Picture of Buck's Row Whitechapel in London's East End (now Durward St) - site of Jack the Ripper's first murder on 31 August 1888. Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols' body was discovered 3 metres back from the corner of the tall brick building.

Take a Ripper virtual tour from the first murder scene. Click on the map below to view all 5 murder scenes and other key locations in the hunt for the world's first recognised serial killer.

Buck's Row Whitechapel

Jack the Ripper's London 1888

View Jack the Ripper Walk, Whitechapel, Greater London UK in a larger map

This link will take you to the key points in London where Jack the Ripper carried out his 5 murders
over 71 days from 31 August 1888 to 9 November 1888. You can use this map to make your own Jack the
Ripper walk around London or to trace the movements of the Whitechapel killer whose identity has
never been established.

Was infamous Australian murderer Frederick Bailey Deeming, Jack the Ripper?

The death mask of Frederick Bailey Deeming who was widely
believed to be Jack the Ripper. Deeming murdered his wife
soon after arriving in Melbourne from London.
Picture: State Library Victoria.


HE may — or may not — have been Jack the Ripper.

But the Melbourne suburb of Windsor was home to one of our city’s most intriguing murderers — Frederick Bailey Deeming.

Deeming — who was known by many aliases — murdered his first wife and four children in the UK in 1891 before he moved to Melbourne and murdered his second wife — burying her under concrete in the fireplace of their rented home.

Meet the man who was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, and step inside the incredible Victoria Police investigation that put a noose around his neck.

Frederick Bailey Deeming pictured after his

capture in Western Australia in 1892.

Sketch of Deeming and his first wife, whom he

murdered in Rainhill in the UK.

Deeming, under the alias Albert Williams, emigrated to Melbourne in December 1891 with his wife Emily on board the ship Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The pair rented a house in Andrew Street in Windsor — and on the same day Deeming bought cement and tools from a store in High Street under the name Mr Drewn.

Emily Williams was murdered the same month by her husband, on Christmas Day 1891, and buried under the fireplace and covered in concrete.

Deeming then disappeared.

On the 3rd of March 1892, the owner of the Windsor house was showing a prospective tenant through when they were overcome with a terrible smell.

They moved the stone at the bottom of the fireplace discovered what could be a body and called the police.

It took several officers a few hours to dig the remains out of the fireplace and they described the terrible scene they found in their report — the body oozing and the scalp detached.

“I was quite ill from the sickening smell. The uniform and clothing I wore on that occasion was destroyed as they were completely saturated with the stink,” Constable G.L Webster wrote in his report.

The body was thought to have been in the fireplace for several months and police soon worked out that the last tenant was a Mr Drewn and his wife.

They then quickly discovered that Mr Drewn had ordered concrete, a shovel and other tools from the High Street ironmongers around that time, and the store’s owner gave police a description of Deeming.

Police also found burnt papers in the fire and discovered Drewn was an alias for Albert Williams and they issued a warrant for his arrest for the murder of Emily.media_cameraIllustration of Deeming killing his second wife Emily Williams in Windsor in 1891. Picture: Supplied.

It was then discovered that Deeming had several other aliases — the police discovered his real name Frederick Bailey Deeming.

Victoria police soon established regular communication with authorities in England, and Lancashire police informed them that Deeming’s first wife and four children were murdered in Rainhill and also buried under the fireplace in the same way as his second wife Emily.

Before long the people of Melbourne — and indeed the entire country — were fascinated by the story of Deeming and his many aliases.

The media began publishing serialised columns that released the details of the case and links were made that Deeming could in fact be Jack the Ripper.

After his arrest he wrote a book in jail admitting he was the famous London murderer but it was never proven.

A news report about Jack the Ripper. Deeming
 was listed as a suspect in the famous London
 murders in the late 1800s. 
Dr Rachael Weaver from the University of Melbourne says Deeming became a popular figure at a time when dark forms of popular culture were the entertainment du jour.

At the time everyone was reading serialised novels, and each day a new piece of information was coming out about the Deeming case.

“One of the things that made the Deeming case so exciting to people was that it came in the wake of other international murder cases, like the Jack the Ripper sensation which was unfolding a few years earlier in the UK,” says Weaver.

“It unfolded in a way that was similar to the Jack the Ripper case in that it was called a newspaper murder. When they made that link to him being Jack the Ripper it was probably a perverse sense of national pride. Like we’re cosmopolitan too, we’ve got this big murder case too.”

The search for Deeming continued and it was discovered later that he had a new girlfriend who he intended to marry, Kate Rounsefell, and had taken on yet another identity as the aristocratic Baron Swanston.

Deeming’s large ginger moustache would be his undoing — with each of his aliases linked to this distinctive feature.

He was in Sydney with Rounsefell and then moved to Western Australia, and through his correspondence with her, police traced him to Western Australia.

Ms Rounsefell was about to travel to Perth to meet Deeming but after reading a newspaper report soon discovered her fiancee Baron Swanston was the killer.

Deeming was captured in Western Australia and brought back to Victoria as public interest in the case was reaching a peak.

“The railway journey was in every respect remarkable. At every country station the platform was crowded with men, women, and children, who struggled to get a view of the prisoner, and assailed him with loud cries of ‘Murderer’, ‘Jack the Ripper’ and so on. At first the prisoner met these attacks with unmoved composure, but their constant repetition soon told on his nerves,” The Argus reported in 1892.

The inquest jury found that Deeming had been responsible for Emily’s death, and he was then committed to face trial in the Supreme Court on 22 April.

