Book about Jack the Ripper's victims wins top UK nonfiction prize

Hallie Rubenhold claims the Ballie Gifford Prize for exploring the lives of 'ordinary people' killed by the Ripper.

    One of history's most notorious murderers, Jack the Ripper's identity remains unknown [Alastair Grant/AP Photo]
    One of history's most notorious murderers, Jack the Ripper's identity remains unknown [Alastair Grant/AP Photo]

    A book that seeks to restore the humanity of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper has won the United Kingdom's leading nonfiction literary award.

    Historian Hallie Rubenhold was awarded the 50,000 pound ($65,000) Baillie Gifford Prize on Tuesday for The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. 

    Rubenhold shifts the focus from the killer who terrorized London's East End in 1888 - the subject of hundreds of books - to his victims. 

    Rubenhold said they were "ordinary people, like you and I, who happened to fall upon hard times."

    Stig Abell, who chaired the judging panel, said the book "spoke with an urgency and passion to our own times".

    The award recognises English-language books in current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. 

    SOURCE: AP news agency