|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 was completely bald, but had no other distinguishes features. However, on more than one occasion, Rory pondered at 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 Rory remarks that his clothing was slightly too large for him and seemed new, yet oddly outdated as though it were from a nineties sitcom like Frasier.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 confessed to Rory that he had possessed the Sight and had also been a Shade when he was alive. He was in the Special Branch of the force for three years, and had obtained a medical degree from Oxford (which accounts for the precision of his victims' wounds in contemporary times). Newman also trained as a psychiatrist at St. Barts Hospital. He was killed by a bullet to the head during a Shades investigation at King William Street station. His body was recovered from deep within the tube tunnels by Sergeant Maybrick and the other officers who were called to the scene. He had been clutching his terminus (in the form of a Sony Walkman) tightly in his hand when he died. Newman suspects that this might have been the reason why he came back as a ghost, and it inspires him to later test his theory on Rory.
Becoming the Ripper Copy-Cat Edit
In The Name of the Star, Newman began to imitate the murders of the infamous Jack the Ripper. This caused widespread panic throughout the greater London area. Because the ability to see ghosts is so rare, the police had very few leads; the only existing footage of one of the murders showed that the woman was murdered by an 'invisible man'. Newman became fixated on Rory when he realised that she was one of the few people who could see him, though Rory did not realise that he was a ghost and took little notice of him at the time. He later encountered her at Wexford Sixth Form as she was sneaking 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 her. It is revealed that Newman possesses extraordinary physical strength for a ghost when he throws Boo in front of a passing 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 wanted to investigate how and why a particular person becomes a ghost. After he followed Rory into the downstairs Hawthorne dormitory bathroom, he reached out and slashed her across the abdomen as she turned around. As an experiment, Newman then forced a terminus into Rory's hand as she slowly began to bleed out. As Rory began to lose consciousness, she noticed Jo, another ghost, force her way through the locked wooden door. Jo confronted Newman about harming Boo, and evidently decided that Newman was too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Jo seized the terminus from Rory's hand and aimed it at Newman, all the while knowing that the device would destroy her as well. Newman was terminated, and Jo terminated herself in the process. 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.