Fortnight of Fright: A Walk With Jack the Ripper by Kathleen

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Hi, friends! Today we have Kathleen sharing a London tour about Jack the Ripper! I LOVE the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper, so this was so fun to read! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!

I love fall. I love everything about it, the cool weather, the leaves changing, Halloween, and anything and everything creepy. Fall allows me to let my “freak” flag fly and not have people question or look at me oddly when I say I love forensics and serial killers. I’m not a fan of serial killers, I just find them fascinating and want to know more about how they think and why they do what they do. I’ve been known to spend a whole day researching them.

One of the killers I’m most fascinated by is Jack the Ripper. The fact that this case was never solved makes me even more intrigued. I’ve read so much about him and watched multiple documentaries about the murders, the evidence gathered, and whom they think did it. However, the thing I enjoyed the most was the two Jack the Ripper walks I did while I was in London.

The first time I went was with college in 2009. I studied abroad in London for a month and the classes I took were criminology and sociology courses. When I was told that going on the walk would be part of our class I was ecstatic.  I got to trace the possible steps Jack took and get credit for it. When I went back again in 2013, I took my mom on a different Jack the Ripper walking tour (from a different company). Both walks were similar, so I’m just going to merge them when I talk about them.

Let’s begin! The walks both began around the same place. Across from the Tower of London, there is a wall. The wall doesn’t look like anything special, but it’s actually part of the original wall that surrounded London and is from Roman times (about 400AD). They start at the wall because the wall is part of the barrier between the City of London police and Scotland Yard. The conflicts between these two police forces allowed Jack to skirt authorities, since they didn’t like to share information with each other.

 

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There is part of what remains of the Roman Wall (and a cameo from my friend Cait). The second picture shows the posts that separate the City of London police from Scotland Yard.

From the Roman wall we walked to Saint Botolph Without Aldgate Church, where Catherine Eddowes was seen the night of her murder. This church was significant because it’s said to be the prostitute’s church, which was the type of person that Jack liked to target.

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St Botolph’s church

From there we walked to Mitre Square, the site of the murder of Catherine Eddowes, Jack’s fourth victim. Her body was found in the southwest corner of the square at 1:45am on Sept 30, 1888, just over 128 years ago.  The square is still there today, but now it’s used as a parking lot. There is a small passageway that some believe Jack hid in while waiting for Catherine.

 

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The first picture is Mitre Square. The red car is in the location where Catherine’s body was found. On the bottomis Mitre passageway. It has been revamped since 1888.

Next we walked along the streets of London past lodging houses similar to the ones Jack’s victims were known to stay in.  Some roads we traveled on were Sandy’s Row (where a possible sighting of the Ripper occurred the morning of Mary Kelly’s death) and Frying Pan Alley.

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These are two different lodging buildings. The one up top was used by the Jewish community. The building says: Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor.

Finally we came to our last stop, Christ Church of Spitalfields. This church is right next to The Ten Bells bar, which was frequented by Jack’s victims Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly. Mary Kelly (the last victim) was said to prostitute outside of The Ten Bells. These two locations are also very close to the site of Mary Kelly’s murder (to the west) and Annie Chapman’s (to the north).  Annie Chapman, the 2nd victim, was found on September 8, 1888 on Hanbury St. Mary Kelly was discovered in her lodging room on November 9, 1888.

We did not visit the sites of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman or Elizabeth Stride murders. I can only assume this was because those sites are further away.  L

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On top is The Ten Bells. The bottom shows Christ Church and The Ten Bells (three story building on the left).

The case of Jack the Ripper still fascinates many people today. There were rumors that the murders stopped because Jack was killed, in jail, or moved away. Some believed that Jack was a man of high ranking since he had to be educated enough to dissect the body.  The rumor mill will continue to speculate for years to come, because I believe that this is one murder that will never be solved.

If you like the story of Jack the Ripper too, I must recommend the movie From Hell (starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham) and the book Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. Both give you an identity for Jack and are amazing in their own separate ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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