During his trial, the media storm was massive and the public were convinced that Deeming was responsible for the Whitechapel murders committed by ‘Jack the Ripper’ in London in the late 1880s.

London police were unconvinced, as it wasn’t thought that Deeming was in England during the crimes.

Deeming’s trial in Melbourne lasted three days and he was found guilty and sentenced to hang. He was executed on 24 May 1892 at Old Melbourne Gaol.

After his death, the Deeming story continued to capture the public’s imagination and books, plays and even a wax works exhibition were dedicated to the murders.

Jack the Ripper and Black Magic

I recently attended a murder mystery dinner theater. It was a delightful experience and I am hoping there will be more of these events in the coming months.

My fellow diners at the table were all mystery buffs and conversation covered many topics associated with the genre.

Of course no murder conversation is complete without at least a passing mention of that most famous serial killer — Jack the Ripper. This is usually brought up by a confirmed Ripperologist.

Have you ever heard of a Ripperologist? Neither had I. However, more than 1,000 curious and presumably stalwart individuals, not to mention my table companions, have.

Even an actual magazine all about Jack the Ripper exists, and this bi-monthly publication has been in circulation for more than 15 years.

Read on:

DNA expert says contamination is issue in Jack the Ripper case

CONTAMINATION of evidence is one of the issues facing DNA experts involved with the exhuming of Jack the Ripper's last known victim in Britain.

CQ University's Professor Ian Findlay - a renowned tester of DNA linked to Jack the Ripper - is talking to the media this week after the news of the victim's exhumation.

Full story:

Is Jack the Ripper buried at Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane?

Brisbane urban legends, from ghosts to gold.

Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane
Could Brisbane be the final resting place for the world’s most famous serial killer? Some historians seem to think so. 

Rumours have long persisted that Jack the Ripper jumped ship, literally, and sailed to Australia from London after committing his murders. 

Some “Ripperologists” believe Jack was in fact Walter Thomas Porriott buried alongside his wife Bessie at Toowong Cemetery. Porriott was in England when all five confirmed murders were committed and when he sailed to Australia in November 1888 the murders stopped. Porriott was also known to be a misogynist – he particularly hated prostitutes. 

A few years ago the grave was vandalised, with some commenting it could have been devil worshippers trying to raise Jack’s ghost.

Jack the Ripper's final victim: Set to be exhumed following new theory on the killer's identity

If the exhumation licence is granted, she will become the first Ripper victim to ever be exhumed.

The body of infamous Victorian murderer Jack the Ripper's final victim is likely to be exhumed following the release of a new theory on the identity of the killer.

Jack the Ripper identity: mystery ‘solved’ in new book

New book introduces a brand new suspect, Francis Craig, after identifying the real name of the Ripper’s final victim - his own wife.

The body of Jack the Ripper’s final victim is set to be exhumed as a new book claims the world’s most famous serial killer was her estranged husband.

The Ministry of Justice has indicated it will grant the first ever exhumation licence for the grave of a Ripper victim after examining the new theory, which is serialised exclusively in The Telegraph.

Leading a Jack the Ripper tour for a night in London's East End

You can re-trace Jack the Ripper's footsteps.
A Jack the Ripper walking tour is an essential item on many visitors to London to-do lists.

TO THE uninitiated it may seem like the swarms of people furtively darting down a non-descript alleyway off Aldgate High Street after dark are involved in the kind of nefarious behaviour that characterised the East End of old.

Exploring the alley itself will not provide much more insight: all that is there is a cobblestoned square surrounded by office buildings and a school playground. The only thing particularly striking about it is that it is a dark place for, one can only assume, particularly dark deeds.

It is precisely this quality that makes Mitre Square one of the City of London’s most abstract and beguiling attractions. Straddling the border of the City and the eastern boroughs, Mitre Square plays a central role in one of the most notorious stories in London’s sordid history. In the early hours of 30 September, 1888, the body of local prostitute Catherine Eddowes was found in Mitre Square. She had been brutally butchered in a matter of minutes on the very cobblestones that cover the square to this day.

She was the fourth victim of the City’s most infamous serial killer of all time. She was the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper.

As gruesome as it may be, ‘dark tourism’ is a subsection of modern travel that has experienced rapid growth in recent years. There is something inappropriately fascinating about revisiting sites that hold such a history of terror and, depending on your views on morality, evil in its purest form. This is what makes a Jack the Ripper walking tour through East London an essential aspect of many travellers’ to-do lists.

World-renowned Ripperologist Donald Rumbelow, former curator of the City of London Police’s Crime Museum, leads one such walk departing from Tower Hill Underground Station. Rumbelow was the man chosen to instruct Johnny Depp on Ripper lore in preparation for his role in the feature film From Hell and speaks with great authority on the wild variety of theories associated with the identity and motives of the murderer lurking in the shadows of 1888.

I took Rumbelow’s tour of the Ripper’s murder sites in the summer, at a time when I was far less confident wandering around areas like Whitechapel, Stepney and Bethnal Green than I would become as the year went on. When my housemates made the passing comment a few weeks ago that they would love to do a Ripper walk themselves, the solution became clear: I would lead my own tour of the East End. I would become, for the night at least, a Ripperologist.

The rendezvous point for the Inaugural Paul Bleakley Ripper Tour was at Crosswall, a stone’s throw from the Tower Hill Station and within walking distance of the first noteworthy sites associated with Jack’s reign of terror: the prostitute’s church St Botolphs-without-Aldgate and the place where Catherine Eddowes met her untimely end at Mitre Square.

