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Sins Of The Father by Jake Corey

EXTRACT FOR
Sins Of The Father 
(Jake Corey)


In The Name Of The Father

Prologue

 

Whitechapel, London, England – 1888

 

She was 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.

After each 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.

A landlord found the tenth victim in a side alley in an impoverished area in the Whitechapel district of London in the autumn of 1888.

In October 1888 Samual Toone, the Police Surgeon reported:

‘This murder 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.’

Toone concluded 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 disease.

She continued 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.


Chapter 1

 

Emma Somerset 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.

Nevertheless, 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.

From the 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.

“Stick the knife through its throat Emma. Quickly, don’t hesitate, don’t let it suffer,” said her father.

He guided 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.

One evening 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.

The Archbishop 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.


Chapter 2

 

Emma had 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’.

Both Emma 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.

Some days 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.

But for 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.

Emma caught her father alone in the drawing room after dinner.

“Daddy, do you have a minute?”

“Of course Emma, what is it? You look worried. Need more money?”

“Daddy, can we sit for a minute?”

They sat 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.

It shook 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.


Chapter 3

 

Cardinal 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?

Even though 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 for riches.

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.

“Do you intend to marry my daughter?” asked Sir Aubrey of Carroll Sullivan.

“Ay if she’ll have me like.”

“Have you? 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 suppose?”

“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 no mistake.

“I assume you are aware that she is hardly out of her teens, Sullivan?” barked Somerset, almost accusing him of child abuse.

“Ay, that I do,” said Carroll, with a sullen expression.

“In that 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.”

Sir Aubrey stood in front of his only daughter, looking down at her.

“Emma, please 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.”

Emma was 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 purse.


Chapter 4

 

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 tears.

Emma and 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 Ale.

For some 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.


Chapter 5

 

Although 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.

His first 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.

Resigned 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 friend.