When my villain first appeared in 1837, it was unclear what he was. As far as my other posts go, victims have described him as a man, various animals, and a demon. In my most recent article titled “A Well-Heeled Villain”, he is described as a man as tall as 10’! He also, “…wore a black helmet and cape, and a tunic emblazoned with the letter ‘W’”, yet was this all a hoax or was it real?...
It is believed that the Spring-heeled Jack’s career lasted close to 40 years. There were sightings of him in New-York City and some that were even reported in the 1970’s. According to this article, that makes him “truly a career criminal”. If this was true why was has he never been caught?
While this man or thing was a terror in the streets of London, there does not appear to be any reports of law enforcement getting involved in a search for him (I will look into this). The Lord Mayor, did however declare him a “public menace”.
The author explains this by saying that the Spring-Heeled Jack may have been more of a comic-book creation than an actual criminal. His theory stems from the history of the “penny dreadful”, a periodical from the 19th century which he describes as resembling today’s comics. This periodical was full of Spring-Heeled Jack and his frightening encounters. The author writes that the appearances of Spring-Heeled Jack in this magazine may have motivated some towns-folk to tell tales of their own even if real crime reports may have been the origin of such a character in the first place.
The combination of actual crime reports and the media representation of a flying supervillian, may have stirred London into creating their own urban legend!