Jack the Ripper's London.
My unofficial tour has its first awkward moment on a corner in Goulston Street, the place where the Ripper infamously left a piece of Eddowes bloody apron as he fled the scene of her death. It is on this corner, as I explain some of the more fantastical conspiracy theories related to the Ripper legend, that we cross paths with an official walking tour consisting of around thirty amateur historians trying to crack the case of the Jack the Ripper 124 years after the killing spree ended. The awkward moment was averted when the official tour group takes position on an adjacent corner. I chalk this up as a win for my first tour group in the notoriously competitive industry of Ripperology.

The tour twists and turns its way through the streets of East London, stopping off at the increasingly brutal murder sites on White’s Row (now a parking lot), Hanbury Street (empty office space) and Durward Street (renamed after the street’s original name ‘Buck’s Row’ became synonymous with prostitution and murder). I have tried to cater for everything on my first ever tour as a Ripperologist: we stop on Brick Lane for the standard Bangladeshi curry and I have accounted for the time it would take for a pint at two separate ‘vintage’ pubs along the way.

Following the path of the Ripper is the perfect, albeit disturbing, way to explore the rich history of London’s inner east. On a cold winter’s night it is easy to imagine the foggy alleyways that Jack would have walked, and the terror that would have been felt by every person living in the rough and tumble world of Victorian London.

A letter allegedly sent by the Ripper to chief of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee George Lusk challenged those in pursuit to “catch me if you can”. Over a century later, the hunt is still on. It is up to the amateur historians walking in the Ripper’s footsteps to do the best they can. Answer the call, join the hunt. And get yourself a decent curry along the way.

Jack the Ripper 1888 - Mad killer of London's East End



The East End of London in 1888 is often depicted as being one vast slum that was inhabited by an immoral and criminal population who were little better than savages.

Whereas this was most certainly true of certain sections, it is, perhaps, a little unfair to tarnish the entire district with the reputation of being a hotbed of vice, villainy, drunkenness and debauchery.

It should be remembered that many of the writers and journalists who portrayed it in this way had vested interests in so depicting it, be it to attract attention to the area's more unsavoury aspects and locations in order to bring about social change, or simply because there was little newspaper-selling shock value in calling attention to the law abiding, hard working citizenry that also lived in the East End of London, and which may well have made up the majority of the local population.


Of course parts of the East End were, without doubt, lawless ghettoes where the people lived in appalling conditions.

But this was also the case with the rest of London. Chelsea, Westminster, Lambeth, Marylebone and even the City of London, all had their enclaves that were as bad as, if not worse than, the East End slums.


However, largely as a result of the huge amount of press coverage afforded the Jack the Ripper murders - which did take place in one of the East End's most densely populated, crime-ridden and vice infested quarters - it is the reputation and appearance of the small section where the murders occurred that has, to an extent, become the most enduring image of the East End as a whole.


But it is an image that was greatly undeserved by much of the East End in 1888 and, more importantly, was largely undeserved by the district of Whitechapel - the name of which is now synonymous the world over with the Jack the Ripper crimes.

Yes, Whitechapel had its slums, its no go areas and its criminal populace. But it also had some very respectable areas and the large percentage of those who lived there were extremely hard working and exceptionally law abiding.


Indeed on the 19th September 1888, at the height of the Jack the Ripper scare, Canon Samuel Barnet, the vicar of St Jude's church on Commercial Street - who was an ardent campaigner for social change in the area and who was, therefore, familiar with the slum areas - wrote to The Times newspaper and pointed out that "... The greater part of Whitechapel is as orderly as any part of London, and the life of most of its inhabitants is more moral than that of many whose vices are hidden by greater wealth..."

But, of course, these were not the type of people that the social reformers and philanthropists could utilise in their battle to bring about change. Nor were they the type of people that journalists could shock their readers with in order to increase newspaper sales. Their sensation seeking readers thirsted after salacious accounts of crimes and criminals, or rogues and unfortunates, drunken brawls and dark deeds of infamy.

Thus the honest, hard working East Enders found themselves largely ignored, and it was the areas, admittedly large, underclass that became the stereotypical East Ender in the eyes of many.

As one commentator has put it:-

"A shabby man from Paddington, St. Marylebone or Battersea might pass muster as one of the respectable poor. But the same man coming from Bethnal Green, Shadwell or Wapping was an “East Ender”; the box of Keating’s bug powder must be reached for, and the spoons locked up… it became a concentrated reminder to the public conscience that nothing to be found in the East End should be tolerated in a Christian country."

Did London's serial killer Jack the Ripper play for the Marylebone Cricket Club?

Jack the Ripper lurked across London's East End in 1888.
Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unidentified serial killer who operated in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. Attacks ascribed to him typically involved female prostitutes who lived in the slums in the area. The large number of murders in the East End during this period adds uncertainty to how many victims were killed by the same person.

Five of the eleven Whitechapel murders, called the Canonical Five, are widely attributed to this notorious serial killer, because of the similarity of injuries of the victims and apparent lack of motive in the crime. All the five victims had their throats cut from left to right, and their abdomen mutilated after death.

Despite police investigations and many studies afterwards, Jack the Ripper was never identified. He remains one of the most intriguing characters in the criminal history of England. In this article, Sports-nova explores the life of one of the key suspects in the Jack the Ripper murders, a fine cricketer of the time whose mysterious evanescence towards the end of 1988 marked the end of the Ripper murders.

