Author Discovered Hidden Images in a Van Gogh Painting that Relate to Jack the Ripper
February 19, 2013

Dale Larner, author of the book, VINCENT ALIAS JACK: The True Story of How Vincent van Gogh Became Jack the Ripper, writes about what drew him to the startling conclusion that Vincent van Gogh was Jack the Ripper.

What do you know about Vincent van Gogh?

He was a great artist. He cut off his ear. Most have seen at least a few of his paintings and know his style, and most have a sense of sympathy for Van Gogh, believing he went mad because his genius was not recognized during his lifetime. Some have an added sympathy because they also know he committed suicide, and artists and those who have studied his art have an even greater sympathy for him, believing they have seen the depths of his genius and can understand a little better the pain his talent brought him.

Even though this sympathetic image of Van Gogh has endured in the public’s mind for more than a century, the reality of Van Gogh’s nature is much different. His 800 letters reveal a man who caused trouble wherever he went, and when that trouble caused difficulty for Vincent and for others, Vincent had a bad habit of relentlessly blaming others for the very trouble he had caused. Vincent was also highly ambitious, and he believed he was entitled to what others had. He wasn’t poor, as most believe. He was raised in a middleclass family and attended a private school. His father was a well-respected preacher. As an adult, Vincent chose a lower class lifestyle partly to hide his vices. He visited prostitutes regularly, and he was an alcoholic.

Without going into further details about what Vincent’s own words reveal about him, I have no doubt some are already offended at such slanderous accusations about his character, even though what I’ve stated is found in Vincent’s letters and in other reliable sources. The false image of Van Gogh is so strongly implanted, that even when the truth about what sort of person he actually was is presented, many will find it unacceptable. This is also seen commonly in biographies where Van Gogh’s vices are downplayed to soften who he was, not wishing to damage his reputation in any way.

Unfortunately, this softening of Van Gogh has allowed a mythological image of him to flourish. If this were the only result of the attempts to hide Van Gogh’s aberrant behavior from the public, it would only be bad historical accuracy, and what would that matter? The artist suffered for his art and died because of his suffering. Why not leave it at that?

The reason why not is because Van Gogh’s dark behavior ran far deeper than drinking too much absinthe and having his regular turn at the brothels. If the extent of his known behavior had been more completely presented, then the extent of his depravity might have been discovered earlier. It was only by what could be thought of as a confluence of coincidence through the discovery of hidden images in a Van Gogh painting that the hidden nature of Van Gogh has now been uncovered. The hidden images were found in a painting called Irises, and they happen to relate to Jack the Ripper. I was led by the implications of these hidden images to investigate if it were possible that Van Gogh was Jack the Ripper. As the research advanced, what seemed impossible became possible, and then it became clear that Van Gogh’s true nature was that of a psychopathic serial killer. By the end of three years of intense research, it was understood that Van Gogh’s psychopathic mind had led him to his first kill early on, and that he then, over many years, matured as a serial killer, ultimately creating an alter ego to murder by, which he named Jack the Ripper.

Many don’t know that Van Gogh lived in London. He was transferred there at the age of 20 by the art dealer he worked for. Just a few months later, and just a few days before his mother’s birthday, the body parts of an unidentified woman were found along the River Thames. Vincent had made his first kill. Nine months later, after being rejected by his landlady’s 19-year-old daughter, another woman’s body was found in the Thames—Vincent’s second murder.

He committed other murders after a long period of silence as he sought to become a preacher, but after he threw that aside, he began to murder again, and it was then in 1888, at the age of 35, after he moved from Paris to the South of France to find something new to paint for the upcoming World’s Fair in Paris, that he concluded it was murder that would give him the uniqueness he needed in his paintings. It was over that summer that he created the persona of Jack the Ripper, and he then traveled back to London several times during the autumn to murder again and again.

Vincent also began sending letters as Jack the Ripper to the police and newspapers, spreading his terror to London and his fame beyond. Vincent’s hidden life of murder provided him with a devilish power that he poured into his paintings, and he produced a great deal of masterful canvases during this time.

In VINCENT ALIAS JACK, I have matched up Van Gogh’s life and letters to Jack the Ripper’s deeds and letters. The connections are remarkable and astounding, and the conclusion becomes obvious and overwhelming—Vincent van Gogh was Jack the Ripper!