#36: JACK THE RIPPER
I was a bit hesitant to consider real life people for this list. You could argue that Ed Gein was the inspiration for Norman Bates, and Leatherface. Charles Manson is quite a twisted character, as well. But then why not consider THE NIGHTSTALKER, THE ZODIAC KILLER, or John Wayne Gacy? And if you're going to count those wackos, why not Idi Amin, or even Adolf Hitler? Too easily the list would just turn in to who the most evil people in the world ever were. Where do you draw the line?
I've already included BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE, the only other "real" guy on this list (who's not a horror personality by trade) cause I thought he transcended the non-fiction aspects of his life. You close your eyes and think of pirates, and Blackbeard is likely going to be there.
JACK THE RIPPER is the same. Perhaps the simple fact that in the over 100 years that the murders in England first occurred, nobody has quite figured out who JACK THE RIPPER really is.
Every time you watch a movie of someone walking in the dark streets at night, in danger, you can't help but think of JACK THE RIPPER.
With his horrific murders, and daring taunting of the police, JACK THE RIPPER is the prototype slasher. The prototype evil genius. The prototype comic book supervillain.
Was he some rich guy (or even royalty) who lead a double life? Or just some average joe that just happened to be a sick bastard?
The last woman to be killed by JACK THE RIPPER was practically disssected.
Makes you think about Hannibal Lechter.
Makes you think about The Joker.
Makes you think about every other copycat serial killer in real life that's been around since.
We'll never know for sure who JACK THE RIPPER was in this point. But his legacy of terror certainly makes him an appropriate member of The Top 100 Monsters.
In the meantime, look for FROM HELL adapted from Alan Moore's classic, starring Johnny Depp to further keep the story, and evil, of Jack alive.