Montague John Druitt (15th August 1857 – December 1888) was noted for his skills as a bowler. He played for the Kingston Park Cricket Club, and the Dorset County Cricket Club during the start of his cricket career. In 1882-83 he toured the West Country with Incogniti, which is said to be the third oldest wandering cricket club. In 1883 he played for another wandering team, the Butterflies.

Montague Druitt.
While working at Blackheath, Druitt joined the local cricket club, Blackheath Morden, and became the club’s treasurer. It was a well-connected club, the President being politician Sir Charles Mills and Stanley Christopherson, who later became President of the Marylebone Cricket Club, was one of the players. As the club grew, it merged with other local sports association and came to be known as Blackheath Cricket, Football and Lawn Tennis Company. Druitt soon took over as the company’s secretary and director.

Druitt’s prowess at the game came to public notice while playing for Blackheath. On 5 June 1886, in a match between Blackheath and a touring team called the Band of Brothers, led by Lord Harris, Druitt bowled Harris for 14 and took three other wickets. Blackheath won by 178 runs. A few weeks later, he dismissed England batsman John Shuter, who was playing for Bexley Cricket Club, for a duck, and Blackheath won the game by 114 runs.

The following year, Shuter returned to Blackheath with a Surrey County side that included Walter Read, William Lockwood, and Bobby Abel, whom Druitt bowled out for 56, but Blackheath lost to Surrey.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC):
On 26 May 1884, Druitt was elected to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on the recommendation of his fellow Butterflies player Charles Seymour, who proposed him, and noted fielder Vernon Royle, who seconded his nomination. One of the minor matches he played for MCC was with England bowler William Attewell against Harrow School on 10 June 1886 where MCC won by 57 runs.

Early life and career:
Druitt was born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. He was the second son and third child of prominent local surgeon William Druitt. He was educated at Winchester College, where he excelled at many sports, especially cricket. On 17 May 1882, two years after graduation, Druitt was admitted to the Inner Temple, one of the qualifying bodies for English barristers. In 1885 he set up a practice as a barrister and special pleader. He is listed in the Law List of 1886 and 1887 as active in the Western Circuit and few other places.

Apart form this, to supplement his income and help pay for his legal training, Druitt also worked as an assistant schoolmaster at George Valentine’s boarding school at Blackheath, London from 1880.

Disappearance and death:
On 30 November 1888, Druitt was dismissed from his post at the Blackheath boys’ school. Quoting his brother William’s testimony to a local newspaper, he was dismissed because he “had got into serious trouble”. But records fail to provide further clarity on that. He then disappeared mysteriously.

The next records of him were found in the Blackheath Cricket Club’s minute book, that recorded on 21 December 1888 that he was removed as treasurer and secretary in the belief that he had “gone abroad”.

On 31 December 1888, his body was found floating in the River Thames, off Thornycroft’s torpedo works. His body was in possession with large amount of money in cheque and in gold. It was believed that he had committed suicide but the reason behind that remained unearthed.

Druitt and Jack the Ripper:
Removal of organs after mutilation of the abdomen of the Canonical Five victims gave rise to the speculation that the murderer had some surgical knowledge. In February 1891, the MP for West Dorset, Henry Richard Farquharson, announced that Jack the Ripper was “the son of a surgeon”. The description of the man as was announced resembled Druitt to a large extent.

George R. Sims, a Victorian journalist noted in his memoirs, The Mysteries of Modern London (1906) about the Ripper: “body was found in the Thames after it had been in the river for about a month”. There were many other similar comments that strangely matched Druitt.

While the murders were apparently motiveless and the mutilation of the bodies appallingly screamed of mental illness of the mysterious Jack the Ripper, there are evidences that Montague John Druitt also suffered from an hereditary psychiatric illness. His mother suffered from depression and was institutionalised from July 1888. She died in an asylum in Chiswick in 1890. His maternal grandmother committed suicide while insane. A note written by Druitt and addressed to his brother William, who was a solicitor in Bournemouth, was found in Druitt’s room in Blackheath. It read, “Since Friday I felt that I was going to be like mother, and the best thing for me was to die.”

Druitt’s story also matches the descriptions of one of the three unnamed suspects in Major Arthur Griffiths’ Mysteries of Police and Crime (1898); Griffiths was Inspector of Prisons at the time of the Ripper murders.

Griffiths’ memorandum, the near coincidence between Druitt’s death and the end of the murders, the closeness of Whitechapel to Druitt’s apartments in the Inner Temple, the insanity that was acknowledged by the inquest verdict of “unsound mind”, and the possibility that Druitt had absorbed the rudimentary anatomical skill through observing his father at work, led many experts to believe that he might well have been Jack the Ripper.

However, some experts hold the Ripper as the culprit of two more murders outside the Canonical Five. Though such an inclusion is heavily debated, they would certainly remove any possibility of Druitt being the Ripper: one of the murders occurring after his death and the other at a time when he was playing a cricket match far away. But as most believe that the Ripper was responsible only for the Canonical Five murders, Druitt continues to be remembered as one of the key suspects.

Jack the Ripper: Maggots, mortuaries, bullets - Wellcome Collection opens Forensics exhibition

Camera supposedly used to photograph 
Jack the Ripper © Metropolitan Police, Heritage Centre

The Wellcome Collection's murderous new exhibition concludes a multimillion pound development in dark and unflinching styleClick on the picture to launch

Maggots from the body of a 1930s murder victim, a sketch of Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim on the mortuary slab, a piece of scalp alongside the bullet that pierced it. Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime could easily have been a macabre gore-fest. Instead, with the Wellcome Collection’s characteristic blend of art, history and medicine, it becomes much more.

