It’s a sure bet that anyone visiting London during Halloween season will be grabbing a chance to take part in the capitals most infamous dark history tour . . . Jack the Ripper.
The identity of the world’s most notorious serial killer who terrorised the streets of Whitechapel with a macabre series of murders between August and November 1888, has continued to baffle the world.
FOR THE LAST 130 years there has been wide speculation among crime enthusiasts, armchair detectives and an army of authors about who the murderer really was. An insane barber? A deluded medical student? Or even a prince of England. All have taken their turn in the dock.
Whatever the truth, many sites associated with London’s most notorious series of murders can still be visited – and of course Jack the Ripper tours remain the most popular dark themed activities among the traveller. Here are some of the sites and locations associated with the Victorian killer.
Ten Bells Pub
The Ten Bells pub is located on the junction of Commercial Street and Fournier Street in Spitalfields and has close ties with at least two of the Ripper’s victim’s, Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly. It is said both women had their last drink in the pub the night they met their end. So it’s highly possible jack himself drank here in the establishment.
Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols murder site
Mary Ann Nichols, known as Polly to her friends is regarded as the first of the Jack the Ripper victims. Her body was discovered lying in the street by two men on their way to work at 3.30am on 31st August 1888. Her throat had been cut back to the bone and her abdomen mutilated. A chilling calling card of the Ripper. The location was originally called Bucks Row but was changed to Durward Street some years later and can be found at the back of Whitechapel underground station.
The murder of Annie Chapman
Not too far from Bucks Row (Durward Street) the body of Jack’s second victim, Annie Chapman, was discovered in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street in the early hours of 8th September 1888. The site was eventually demolished in 1969, but not before being filmed for the documentary The London nobody knows starring James Mason. The location is now part of the Truman Brewery carpark.
Location of the Elizabeth Stride murder
Elizabeth Stride was the first victim in the night known as the “Double Event”, where the Ripper murdered two women in the space of 45 minutes. Strides body was discovered at 1am on 30th September in Dutfields yard, just off Commercial Road in a street called Berner Street. The narrow yard where the murder took place has now been replaced by a school playground and the street has been named Henriques street.
Location of the Catherine Eddowes murder
The second victim on the night of the Double Event was Catherin Eddowes, a 45-year-old from Wolverhampton. Her body was found in the dimly lit corner of Mitre Square. It was the first and only time the Ripper had moved out of his comfort zone in the East End and committed an attack in the city of London. Eddowes was heavily mutilated and her throat had been cut twice back to the bone. Mitre Square still exists but has been modernised lately and is surrounded by modern office blocks.
The Mary Jane Kelly murder Location
Regarded as the final victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary Jane Kelly was murdered in her small tiny room at 13 Miller’s court. Her room was located only a stone’s throw away from the Ten Bells pub, in Dorset Street. The street saw major changes over the years before being completely wiped out in 2017 with a new office block being planted on top of its location. However all is not lost, a public walkthrough has been made inside the middle of the building and so it’s still possible to come and stand on the site where her room once stood.
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