This inconspicuous looking text was the impetus behind a rash of suicides in the late 18th century. Written by Goethe, this epistolary novel followed the sorrows of a young man whose true love is betrothed to another. The book accounts the man’s decent into depression and ultimately suicide.
“I am as you see by this note amongst the slogging town of Brum and mean to play my part well & vigorously amongst its inhabitants. I have already spotted from its number 3 girls and before one week is passed after receiving this 3 Families will be thrown into a state of delightful mourning. Ha. Ha. My bloody whim must have its way do not be surprised. 15 murders must be completed then I kill myself to cheat the scaffold. For I know you cannot catch me & may l be ever present in your dreams.”
~Jack the Ripper, 1888~