The opening of Forensics marks the conclusion of the Wellcome’s multi-million pound transformation. With The Institute of Sexology continuing to draw huge audiences upstairs, the two temporary exhibitions – on sex and death – show that the full spectrum of human experience remains at the heart of the new Wellcome Collection.

Poison bottle, blue for arsenic in
 solution© Wellcome Library, London

The exhibition is dark and unflinching but ultimately focused on very human stories. It traces the course of a forensic investigation from crime scene to courtroom, and from the emergence of the field through to today. Along the way, the exhibition features notorious cases and ground-breaking techniques, including the development of mugshots, fingerprinting and DNA profiling.

Throughout, the personal stories of victims, accused and professionals remain central. For instance, Isabella Ruxton and her maid Mary Rogerson were murdered by Isabella’s partner in 1935.

The case is known for its innovative use of forensic methods, including facial reconstruction. The technique, whereby photographs of the victims were superimposed onto photographs of skull fragments and cross-referenced in order to identify the remains, is displayed here in a sequence of haunting images.

Famous pathologist Bernard Spilsbury – whose cases included Dr Crippen and the ‘Brides in the Bath’ murders – features throughout the exhibition. The meticulous index cards detailing autopsies that he conducted provide an insight into Spilsbury’s dogmatic, borderline obsessive approach which would later bring his objectivity into question.

Liver with stab wound and knife© Barts
 Pathology Museum, Queen Mary
 University of London

By contrast, a series of videos with today’s forensic professionals clearly demonstrates their dedication, skill and respect for both the dead and those that they leave behind. Their frank testimonies are inspiring and humbling in equal measure.

There are no shortage of shocks in the exhibition. It is direct and at times unsettling. In ‘The Morgue’, you can see gruesome forensic illustrations from across history and listen to a real-time recording of an autopsy.

However, this is tempered by thought-provoking juxtapositions of past and present. Nine watercolours from 18th century Japan depicting the decomposition of a body are displayed opposite artistic photographs of a contemporary ‘body farm’. It shows that what we might think of as a very modern discipline is rooted in a much deeper understanding of the workings of the body.

Hold up man killed (1941)©
Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery, UK

Elsewhere, our enduring fascination with the darker side of human nature is highlighted. From a pamphlet – subtitled “The Naughty Doctor” and released to mark the execution of Dr Crippen – to clips from modern murder mysteries and courtroom dramas, it is hard to escape the pull that this dark side has exerted on us for centuries.

Across the exhibition, contemporary art, films and photography offer a different perspective. Installations exploring the mass execution of prisoners in the Chilean desert in 1973, war crimes in former Yugoslavia and a specially-commissioned piece on the aftermath of the Bosnian war powerfully convey the role and significance of forensics in unexpected circumstances.

This is not, as you might expect, an exhibition to turn the stomach, but rather one to tug at the heartstrings and one that, you suspect, will linger long in the mind.

You can see Forensics: the Anatomy of Crime at the Wellcome Collection, London until June 21 2015.

Jck the Ripper: Introducing Michael Ostrog - arrested in a Burton pub

RIPPER SUSPECT . . . Michael Ostrog was dramatically arrested in a Burton pub.

Murder at the Inn.

Burton Bridge Inn.

THE infamous story of Jack the Ripper has captured the imagination of many over the years but few will know of Burton's very own connection to the tale.

Now, in a chapter of a new book, author James Moore has revealed the dramatic story of a man that would one day be a prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper case.

He was arrested in what now is the Burton Bridge Inn.

The story goes that, on October 5, 1873, Michael Ostrog, who was being hunted by police, was tracked down to the pub in Bridge Street, that was then known as the Fox and Goose Inn.

The author, 42, said: "Michael Ostrog had a really chequered history for various different thefts and crimes.

"They tracked him around the country until they made a dramatic arrest in what is now the Burton Bridge Inn.

"When he was arrested the officer threw all the cutlery across the room away from Ostrog so that he couldn't use any of it as a weapon.

"What they didn't do though is search him, as he later pulled a gun on them at the police station."

Serial killer Jack the Ripper went on to commit his famous crimes in 1888 by which time Ostrog was free again and catapulted towards the top of the suspects list.

To this day, no-one can be sure that Ostrog was not the man behind the hideous crimes.

Mr Moore said: "In a time where were losing pubs every week it's really important to highlight the history of them.

"The book reveals a lot of aspects about many pubs that are still in business today including in this case the darker side of crimes that took place in them."

The book charts the relationship between crime and drinking institutions across the country, including the chapter based in Burton.

Mr Moore is a journalist living in Cheltenham and his book 'Murder at the Inn' is his seventh book.

The book is now on sale at bookshops and also available online.

Read more:

Jack the Ripper: The five most-convincing theories

There have been over 100 suspects investigated for the Jack the Ripper murders that occurred in Whitechapel, London between 1888 and 1891. 

Some are pretty unlikely - suspects include charity founder Thomas John Barnardo and Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll - but there are 5 outstanding theories that are pretty difficult to ignore.

Read on and decide for yourself... who was Jack the Ripper?

1. The Vital Shawl Theory

The Suspect: Aaron Kosminski

Who? Polish barber and mental patient

Supporting Evidence: Mitochondrial DNA found on a shawl belonging to Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes implicates polish barber Aaron Kosminski.This theory has only solidified in recent years, causing a furore in the press... but what do you think?

