Luke Jerod Kummer

If you like true crime podcasts, be sure to download this episode!

Author Luke Jerrod Kummer uncovered new evidence about the real-life case that captivated New York during the Gilded Age–Jack the Ripper. In this episode, he shares the new evidence that’s completely shifting the thoughts on who committed the murder. It’s mind-blowing!

Also in this episode:

  • Choosing between being a professional harmonica player or a writer
  • Problems with the investigation
  • How stuff gets lost in history
  • The conviction of the wrong person
  • Inspector Thomas F. Byrnes’ power
  • How “Frenchie’s” lack of English hurt him
  • Being tortured yet never giving a confession
  • The key that was withheld
  • The research behind his book Takers Mad
  • Discovering new evidence
  • The man who turned in the key
  • Why he chose to make this an audio-only book
  • How he chose the narrator


“Be enthusiastic and try new things.” ~Luke Jerod Kummer

“Why did he have this key and withhold it while he knew there was an innocent person lingering in prison?” ~ Luke Jerod Kummer

“The important thing to note is that despite everything that happened [torture] to Ameer Ben Ali, he never confessed. He never confessed to the crime.” ~ Luke Jerod Kummer

“I think there are great rewards for going out and still looking for the remaining things that have not been digitized.” ~ Luke Jerod Kummer


Luke Jerod Kummer is a writer and an editor. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington PostNew Republic, the WashingtonianBloomberg Businessweek, and the Village Voice. In 2015, he was honored to edit Shanoor Seervai’s bestselling nonfiction Kindle Single, Daughters of the Red Light, the story of a Wall Street Journal reporter’s return to India and her struggle to chronicle the lives of women and children in Mumbai’s red-light district. Kummer’s 2019 historical novel, The Blue Period, depicts the tragic events that led a young Pablo Picasso to paint somber portraits in nocturnal shades before Cubism turned the artist into a celebrity. Booklist called it “lush biographical fiction,” and the story was featured in American Way, Literary Hub, The Millions, Full Stop magazine, and Marie Claire Greece. Takers Mad, Kummer’s new Audible Original, picks up the trail of a real-life murder that transfixed New York during the Gilded Age.

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