Via Rare Newspapers
Although John Lennon's murder on December 8, 1980 was one of the most straightforward "shot by a crazy fan" situations in the history of straightforward crazy fan murder cases, it still attracts its share of conspiracy theories by sole virtue of a celebrity winding up dead. Some say it was a two-man job, and an innocent man was convicted. Others claim Mark David Chapman was the killer, but was hypnotized to do the deed by the book The Catcher in the Rye. But the true connoisseurs of ball-slappingly stupid conspiracy brain-poops know who really pulled the trigger:
Stephen King ...
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
... who was working with Ronald Reagan ...
... and Richard Nixon.
Wait, wh- oh, never mind. That there's the face of a man that could totally shank a motherfucker.
Yes, according to a particularly inspired conspiracy enthusiast (who I'm specifically not calling a loon, for loons are a fine folk and I have no wish to offend them), horror luminary Stephen King got his start in the success game by acting as a CIA assassin for the Gipper and Tricky Dick, who sent him messages in the headlines of TIME magazine and Newsweek. This seems a little like overkill for busting a cap in an ex-Beatle, but I fully admit my (relative) ignorance re: hashing complex governmental revenge schemes. Still, if the powers that be are that prepared to rain doom on pop singers with funny glasses and obnoxious opinions, how come Bono's still out there?
There's no need to describe the plot of the film this would make -- chances are it's playing behind your eyelids right now. This is The Manchurian Candidate meets Michael Mann shit right here, with maybe a dash of Secret Window thrown in to evoke the central Maine writer character properly. Hell, I'm so busy thinking about all the potential of this movie, I can't even begin to imagine the optimal cast (ball's in your court, comment section). Really, the only thing standing between this idea and greatness is probably Mr. King himself, who has been confronted by the man behind this theory on several occasions, yet refuses to comment no matter how many "YOU PULLED THE TRIGGER, STEVE! RAAAAHHHH!" signs he's waving at him. What's up with that, anyway? Could it be because he has something to hide? After all, he has used the "writer who winds up killin'" character in several of his works.
Well, maybe it's that. Or maybe it's the fact that the dude who keeps screaming this bullshit to everyone who listens not only used to more or less actively stalk King, but did so while driving a van that looks like this:
Via Jeff Lawlor
"And #2 on our list of Cars Stephen King Should Probably Avoid is ..."
Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Jack the Ripper.
Jack the fucking Ripper.
The most high-profile serial killer in the Western world. The one that got away, the murder machine who managed to keep his identity hidden from conclusive proof, despite the fact that he was and remains pretty much the most investigated non-war criminal in history.
A large part of his success is the fact that he quit while he was ahead -- five victims, and that was it. Stab-stab-stab-stab-stab-retire. That's one of the weirdest things about the case. As anyone who has watched crime dramas can attest, it's actually pretty rare for a serial killer to just stop doing their thing; they usually keep going until they're caught. That's why many people assume that the Ripper either was on a mission with specific targets (the various "royal conspiracy" theories) or had something incapacitating happen to him, thus ending the killings.
But what if it's all wrong? What if Jack the Ripper never stopped?
No, I'm not talking about ghost Jack the Ripper, or superpowered Jack the Ripper, or even space Jack the Ripper -- those have all been done before. I'm talking about merchant seaman Jack the Ripper: a global menace that has women in every harbor. And a number of very confused detectives. Because those women are dead.
According to former murder squad detective and expert Ripperologist Trevor Marriott, it seems likely that Jack the Ripper's true identity was Carl Feigenbaum, a German sailor and convicted killer who was in London during the Whitechapel murders. His boat left soon after Mary Kelly, the final "official" Ripper victim, was murdered, which in itself wouldn't be much in the way of proof if it wasn't for the fact that extremely similar murders kept happening in countries as diverse as Nicaragua, Germany, and, as it happens, right back in Whitechapel. Many of those murders matched Jack the Ripper's modus operandi, and an awful lot of them seem to have occurred while Feigenbaum's boat was in the harbor. The Nicaraguan murders -- six women in Managua, the capital city -- were even labeled "some of the most horrible crimes the city has ever seen," in a similar fashion to the Ripper-London dynamic.
Oh, and there's also the fact that Feigenbaum was caught and eventually executed for a distinctly "Ripper-like" murder in New York, a few years after the Whitechapel killings.
"Uh ... Parlay?"
Although he does seem like an awfully suitable candidate, I'm not outright claiming that Feigenbaum is the true Jack the Ripper. Neither is Marriott, actually; he fully admits he's just analyzing old evidence and determining the most likely suspect from his point of view. Still, think of the potential of the story -- Jack the Ripper, sailing from harbor to harbor, creating a horrifying reputation in each and moving on like it ain't no thing. Every new city would see new challenges, new police officers foolishly attempting to hunt him down. One of them would be played by Sean Bean, complete with all the inevitable hilarity that ensues. They'd try to stop Feigenbaum from following his true calling, but he'd show them. He'd show them all!
Wait, shit. I'm making Jack the Ripper a protagonist here, aren't I?
Pauli Poisuo will not be selling film rights to his story until the statute of limitations expires. Follow him on Twitter.