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Rachel Dobkin has come to see her psychic advisor, Madam Nerva. After years of bitter disagreements and financial wranglings with her estranged and violent husband, Rachel wants to know what the spirits think she should do next. Through Madam Nerva the spirts tell Rachel not to go near her husband again… but will she heed their warnings?

The case of Rachel Dobkin is another face of wartime crime and not the work of the Blackout Ripper – but it reveals a common thread. It shows how some men thought the disruption and chaos of war would help them get away with murder.

Further reading:

  • Carroll, Niamh. ‘The History of the Boundary Estate’, Bethnal Green London, 14 May 2021,
  • Cole, Mike. ‘The Battle of Cable Street’, Historic UK.
  • Cowan, Colin. ‘Mental observation wards: an alternative provision for emergency psychiatric care in England in the first half of the twentieth century’, History of Psychiatry,
  • Eilers, Nicole Kvale. ‘Emigrant Trains: Jewish Migration through Prussia and American Remote Control, 1880 – 1914’, in Brinkmann, T. (ed), Points of Passage: Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain 1880 – 1914 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013).
  • Lefebure, Molly. Murder on the Home Front (London: Sphere, 2013).
  • Marks, Lara V, Model Mothers: Jewish Mothers and Maternity Provision in East London 1870 – 1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)..
  • Odell, Robin. Medical Detectives: The Lives and Cases of Britain’s Forensic Five (Cheltenham: The History Press, 2013).
  • Roberts, Elizabeth. A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890 – 1940 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).
  • Summerscale, Kate. The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

The Host

Hallie Rubenhold

Hallie Rubenhold is the host of Bad Women: The Ripper Retold. She is an award-winning historian, author, and consultant. Her research has centered on the often-neglected lives of women. Several of…