What did Jack the Ripper look like?

I recently read a short story by Shirley Jackson from collection of her short stories entitled Dark Tales.  There is a movie out now, recently released, on Jackson’s life – but I don’t recommend it. It may not be that factual anyway.  On the other hand, a movie version of her novel “We Have Always Lived in this Castle” is definitely worth watching – but not for kids.

Anyway, one very short story she wrote is called Jack the Ripper. It describes a man who appears to be a champion of mercy and empathy. He comes upon a young woman lying on the sidewalk in the rain and dark, drunk and passed out. He goes into the pub nearby and attempts to garner some support to help her but ends up only being mocked. Eventually he carries her home (finding her address in her purse) and goes to great lengths to carry her up 6 flights of stairs to her appartment. He settles her in, puts her to bed, and then you expect him to leave.

He doesn’t.  This in fact is how the story ends:

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Sorry, not Sorry – Thoughts on False Repentance

The wicked we deal with – those abusers who crave power and control and use all kinds of self-justifying tactics to get it – never say they are sorry. Never. Oh, they might mouth the words sometimes, cry some crocodile tears, “confess” to some wrongdoing, but the whole thing is a sham still designed to deflect guilt and blame from them to….you.

Know what one of the abuser’s favorite movies is? Love Story. You know that mushed up sentimental line – “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” I mean, what better enablement could be found than in that kind of warped thinking? The truth is that genuine love means wanting to say you are sorry when you sin against someone.

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More Wisdom About the Wicked

I found this quote in an old commentary on the book of Jeremiah:

The most wicked, we know, flatter themselves while they can retain the good opinion and applause of the world; and as long as they continue in honor, they slumber in their vices.

The author continues:

…though hypocrites flatter themselves, and the whole world enourages them by its adulations [applause] all this will not avail them; for they must at last come before the tribunal of God and that before God truth only will be approved and honored.

The particular kind of wicked person we deal with here – the domestic abuser (including the narcissist, sociopath, and psychopath) fits this description quite well. Evil people flatter themselves that they are quite right with God. They boast about what fine saints they are. They quote Bible verses left and right. And what encourages them to be able to “slumber in their vices,” un-troubled by conscience, is that they are receiving the praise, applause, and adulation of the world, including that of worldly churches.

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