Read the Book: Naming Jack the Ripper - Russell Edwards 

2. From London to Chicago

The Suspect: H.H. Holmes 

Who? Doctor, hotel owner and verified serial killer

Supporting Evidence: Holmes was certainly a brutal killer, but his origins are shrouded in mystery. A composite computer sketch based on previous witness testimony does seem to indicate a striking resemblance to 'America's First Serial Killer', H.H. Holmes. Is it possible that the most notorious serial killer in British history was also the dread terror of America?

Read the Book: Bloodstains - Jeff Mudgett 

3. The From Hell Theory

The Suspect: Sir William Withey Gull 

Who? Famed physician to the British royal family

Supporting Evidence: Gull is certainly the most popular Ripper candidate in popular culture - the theory being that a prostitute was going to bear an illegitimate heir to the throne - so authorities unleashed a madman (with medical knowledge, which Gull had) to disguise her death in a spate of killings...

Read the Book: From Hell - Alan Moore 

4. The Painted Devil Theory

The Suspect: Walter Sickert 

Who? British painter

Supporting Evidence: After botched surgery to correct a fistula on his penis, Sickert was unable to have intercourse. His accusers allege that this gave him great rage against women - and that his paintings reflected poses seen on the Ripper's victims.

Read the Book: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed - Patricia Cornwell 

5. The 'Jack the Ripper was a Woman' Theory

The Suspect: Lizzie Williams 

Who? Infertile wife of royal physician John Williams

Supporting Evidence: Williams was suspected of the murders, which many think she committed out of anger at her inability to bear children of her own - leading her to vent her frustrations by attacking the sexual organs of other women. Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle famously supported the female villain hypothesis, writing on what he called 'Jill the Ripper'.

Read the Book: Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman - John Morris

Jack the Ripper Murders Come to Life at West Caldwell Public Library

Jack the Ripper's five
 canonical victims.
Imagine a world in which the average age of death is 30 and the infant mortality rate is 55 percent.

Imagine a world where you work six days a week in a dingy, grimy and dangerous factory that spews noxious gases and that everyday you return home to a three-story tenement that you share with 17 other desperate, sickly souls.

The world is London’s East End at the denouement of the Victorian Age, a world rife with crime, disease and rampant poverty. It is a world with no opportunity for advancement and no rights for the working man - or more pressingly, the working woman. It is a world that gave birth to perhaps the most infamous serial killer in Western history, the man known as Jack the Ripper.

The world and Jack the Ripper’s 1888 reign of terror in London was skillfully brought to life by Dr. Mark Vogel in a slideshow lecture given to a rapt audience at the West Caldwell Public Library on Thursday.

Vogel is a clinical psychologist at the Lyons VA Medical Center; he has worked as a mental health screener, an outpatient therapist, a mental counselor, and has had articles published in New Jersey Psychologist. He has also worked extensively with parolees, an experience he partially credits with his interest in the workings of the criminal mind.

But Vogel has a very specific interest in Jack the Ripper, one that is heavily shared among the purchasing public.

While a lurid fascination with the work of serial killers has been manifested through countless movies, television series and books, Jack the Ripper might be the only killer who can support an entire cottage industry. Those who study the London icon, the “Ripperologists,” have produced a staggering amount of wildly diverging theories and attendant media products to peddle those theories.

Some of it is preposterous, some of it is plausible, and much of it is commercially viable for the authors. Over a century after the Whitechapel Murders, Jack the Ripper books continue to sell.

Vogel believes that the sustained interest in Jack the Ripper murders is attributable to several factors.

“[Jack the Ripper] was never caught and at this point it is highly unlikely any new evidence will ever emerge to identify him. Guys like Ted Bundy or the BTK Killer [Dennis Rader] were caught and profiled. Jack is still a mystery.”

The gruesomeness of the murders plays a part. Slashed throats, mutilated faces and disemboweled organs were all part of the Ripper oeveure. Sex probably plays a part too - although there was no evidence that the Ripper raped any of the Whitechapel victims, all of them were female prostitutes.

Vogel also believes the epoch in which the murders took place holds a large sway over the public.

“There’s a certain romanticism to the Victorian Age that I think appeals to Americans,” he said.

The popular image of Jack the Ripper, according to Vogel, remains one of a suave gentleman, riding over cobblestoned London streets in a horsedrawn carriage, wearing a long black overcoat and a top hat. And of course, with a face that has remained frustratingly, intriguingly blank.

It is a far cry from the slacks-wearing, Honda-serial killer of the modern age.

While misconceptions of the Ripper prevail, certain things can be reasonably ascertained about the mystery man from the evidence and the context of the times. He was a single white male, likely in his 30s as “violent pathologies take time to develop,” according to Vogel. He lived alone and was employed in some fashion; as Vogel points out, all of the murders took place late at night or on the weekend. He almost certainly lived in the East End, as his knowledge of the area helped him evade capture.

He was organized and prepared, attacking each of his victims with a calm that belied his violent nature.

He would be able to mask his urges and appear normal. No prostitute, no matter how desperate, would chance taking a late night recess with a strange looking man once the murders escalated and London was thrown into chaos, Vogel said.

Far from a raving lunatic or sophisticated conspiracist, Jack the Ripper was a relatively nondescript, middle-class man.

Vogel does not let the names and lives of the Ripper victims be subsumed by the legend. The lives and deaths of Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly were described with painstaking thoroughness. Shifting testimony, conflicting timelines and an air of hysteria all contributed to the Ripper puzzle.

