardinal Guglielmo
Bianco. He would settle that score in due course. And as for the agreement that
he had reached with Guglielmo Bianco on behalf of the Church of Rome, that was now
dead. With no difficulty whatsoever, Sir Aubrey made a single ‘phone call to Rome,
had a short but uncompromising conversation with Lorenzo Lauri, the Camerlengo to
the Pope and the unratified agreement was void.
It was decided
that Emma would ‘go away on holiday’ for a while and when she came back minus a
pregnancy or a child, everything would carry on as normal. The child was born by
Caesarean section whilst Emma was under general anaesthetic. Before Emma gained
consciousness, it was taken away by Sir Aubrey and a nun and ‘disposed of’. With
no hint of compassion, Emma was informed that the child was dead. Emma was left
alone in her cold dark room to grieve overnight and in the morning, although pale
and drawn, she showed no particular ill effects and the pregnancy was never mentioned
again in the Somerset household.
Bianco’s career with the Catholic Church or any other public office, ended the moment
the Vatican received the call from Sir Aubrey but spiritually it ended the moment
he failed to resist the ‘First Temptation’. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church tried
to ‘reform him’ and attempted, in its own way, to set him again on the ‘right path’.
After a short Catholic trial of sorts, followed by several years of enforced solitary
confinement and reflection, Guglielmo Bianco remained adamant in his refusal to
accept that he’d done anything wrong or to reject the sins of the flesh. The Catholic
Church saw him as a liability. In its view, he’d tasted the fruits of sin and found
them sweet. He was cast out of the Roman Catholic Church and from all other honourable
institutions. From Cardinal in the Catholic Church to a ‘non person’, almost overnight,
he was simply an out of work Italian. But what does a former Cardinal do with no
connections, little money to speak of, little hope of finding meaningful work but
with the memory of a lust for his only love, the girl who’d set him on a journey
that could only end in disaster and then the unknown?
Emma failed to get Guglielmo Bianco completely out of her mind, in the main life
returned to normal. But she was young, Bianco was history and she’d developed a
taste for men, so she took to going into Kirkby, a small mining town in Nottinghamshire,
a few miles from Somerset Hall. There, she hung around with some of the young miners.
As different in background to her as they were, they nevertheless gave her a momentary
sense of worth, which was sadly lacking at Somerset Hall. She was only half aware
and in any case, cared little that the men’s affections were in a more carnal direction.
One young miner in particular told her that she was ‘great’ and that he ‘loved her’.
In due course, Emma told Carroll Sullivan, hard man of this part of Nottinghamshire,
that she was pregnant and that he was the father. She had no idea whether Carroll
Sullivan was the father or not, but he would suffice. Marriage didn’t really appeal
to either of them, but Sullivan knew who Emma’s father was and he saw the potential
So, a few
years after her first pregnancy and with Carroll Sullivan in tow, Emma saw her father
again. Carroll Sullivan stood awkwardly in the oak panelled library, his flat cap
held in both hands. Emma told her father that she was again pregnant and that Carroll
Sullivan was the father.
intend to marry my daughter?” asked Sir Aubrey of Carroll Sullivan.
“Ay if she’ll
have me like.”
Have you?” Sir Aubrey almost spat out the words. “Seems to me you have a duty young
man. And you’ll marry her regardless of whether she has any inheritance or not I
“Ay, I reckon
so,” replied Carroll Sullivan, with only the slightest hesitation. He gambled that
her father would send her off with a small fortune in his terms. Easy street and
you are aware that she is hardly out of her teens, Sullivan?” barked Somerset, almost
accusing him of child abuse.
I do,” said Carroll, with a sullen expression.
case, Sullivan you may marry my daughter. But I want neither of you to come to see
me again, clear? Now I want to see my daughter alone. You may wait in the hall.”
stood in front of his only daughter, looking down at her.
don’t marry this Sullivan man. Nothing good will come of it. Although Agnes won’t
stand you living on the Estate I can fix this, you know that.”
“If I have
to leave, then I’ll leave with Carroll and we'll make the most of what we have.”
shocked, she at least expected that her father would allow them to stay on the Estate,
have the child and find Carroll a job as a gardener or something. Such was not to
be the case. Her father called his wife into the drawing room, where Emma sat on
the sofa and explained the predicament to his sour wife. Lady Somerset saw this
as an opportunity to ensure that her son would inherit the Estate outright, whilst
at the same time she could remove the thorn in her side. She demanded that Emma
be thrown out of Somerset Hall immediately and that her name never again be mentioned.
