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.

Jack the Ripper nightmares: Five theories about the Ripper’s identity

The killer was an immigrant … a doctor … a mad midwife … Queen Victoria's grandson. 

Anne-Marie Kilday and David Nash consider what five theories about Jack the Ripper's identity can tell us about society's greatest fears over the past 130 years.

Mary Ann Nichols was the first of five women believed to be victims of serial killer Jack the Ripper

WHEN Mary Ann Nichols was kicked out of Willmott’s lodging house in the early hours of Friday morning, August 31, 1888, she was undaunted. 

Nichols, known as Polly to friends and family, had spent her last penny on alcohol, but was confident she would soon find a man who would pay for her services or let her share his bed.

“Never mind,” she said. “I’ll soon get my doss money. See what a jolly bonnet I’ve got now.” 

She staggered out the door and walked the streets of Whitechapel. 

At the corner of Whitechapel Rd and Osborn St she met a lodging house friend, Emily (or Ellen) Holland, who pointed out that it was 2.30am and urged Nichols to go back to Willmott’s. 

There had been two women murdered in Whitechapel that year and it was dangerous to be out on the streets. But Nichols refused and headed off to look for a client.

It was the last time anyone saw her alive. At 3.40am, 130 years ago today, Charles Cross was walking to work and saw something on the ground outside a stable. 

It was Nichols’ body.

He called over a friend Robert Paul. Cross assumed she was dead but Paul thought she was still breathing. They pulled her skirt down over her knees to preserve her dignity and left the scene to find a police officer.

An etching from Le Journal Illustre on February 13, 1891, depicting the Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel.A newspaper sketch of Insp Frederick George Abberline from about 1888.

Meanwhile, PC John Neil also stumbled across the body and alerted other constables.

Nobody knew it at the time, but this was the first in a series of killings by a man who would come to be known as Jack the Ripper. 

It sparked an intense police investigation under the command of Insp Frederick Georbge Abberline. However, the case has never officially been solved.

Nichols was born Mary Ann Walker in London in 1845, the daughter of a locksmith turned blacksmith.

Click full story: The Daily Telegraph

Will we ever find out who Jack the Ripper really was?

He remains the ultimate criminal enigma – and Jack the Ripper committed his dastardly deeds exactly 130 years ago.

From autumn into early winter 1888, he murdered at least five women in the streets of London, and the case continues to intrigue and horrify.

The late author and journalist Richard Whittington-Egan was intrigued his whole life. He spent much of his childhood and youth quizzing old people who had lived through it all in the capital’s East End.

Richard, who died two years ago, wrote a classic 1975 book about the Ripper, which has been out of print and selling for a fortune as it’s so rare. Thankfully, that volume has now been updated and enlarged, and is available again at long last.

As the late, great Richard demonstrated, Jack the Ripper remains a mystery, with a long list of suspects. Even the number of women he killed is anything but certain.

“Between August 31 and November 9 1888, in what has been picturesquely described as an Autumn of Terror, some person or persons unknown did murder and grotesquely mutilate five prostitutes in the East End of London,” he wrote.

Most of us know that the five women who had their throats cut were Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly.

When Jack the Ripper gave himself up!

When ‘Jack the Ripper’ gave himself up in Wexford.

It was early in the morning when Jack the Ripper gave himself up in Wexford.

At least, that’s who he told the police he was.

The man, about 25-years-of-age according to a report in The Irish Times on March 28th, 1889, had “the appearance of one who is in the habit of working in a steamer or foundry,” and readily confessed to murdering a woman he named as Mary Anne Cooper in London two years previously.

Prison records at the time indicate the anonymous man in question was Arthur Williams, a 33-year-old clerk of no fixed abode and originally from Portsmouth in England.

On his arrest on March 26th, Williams was remanded for eight days. His claims evidently did not hold water, and he was released on the 29th.

The report noted: “The police think that he is misrepresenting the facts.”

The case of Arthur Williams occurred in the months following one of the darkest periods in Britain’s criminal history - the Whitechapel murders.

For a period at the end of 1888, London’s East End was terrorised by an unknown, and still unidentified, serial killer with the moniker ‘Jack the Ripper’.

An unprecedented media frenzy followed.

‘Jack the Ripper’ preyed on women, typically prostitutes. Estimates on the total number of victims vary, but it is widely accepted that five women were brutally murdered by ‘Jack the Ripper’ between August 31st and November 9th, 1888.

Jack the Ripper cast finalised for production in Seoul from January to March

“Jack the Ripper” has finalized its cast!

