|Former Shade ; Copycat Ripper|
|Aliases:|| Jack the Ripper|
|Appearances:|| The Name of the Star
The Madness Underneath (Mentioned)
- “The more I thought about it, the less I could explain why the guy was so creepy, aside from the fact that he was hanging around the school. There was just something about him that made my brain twitch and gave me the very strong feeling that he shouldn’t be there.”
- ~ Rory, from The Name of the Star
Alexander Newman was a ghost, a Jack the Ripper copycat, and the primary antagonist in The Name of the Star. His status as a ghost rendered him invisible to most people and all CCTV footage during his murders, which left the police without any leads. Rory's sighting of Newman made her an important witness in the Shades' investigation.
Rory describes Newman in her police statement as a man who appeared to be (and to therefore have died) in his late thirties. Alexander is completely bald, but has no other distinguishes features. However, on more than one occasion, Rory ponders on the slight oddness of his attire. While casually walking the streets outside The Flowers and Archers, he wears a suit piece complete with a jacket and tie. Rory remarks that his clothing is slightly too large for him and seemed new, yet oddly outdated as though it were from a nineties sitcom like Frasier.
Human Life Edit
Newman would have been born in the 1950s (or perhaps early 1960s), as he died in 1993 while his late thirties or early forties. He got the Sight at the height of June 1978, while riding his motorbike on a familiar strench of dirt road, when a ghost knocked Newman off the bike with a tree branch. He was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, and quickly realized he had to lie about seeing ghosts if he ever wanted to be let out.
After he was released, Newman finished medical school at Oxford (which accounts for the precision of his victims' wounds in contemporary times), and went to St. Bart's, where he met a lot of unfriendly ghosts who may have worsened his mental health. After becoming a licensed psychiatrist, he began working with prisoners, including four teens with the Sight. Shortly afterwards, Newman was recruited by the Shades and given the one thing he had wanted since he was seventeen - a weapon. However, Newman soon became a Mad Scientist-Doctor type who, while trying to recreate Near-Death Experiences on prisoners to understand how Shades were created, accidentally killed a young girl. He was fired (as much as he could be, anyway), and his terminus taken away from him. Shortly thereafter, Newman shot the other Shades when they wouldn't give him a terminus, even though they were unarmed, and was killed by a (possibility self-inflicted) bullet to the head during a Shades investigation while he was clutching a terminus ( disguised as a Sony Walkman) as he died, which Newman suspects allowed him to come back as a ghost, (possibly a very powerful poltergeist: a disruptive, destructive, malevolent ghost who, among other things, can pick up inanimate objects, physically attack humans, and haunt a particular person, not a location --In this case, The Shades,-- to draw them out. ) Later, he tries to test this theory on Rory as a way to "reward" her.
Becoming the Ripper Copy-Cat
In The Name of the Star, Newman begens to imitate the murders of the infamous Jack the Ripper. This causes widespread panic throughout the greater London area. Because the ability to see ghosts is so rare, the police have very few leads; the only existing footage of one of the murders shows that the woman was murdered by an 'invisible man'. Newman fixates on Rory when he realises that she is one of the few people who can see him, though Rory did not realise that he was a ghost and took little notice of him at the time. He later encounters her at Wexford Sixth Form as she sneaks back into the building. Rory describes him as creepy, and realises that something is odd when Jazza claims that she did not see anyone there. The Shades police division (of which Newman was once a member) take testimony as a lead in their case.
Boo, one of the Shade members, attempts to end Newman's reign of terror by sneaking up and using a terminus device on him. Newman becomes aware of the ploy and savagely diverts Boo by throwing her in front of a car.
Newman later demands that Rory meet him at King William Street station, a disused London Underground station. Upon investigation, the current Shades discover that a man named Alexander Newman was killed there in an incident dubbed the 'King William Street Incident'. Therefore, Newman is requesting that they rendezvous at the location of his death. Rory goes to meet him at King William Street station as per his request, but brings Stephen, Boo, and Callum along with her as back-up. The station is the setting of the Shades' first and final united confrontation with the copy-cat killer.
Newman wants to investigate how and why a particular person becomes a ghost. After he follows Rory into the downstairs Hawthorne dormitory bathroom, he slashes her across the abdomen as she turns around. As an experiment, Newman forces a terminus into Rory's hand as she slowly begens to bleed out. As Rory begns losing consciousness, she notices Jo, another ghost, forcing her way through the locked wooden door. Jo confronts Newman about harming Boo, and evidently decides that he's too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Jo seizes the terminus from Rory's hand and aims it at Newman, all the while knowing that the device would destroy her as well. Newman and Jo are both terminated. It is unknown if the device forced Newman to 'move on' to an afterlife, or if he simply ceased to exist from that point on.