In the face of his demanding wife, Sir Aubrey folded and allowed Emma one hour to
pack. Before she left, he slipped a small package into her hand, which Emma assumed
was money, but then to her surprise, took out his wallet and emptied it into Emma’s
A taxi was
waiting for them by the time her single suitcase was brought to the front entrance.
Sir Aubrey asked the driver to take them to wherever they wanted to go. He tried
to kiss his daughter goodbye but she turned her head away. He wished her well, went
back into the house and closed the door then watched the rear lights of the taxi
disappear as it turned through the gates. His square shoulders shuddered in silent
Carroll sat in the back of the taxi, in shock. She was unable to cry but still craved
the affection of her father, regardless of his weaknesses and apparent indifference
to her, she still wanted and needed her father. The money given to her by her father
was soon transferred to Carroll Sullivan’s hands but Emma kept the package. Sullivan
counted the money, fifty quid, not as much as he’d hoped for but not bad, it amounted
to about three weeks pay and would at least pay for a few nights of Mackeson Stout
months, Emma and Carroll lived in a bedsit until they could afford a down payment
on a terraced house in Gladstone Yard, Kirkby, which the locals called ‘The Jitty’.
Emma cried often and rued the day she set eyes on Kirkby, she hated the place. To
her, it was about as depressing as any Nottinghamshire mining town could be, or
any town for that matter. The people looked as grey as the terraced, back to back
houses they lived in, with belching coal chimneys and Nottinghamshire’s ubiquitous
winter smog. She needed life, but this town’s soul was as depressing as the people
were depressed. Nevertheless, she married Carroll Sullivan with only three weeks
to spare before the expected birth. None of her family attended the wedding and
alone in the cold terraced house, Emma Sullivan gave birth to Herbert Sullivan.
With more than a few pints of ale inside him, Carroll Sullivan returned home from
the pub a few hours later to find Emma still lying on the cold floor, the dead body
of their baby cradled in her arms. On a cold and rainy January morning, the vicar,
Emma and Carroll Sullivan were the only people to attend the funeral.
Guglielmo Bianco was welcome neither in Rome nor in any Catholic Church, the outcast
had a number of significant talents. The first was for languages, he could speak
near perfect English. Secondly, he could imitate any accent and he relished manual
labour. Added to this, at Emma’s hands, he’d learned to endure and even enjoy pain
but only when it was inflicted by his first and only love. Therefore, more than
four years after he’d first set eyes on Emma, he threw his past into his old leather
bag, packed a suitcase of working clothes and never looked back on the Catholic
Church. With a force that was as irresistible as it was elusive, the same craving
that had originally drawn Emma and Bianco together, now brought Bianco to lodgings
less than five miles from Somerset Hall. He anglicised his name to William White
then changed it legally, managed to get work in the coal mine as a labourer, which
was as good as an ex-communicated Cardinal was qualified for, and never mentioned
his past to anyone, not that they cared or would have believed him anyway.
priority in his new life was to find Emma and to reacquaint himself with the taste
of the bittersweet fruit of their ‘heaven sent rapture’, as he’d come to see it
whilst in isolation. Although Billy White quickly discovered that Emma no longer
lived at Somerset Hall, finding her, that was a more difficult matter but he always
‘felt’ that she was ‘close’. Even so, after more than a year of asking and looking
he was ready to give up looking. In a fog of depression, he occasionally took comfort
in the arms of a young married woman, but for him it was not the same.
to his fate and his new future, Billy White continued working as a mining labourer
and married Linda, a local girl from Kirkby. It was during a miner’s event at the
‘Bentinck Miners’ Welfare’, and more than seven years after he’d first set eyes
on Emma that he spotted her sitting with a noisy group of miners and their wives.
The veil of depression that had gripped him for years, suddenly lifted.
As the couple
approached the group, and even in the poor lighting of the Miners’ Welfare, Emma
instantly recognised the walk, the dark hair and the eyes. Billy vaguely knew Carroll
Sullivan from the mine and asked if he and his wife could join them. Emma hid her
blushes and was speechless, mouth wide open in surprise but for only a moment. Composure
regained, she tried to hide her enthusiasm for this new couple who introduced themselves
as ‘Linda and Billy White’, but with more haste than was sensible, she made space
for them at the table between herself and Carroll. Someone brought over two more
chairs and Billy White sat next to Carroll Sullivan who quickly became his new best