They finally did it. In 2015, a post on the Last Podcast on the Left Facebook page implied that they would never cover Jack the Ripper; that it was something that had been done enough times, and they wanted to take on other subjects.
But I was probably not the only one who was hoping they’d change their minds. And today, Friday, January 13th (scary!), 2017, part one of their Jack the Ripper series debuted.
If you’ve never listened to Last Podcast on the Left, be warned: if you are listening at work and your headphones accidentally come out, you will probably be fired. Marcus Parks, Ben Kissel, and Henry Zebrowski cover hauntings, conspiracy theories, cryptids, alien abductions, and of course “heavy hitters”—famous serial killers like Ted Bundy, Andrei Chikatilo, and now our very own Saucy Jack.
Their approach is well-researched: they specifically reference Capturing Jack the Ripper by Neil Bell and The Jack the Ripper Files by Richard Jones. This is far from just a rehashing the story. This first episode sets the historical context: the petri dish of Whitechapel that bred this legendary killer. Even I, who have read my share of Ripper books, learned some new facts, specifically about the population density of Whitechapel, the darkness of the streets, and the true greenness of the police force. They also bring the insightful perspective of people who have spent a lot of time reading and thinking about the psychology of serial killers.
Like…a lot of time.
And probably the biggest thing that makes this podcast unique is that it’s infused with a heavy dose of extremely irreverent humor. Henry Zebrowski slips into numerous invented characters to help lighten up what we know to be some heavy subject matter. And even if it’s offensive, it’s not offensive just for the sake of being offensive. He does razz Ripperologists a little bit in this first episode, but remember: the razzing is coming from a “UFO expert”…another facet of the same nerdy multiverse: us seekers of the unknown.
Plus you will never ever hear a better impression of a cockney yoga instructor.