1988 — Albert Goldman’s “The Lives of John Lennon” is published

One of the most controversial celebrity biographies of its era, Albert Goldman’s “The Lives of John Lennon” was almost universally denounced as a hatchet job. Goldman alleged, among other things, that Lennon was manipulative, anti-Semitic, dyslexic and schizophrenic. Lennon was also, apparently, involved – in a highly negaitve way – in several suspicious deaths, including those of Stuart Suttcliffe and an unborn child of Yoko Ono (who he apparently caused the miscarry by kicking her in the stomach during an argument).

Lennon’s associates, friends and family were near unanimous in their condemnation of the book. Cynthia Lennon (his ex-wife) and Yoko Ono both denounced it – Ono even threatened a libel suit at one point. Paul McCartney advised people not to buy it when asked about it in interviews (and he was one of the few people treated well in its pages). Other Lennon biographers have largely dismissed the book, and many of those Goldman interviewed in researching it later claimed that their words were misquoted or otherwise misrepresented.

Referenced in:

God Pt II — U2

This date is approximate – I have been able to narrow it down no more precisely than “late August”, and have thus chosen the latest possible date in August.

1888 – Mary Ann Nichols becomes the first victim of Jack the Ripper

He wasn’t the first serial killer, but he was one of the earliest of what we now recognise as the modern urban serial killers. And even today, he’s certainly the best known – which is doubly odd since the identity of the killer dubbed Jack the Ripper is still unknown (and likely to remain that way).

Although there are those who attribute two earlier murders – those of Martha Tabram and Emma Smith – to him, Mary Ann Nichols was the first murder to be agreed by all Ripperologists to be his doing. Nichols was an occasional prostitute and a heavy drinker, who was found dead after being savagely mutilated and left to bleed out outside a house on Buck’s Row, in Whitechapel. She was 43 years old.

Referenced in:

Jack the Knife – Falconer
Nice Man Jack – John Miles
Whitechapel – Manilla Road
Anthology of Evil – Infernäl Mäjesty
Jack the Ripper – Screaming Lord Sutch
The Curse of Whitechapel – Vernian Process