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The Lodger In January 1911 McLures Magazine published a story by Marie Belloc Lowndes entitled The Lodger The story revolves around a retired couple both formerly servants who make extra income by renting out rooms in their home Unsuccessful as landlords and facing the prospect of hard times they are saved when a single gentleman rents their upstairs rooms at a higher rate than usual The extra money permits the husband to once again indulge himself in a daily paper wherein he follows closely a series of murders of harlots committed by a madman calling himself The Avenger The new lodger is a quiet gentleman who is a bit idiosyncratic Deeply religious he spends his days reading the bible aloud He is given to nocturnal wanderings leaving the house late and not returning until early morning On those nights when he is at home he conducts strange experiments on the gas ring in one of his rooms The wife becomes suspicious Noting that her lodgers late night disappearances coincide with the murders she begins to believe that he is The Avenger Thus was born for the public the mythical lodger who turns out to be Jack the Ripper The strange bible quoting gentleman with the deep seeded hatred of whores who spends his days alone and spends his nights prowling the city for prey Belloc Lowndes story went on to become a best selling novel and no less than three films have been based on it One of these films The Lodger a Story of the London Fog was made by a young Alfred Hitchcock and is generally excepted as the first truly Hitchcockian film Mrs Belloc Lowndes is supposed to have gotten the idea for this story by overhearing a snatch of dinner conversation wherein one guest was telling another that his mothers butler and cook claimed that had once rented rooms to Jack the
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