On December 27, the upcoming musical revealed its starring cast and their individual posters.

“Jack the Ripper” will be celebrating its 10th anniversary through a special commemorative run starting on January 25 at the Woori Art Hall in Seoul Olympic Park. VIXX’s Ken, Uhm Ki Joon, Fly to the Sky’s Hwanhee, Jung Dong Ha, and Choi Sung Won, will all be playing the lead role of the chivalrous surgeon named Daniel.

Uhm Ki Joon, who played the role of Daniel at the very beginning of the musical’s run, decided to appear in the musical for its 10th anniversary in spite of his busy schedule.

Actors Shin Sung Woo, Seo Young Joo, and Kim Beop Rae have been cast in the role of the serial killer Jack. Lee Gun Myung, Min Young Ki, Kim Joon Hyun, and Phillip Jeong have been cast for the part of Anderson, who chases Jack in the story.

CSJH The Grace’s Stephanie and Kim Yeo Jin will play the role of Gloria, the ambitious woman who falls in love with Daniel, while Baek Joo Yeon and Sonya will play Anderson’s ex-girlfriend Poly.

“Jack the Ripper” will run from January 26 to March 31 at the Woori Art Hall in Seoul Olympic Park.

Full details:

Jack the Ripper investigator from 1888: Plan for cemetery headstone

Inspector Edmund Reid -
hunted Jack  the Ripper in 1888
There is a campaign to give policeman Edmund Reid who hunted Jack the Ripper a proper headstone.

Canterbury-born detective Edmund Reid was at the centre of the infamous Jack the Ripper investigation, before moving to Herne Bay where he led an equally fascinating life.

Now, after a century resting in a pauper’s grave, a campaign has been launched to give him the permanent headstone he deserves.

Original story:

Learn about Jack the Ripper

The five canonical Jack the Ripper 
victims August - November 1888
The Friends of the Marlborough Public Library will host a presentation on “Jack The Ripper” next month.

The Delvena Theatre Company - founded in 1992 - will present an interactive production of “Jack The Ripper” Wednesday, January 24 at 7 p.m.

This “edutainment” production was written by Fran Baron and will feature Joseph Zamparelli, Lynne Moulton and Baron.

History comes alive with the infamous “Jack The Ripper” - the identity of whom was never known.

Learn the details of the ghastly murders of five women from London in 1888 and meet the top suspects.

The audience will have the opportunity to question each of the suspects and make their own conclusion as to who the real Jack The Ripper was.

The program is funded and sponsored by the Ezra Cutting Trust-Bank of America Trustee, the Marlborough Cultural Council, the Friends Memorial Foundation and the Cummings Foundation.

For more informaton visit

Original story:

Jack the Ripper: New theory links sexual violence and a meatworker

The series of murders in East London's poor Whitechapel district in the 1880s created a frenzy of interest.

Jack the Ripper was most likely an East London slaughterhouse worker, says New Zealand-based animal welfare expert Professor Andrew Knight.

Knight said the way the prostitute victims were butchered matched techniques used by meat workers and not those of a surgeon - another popular theory.

This and other clues led him and Katherine Watson, an Oxford historian, to publish an academic paper on their Ripper theory earlier this year.

"We honestly think we have solved this case," Knight said.

BBC History: Jack the Ripper - London's East End serial killer 1888

Will Jack the Ripper ever be revealed?
The identity of the killer of five - or possibly six - women in the East End of London in 1888 has remained a mystery, but the case has continued to horrify and fascinate.

Between August and November 1888,the Whitechapel area of London was the scene of five brutal murders. The killer was dubbed 'Jack the Ripper'. All the women murdered were prostitutes, and all except for one - Elizabeth Stride - were horribly mutilated.

The first murder, of Mary Ann Nicholls, took place on 31 August. Annie Chapman was killed on 8 September. Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddoweson were murdered 30 September and Mary Jane Kelly on 9 November. These are often referred to as the 'canonical five' Ripper murders, although Martha Tabram, stabbed to death on 6 August 1888, is considered by some 'ripperologists' to be the first victim.

There has been much speculation as to the identity of the killer. It has been suggested that he or she was a doctor or butcher, based on the evidence of weapons and the mutilations that occurred, which showed a knowledge of human anatomy. Many theories have been put forward suggesting individuals who might be responsible. One theory links the murders with Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, also known as the Duke of Clarence, although the evidence for this is insubstantial.

