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.
Jack the Ripper's London 1888
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.
Literary hoaxes including the Jack the Ripper letters
The Double Falsehood or the Distressed Lovers had long been written off as a clever fraud. But now Professor Brean Hammond, of the University of Nottingham, claims it was the Bard’s work after all.
Scholar Lewis Theobold claimed the play – first performed in 1727 was a lost drama by William Shakespeare.
Now Shakespeare publishers Arden concede he was right and are publishing the play with all the others.
Professor Hammond has spent 10 years trying to figure out what the truth was about the play – that the Bard probably worked with dramatist John Fletcher on.
The plot is certainly typical of Shakespeare’s work and that of other playwrights working at the time.
It contains beautiful women, both rich and poor, a posh villain, madness, a near rape and a marriage that gets interrupted.
Prof Hammond said: “Various people rubbished Theobald, one of them the poet Alexander Pope, who had a great deal of clout.
“The early consensus was that Theobald had either forged it or passed it off as written by Shakespeare when it clearly was not Shakespeare's work.”
He studied the play in detail and established it contained signature features that marked it out as Shakespeare’s.
Great literary hoaxes
Ossian poems. Ossian is the supposed author of a series of poems that around 1760 Scottish poet James Macpherson claimed to have translated from ancient sources of Scots Gaelic. At the time the works were very influential – even Napoleon was a fan. However, debate about their authenticity raged until fairly recently and it’s generally agreed that Macpherson collected folk tales to which he added his own invention.
Hitler diaries. In 1983 a German magazine published excerpts from what they claimed were the diaries of Adolf Hitler. Apparently handwriting analysis identified the writing as Hitler’s but very quickly doubts grew and they were proved to be written on modern paper.
Howard Hughes memoirs. In 1972 author Clifford Irving clamed he had co-written a biography of the reclusive film maker, aviator and philanthropist Howard Hughes. Hughes did not immediately refute the claims, fuelling speculation. However, Irving was later convicted of fraud.
Betjeman love letters. AN Wilson, biographer of Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman was fooled by the discovery of passionate love letters supposedly from the poet to a secret mistress. However, the hoax was unearthed when someone noticed that the first initial of each sentence spelled: “Wilson is a s**t.”
Ripper letters. Jack the Ripper who murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London in 1988 inspired a hoaxer who fooled newspapers at the time. Letters signed by the Ripper arrived at various newspaper offices and some were published in the hope someone would recognise the writing. Later they were thought to be forgeries, even possibly by journalists wanting to sell more papers.