The slideshow presentation also made the case concrete and visual. Several graphic pictures of the victims were shown, drawing gasps from the assembled audience. Vogel, who journeyed to London to 2014, also displayed pictures of the modern incarnations of the Whitechapel murder sites. The gleaming edifices of modern London appeared alongside the grimy squalor of 19th century London. A particularly stark counterpoint was drawn between the Mitre Square of yesteryear and the Mitre Square of today. In 1888, the square where Eddowes was murdered was home to a grocery and empty houses; today an idyllic park stands in the shadow of the Gherkin Building.

Attention was also paid to the unscrupulous media environment of the time, in which a raft of competing newspapers attempted to top each other by printing the most sensationalized rumors. It is even suspected that the original “Dear Boss Letter” might have been fabricated by two journalists. Vogel also explored the contentious political atmosphere of the time and the internecine struggle between the government and lawn enforcement agencies.

The audience was an active participant throughout, with many people asking questions and venturing theories. The mechanics of the murders and their escalating nature were of particular interest. The Ripper’s first likely victim, Tabram, was stabbed multiple times. His last likely victim, Kelly, had her face mutilated and her abdomen completely eviscerated.

One audience member remarked that it seemed as though the Ripper was “warming up.”

“Serial killers, for lack of a better term, get better and more involved with the murders as they go on,” Vogel said.

Buck's Row, Whitechapel: The
scene of Jack the Ripper's
first murder on
 31 August 1888.
Vogel also discussed the various Ripper theories that have played out in popular culture. He cited the popular theory that Sir William Gull, Queen Victoria’s surgeon at the time, could have been the Ripper because of the killer’s extraction of his victim’s organs displayed uncommon surgical skill.

“There is no real evidence linking [Gull] to the murders. The Ripper might have had some base anatomical knowledge, but not necessarily the knowledge of a doctor…he might have worked in a mortuary or butcher shop, for example.”

“When you slash through a person, you’re bound to hit some vital organs,” he said.

Multiple audience members thanked Vogel and praised the presentation.

“I was already familiar with a lot of the crime psychology, but I thought it was very well-presented,” North Caldwell resident Joan Pestka said.

Notable area magician The Amazing Kreskin was also in attendance. He praised Vogel’s knowledge and presentation style and commented on the media aspect of the story.

“It seems like the aspect of sensationalism in the media still exists, where every story gets saturated with coverage very quickly,” he said. “Maybe we haven’t learned much.”

“I think it was a great presentation,” Supervising Librarian Ethan Galvin said. “The crime presentations seem to really draw an active crowd.”

On the trail of Jack the Ripper, using strips of bicycle tyre nailed to the soles of his boots

Fred Wensley:
the greatest-ever detective?
‘Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes’ is the subject of the 11th book by Dick Kirby, the ex-Flying Squad officer who retired to peaceable west Suffolk. 

STEVEN RUSSELL finds out what it’s all about

A scene from the Siege of Sidney Street in January, 1911. Latvian burglars killed three policemen before barricading themselves in a flat. Fred Wensley went with several officers. They were greeted with a volley of shots

Question: So: do tell about Fred Wensley, the subject of your latest book.

Answer: Fred Wensley was quite simply a legend. From very humble beginnings, he rose to the top of his profession by sheer determination and ability. Remember, as Wensley battled the criminals of London’s East End, there were few (if any) scientific aids. Fingerprint evidence was not admitted as evidence until Wensley had 17 years’ service; pathologists examining bloodstains at the scene of a murder could only say they were possibly human or, at least, belonging to the family of great apes.

No; Wensley relied upon observations, surveillance, informants, interrogation and witness identification.

Whitechapel High Street
 in Victorian times.
Q: I hear he tried to catch Jack the Ripper by using some clever, if basic, tricks.

A: As a new Pc, he was drafted into Whitechapel to attempt to catch “Jack the Ripper” and, as an aid, nailed strips of bicycle tyres on the soles of his boots. It goes to show how inventive he was.

Later he would tail suspects using a borrowed wagon, in a variety of disguises, and he quite blithely disregarded instructions not to cross divisional boundaries without the local superintendent’s express permission. He just did it, and when he caught the villains in the act, the end justified the means.

Utilising these methods eventually led to the formation of the Flying Squad in 1919.

Dick Kirby's latest book.
Q: Didn’t he also arrest a double murderer, while off-duty, within months of joining the CID?

A: Wensley and a friend were off-duty when they were called to a double murder – William Seaman had killed an elderly man and his housekeeper and had got onto the roof of the house.

He was followed by the two officers and when it was clear that he was going to jump, Wensley rushed downstairs and as Seaman landed with a thump he was arrested by Wensley, who discovered that Seaman’s pockets were full of jewellery stolen from the victims.

Wensley was praised by the trial judge, and when Seaman was hanged it marked the last triple execution at Newgate prison.

Q: Was Fred really The Greatest Detective of All Time?

A: The short answer is yes, of course he was. Where he led, others – such as Fabian of the Yard – followed. He put the CID on a proper footing at New Scotland Yard, so that in the years to come it acted like a beacon for the finest crime-fighting force in the western world.

Q: But (and there’s always a “but”) wasn’t he a naughty boy at times?

A: Wensley was a controversial figure. He assisted in the investigation of a man found dead on Clapham Common in 1910 – he caught the murderer, Stinie Morrison, within days, who alleged Wensley had framed him. However, he was found guilty, although there is controversy to this day as to his guilt, as indeed there is about the guilt of Edith Thompson who, with her lover Freddie Bywaters, was hanged for the murder of Mrs Thompson’s husband.