Violence to prostitutes was not uncommon and there were many instances of women being brutalised, but the nature of these murders strongly suggests a single perpetrator.

A quarter of a mile from the scene of Catherine Eddowes' murder, the words 'The Juwes [sic] are not the men to be blamed for nothing,' were found scrawled on a wall in chalk, and it was suggested this was written by the killer. A police officer ordered the words to be removed, fearing an anti-Semitic backlash in an area with a large Jewish population. The murderer is also sometimes thought to have made contact by letter with several public figures. These letters, like the chalk message, have never been proved to be authentic, and may have been hoaxes.

Jack the Ripper was never caught and he is not thought to have killed again after November 1888.

Original report:

Jack the Ripper was a serial killer who disembowelled women

From ghost tours, to books, Halloween costumes to theatre productions – and even a museum – the Jack the Ripper industry is well and truly alive.

His is the name given to the unidentified serial killer who was believed to be responsible for a number of murders in and around the Whitechapel district of London between 1888 and 1891. It was during this period that the lives of Mary Ann Nichols (Polly), Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly were so brutally ended.

Known as the Whitechapel Murders, the killings saw an unsubstantiated number of female sex workers murdered by an unknown assailant[s]. At various points, some or all of these unsolved murders have been attributed to the notorious “Jack the Ripper”.

And yet the fact remains that Jack the Ripper is not, and never has been, real. The name “Jack the Ripper” was simply invented by a journalist to boost newspaper circulation – and it did just that as papers sold from stands all across London town with tales of “Jack’s” gruesome killings.

So while there was a killer – or even many killers – committing horrendous acts of femicide during the period, it was not done by a man named Jack the Ripper. And what can also be said with a great deal of certainty is that it was not a smog shrouded, top-hatted, cloak wafting mythical figure who was responsible.
Annie Chapman is said to be the
second victim of Jack the Ripper. 

The reality of the killings

What is real, though, are the women who were killed – and the pathological violence enacted upon them. Public recounts of their murders are often sanitised, and frequently omit the true ferocity of the violence and degradation they endured.

This includes virtual decapitations, facial, abdominal and genital mutilations, organ removal and possible cannibalisation. But yet in spite of the sexual injuries inflicted upon the bodies of the women killed, any sexual motives for the killings are frequently dismissed.

It has been argued by several feminist historians, that the whole grand narrative of the Whitechapel Murders is held aloft to all women – as a warning of what may happen should they breach their prescribed gendered limits of domesticity, geography and sexuality.

In this way, the story of “Jack” and his deeds, is built around a cornerstone of “whorephobia”. This is the hatred of, oppression of, violence towards, and discrimination against sex workers. And by extension, derision or disgust towards activities or attire related to sex work.

The sites of the first seven Whitechapel murders –
Osborn Street (centre right), George Yard (centre left),
 Hanbury Street (top), Buck’s Row (far right),
Berner Street (bottom right), Mitre Square
(bottom left), and Dorset Street (middle left).
 By Ordnance Survey; modified by User:ΑΩ
The women killed, by and large, are rarely represented as anything but deserving, diseased, destitute, addicted, immoral and unsightly. They were part of a community which was too visible and deemed verminous. And many sources at the time overtly stated that the sins of the fallen, far outweighed the sins of the hand that slew them.

The humanity and life experiences of the women killed in Whitechapel have been utterly reduced to their jobs and the roles they played in society. They have become more akin to cultural tropes of “disposable street prostitutes” than once living women. More unreal than the unreal “man” who is supposed to have killed them.

A cultural icon

Failing to acknowledge the horrific historical truth of these murders has undoubtedly impacted perceptions of Jack the Ripper today. He is seen as an “icon of crime” rather than a horrific serial killer who disembowelled women.

Worse still, since the era of the crimes, hundreds of people globally have lost their lives to killers who have confessed to emulating “Jack”. And the press still refers to “Jack the Ripper type crimes” when acts of femicide have been committed, particularly if the victims work in the sex industry.

“Jack” did not forge his ubiquitous cultural status, his multi-million pound industry, or his “immortality”. “Jack the Ripper” may be a made up construct but with lives still being taken in his name, it is high time that our cultural relationship with “The Ripper” changed. One way of doing this is by addressing the way such modern crimes are reported.

The World Health Organisation’s 2014 report, which looks at how violence can be prevented, highlights the impact language around such violence plays. And given that “Jack’s” name remains associated with an ever growing list of victims – from around the world – it is clear this is something that needs to change sooner rather than later.

Original link:

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