Killer Contact – Jack the Ripper – S01E01
Because there simply aren’t enough paranormal shows on right now, SyFy has spun up yet another one. This one is titled Killer Contact and for their first outing they take on the challenge of solving the mystery of Jack the Ripper. I suppose if you’re going to make a splash you need to jump in with both feet and this intrepid band of never before seen investigators takes on the most infamous figure and most notorious location there is. So, what do they come away with?
First of all, it was hard to take this show seriously as the investigators refer to themselves as "the front man", "the antagonizer", "the role player", "the brain". It’s sounds like something you’d expect to see playing an online game with 15 year olds. It’s amazing to me how investigator say they need to be taken seriously and this is a serious field of inquiry and then we get this sort of lame crap.
But let’s move on and see what happens. The reason the team came to Whitechapel is because of some new paranormal stirrings at the Ten Bells Pub, a pub that was frequented by 3 of the Ripper victims and quite possibly Jack the Ripper himself. While visiting a friend who lives above the pub, a woman claims she was pushed down the stairs by some unseen force. She also claims to have heard the footsteps of someone just outside the door, but no one was there. Another report claims to have seen the full apparition of Mary Kelly standing in the room.
The team sets up to investigate the pub and soon learn that the fear and dread people feel in the basement is related to a slew of machinery that keeps turning on and off. They move to the main pub area to try make contact with one of the victims. It seems Catherine Eddowes is answering the call. As they ask questions their tri-field meter spikes multiple times. They go through the list of victim and only the name of Catherine gets a response.
I’m not sure why, but they have images made of two of the suspects, rather than all of them, and ask if either of the men is the killer. They get no response. If you’re going to make a lineup how about you include everyone?
Adam and Austin take another crack at the basement and feel they get an EVP that says "leather". This coincides with the sound of a door shutting. I don’t hear the word "leather" but they run with it. They take the word, not the recording, to a Ripper expert and he says "leather" would refer to one of the suspects Leather Apron. They jump from there to Aaron Kosminski and are told they need to visit the Princess Alice pub which the prostitutes frequented.
At the new pub it’s Annie Chapman that comes through and she knows the name of her killer. When asked if there was a leather apron by her dead body there is a spike on the tri-field meter in response. They go through several names of suspects, but the meter spikes high at the mention of Aaron Kosminski.
This is where things get a little stupid. Molly, the Role Player, decides she’s going to try and seduce Kosminski to try and get a confession from him. So she dresses like some cyborg prostitute and wanders around the basement. Why the hell is she lurking down there? Why not in the main pub area? But this only last a few minutes as she scares the crap out of herself and changes out of her stupid outfit. They still want to talk to Kosminski, just in the main area and with Molly in regular clothes. So I have to ask, what was the point of all that?
Now that they feel they have their suspect they ask Kosminski if he committed the murders. The meter spikes in response. When they ask if he’s Jack the Ripper it spikes again. It appears they have a confession.
Interestingly, Kosminksi is almost universally dismissed as a real suspect as he has no connection to the murders. But here we have a team who believes it’s Kosminski admitting to the murders from well beyond the grave. Where does that leave us?
While the subject matter of this episode was intriguing, the investigators and their methods leave a lot to be desired. None of them really seem to know what they’re doing and sorry to be rude, but Molly just seems like baggage. Is her only skill to dress up in stockings for a few minutes then find something else to wear? They had some interesting ideas, but their approach is so haphazard. Why didn’t they take the actual EVP to the Ripper expert? I think they’re grasping at the word "leather" in that. They don’t capture any solid evidence the entire time and they come across as desperate to make this ground zero for something related to the Ripper murders. It’s hard to take anything they say and do seriously. SyFy seems just as desperate to repeat the success they had with the now controversial Ghost Hunters and will try anything to get some ratings. You don’t have to look any further than Deep South Paranormal to realize that.
While it’s not uncommon for the first episode of any series to have some flaws and growing pains, I don’t know about this latest offering. The idea was interesting, but I don’t know about these investigators. It’ll be interesting to see what the next episode brings us.
Who stuck around to the end to see the big reveal? What do you think? Does this answer the question of the identity of Jack the Ripper? Is Kosminski the man researchers have been looking for for the last 125 years? Does it turn the Ripper legend on it’s ear? Will authors of Ripper lore take this new evidence into account?
Oddly, I kind of hoped they would ask about H.H. Holmes and his new link to the Ripper murders.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Aaron Kosminski Named as Jack the Ripper Through DNA Evidence
- Jack the Ripper ‘was invented to win newspaper war’
- Ripper Street – I Need Light – S01E01
- Killer Contact – The Butcher of Iquique – S01E06
- Dr. H. H. Holmes and The Whitechapel Ripper – A Review
- Whitechapel Series 1
- Whitechapel Season 2
- Bloodstains – Jeff Mudgett
- The Hunt for Jack the Ripper
- Ghost Mine – Ghosts of the Geiser Grand – S02E05