Wensley smashed up the East End gangs from Eastern Europe: the Bessarabians and the Odessians and the more home-grown variety, the Vendettas. But with all hard-working detectives, there will always be allegations of impropriety made against them. I know!

Q: What drove detectives like Fred in those days, and do you think the same motivations are alive in officers today?

A: Wensley was motivated by the desire to do a tough job well. Had he been unable to do so, he would have been replaced – as simple as that. But it was far more than that; he possessed great pride in his work and it paid off. Do today’s officers have the same motivation? Perhaps, but a whole set of different rules apply today.

Q: Fred was a former Somerset gardener who rose to become Chief Constable of the CID. Could that happen today?

A: It would be impossible for someone of Wensley’s limited education to rise to the same dizzy heights that he did, nowadays or in the future. Wensley was a man of his time – that’s all there is to it.

Q: Do you have fears about the future of policing in England?

A: With swingeing Government cut-backs in every sector of the emergency services it is difficult to look with any kind of optimism regarding a safe and well-policed society.

Q: Finally... you once told us this book could be your last. Is it?

A: Ah-ha! No, it’s not! I’m working on the next one, which is entitled The Wrong Man – The Shooting of Steven Waldorf and The Hunt for David Martin.

You’ll recall police shooting up the yellow Mini in Earls Court in 1983. I was part of the subsequent manhunt for David Martin, who had escaped from custody, having shot a police officer. It’ll be published some time in 2016.

• Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes: The Casebook of Fred Wensley OBE, KPM – Victorian Crime Buster is published by Pen & Sword Books (currently offered at £20)

Officer’s notebook: Dick Kirby

• Born 1943, in London’s East End

• Spent nine ‘miserable’ years in the printing industry

• In 1967, by now married to Ann and the father of two young children, answered an advert from the Metropolitan Police

• Became a member of the Criminal Investigation Department and then the Serious Crime Squad

• Spent five years catching international crooks

• ‘The Sweeney’ – Scotland Yard’s √©lite Flying Squad – was his home for eight years, where he dealt with the most formidable and violent armed robbers.

• He put success down to speed, experience and intuition

• Ill-health forced his retirement in 1993

• He and Ann moved to Suffolk from Upminster and he developed a writing career

• First book was 2001’s Rough Justice – Memoirs of a Flying Squad Detective

• Proceeds went to two police charities.

Jack the Ripper: Mystery of Mysteries since 1888

Jack the Ripper: Never identified.
Jack the Ripper will be in focus at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

He was one of the most infamous serial murder cases in the world. 

His identify is by far the most intriguing aspect of the murders. 

But within this mystery are countless other mysteries. Was he a doctor? 

How was he able to commit the murders without being caught? 

Why did he stop killing? 

These and many other aspects of this case will be discussed by Dr. Mark R. Vogel, a clinical psychologist and self-confessed “Ripperologist” who has studied the case and visited the murder sites for himself. 

Registration is requested. 

To register call the library at 973-584-2400 ext. 501 or e-mail

Jack the Ripper: New Suspect revealed in Channel 5 documentary

Jack the Ripper - A new suspect after 127 years.
Even now, nobody knows who Jack the Ripper was, and his identity has been mused upon for more than 100 years by criminologists.

He murdered prostitutes in 1888, but this programme may be able to shed new light on the mystery killings.

Bedfordshire detective Trevor Marriott is joined by a forensics expert to see if new technology can shed any light on who Jack the Ripper was.

A 3D autopsy helps to examine the victims of the Ripper, and the results they come up with could change the course of what people believe about the killings.

The detective finds similar murders in America and Europe, and he is led onto the trail of a man who was executed in New York in 1896.

The killings have spawned many TV series and films in the past, including Ripper Street, which is on Amazon Prime and was on the BBC.

Jack the Ripper: New Suspect Revealed is on Channel 5.

Jack The Ripper, And Other Homicidal Immigrants

I couldn’t say if the thesis of this book (The Bell Tower: The Case of Jack the Ripper Finally Solved… in San Francisco ) is true or not. 

It’s one of those things where the writer says “Aha! I see it all now!” and falls in love with his theory.

The year is 1896: The Jack the Ripper murders stop as mysteriously as they started. Five years later, in a San Francisco church, brutally murdered priests, choirboys, and parishioners begin to appear. 

The pastor, an English priest, bears an uncanny resemblance to the one eyewitness report of the sole survivor of a Jack the Ripper attack in London years earlier. But another man has already been arrested, tried, and convicted for the San Francisco slayings….

Could be true, could not be true. But what it made me think of is that immigrants are frequently fleeing not persecution but prosecution.

If you were Jack The Ripper, and had committed all those murders in Whitechapel in the 1880, you might very well feel that London was too hot for you and emigrate to America, which was wide open at the time. And that would be too bad for the inhabitants of San Francisco…

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories of that period used to feature Americans and Colonials who were either wanted by the authorities or had been involved with gangs fleeing the other way, to England–leading to murders in quiet English towns.

But leaving aside wild theories and fiction, is the United States today letting in anyone like Jack The Ripper, someone who’s been killing people overseas and might continue in America?

Yes, lots of them, they’re called refugees!

This is especially obvious with the Chechen refugees who bombed the Boston Marathon, but also applies to various Hmong, African,Iraqi and Middle Eastern refugees.

They’re “refugees from the violence” all right–frequently violent rebels against whoever is in power, who’ve spent years killing people, and aren’t guaranteed to stop when they come to America.

Here are few examples of that: