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.

Rebuilding the East End for the Olympics

Historic picture of
Whitechapel High Street
There was a reason why the East End of London was the hunting ground for Jack the Ripper. It was the most crime ridden area of London; they even had a street nicknamed "do-as-you-please." Unless they were three or four strong, the police rarely walked the East End. It was simply too dangerous.

Sadly, good people, who worked the docks or in one of the many manufacturing warehouses, lived in the slums and squalor of this crime-infested place. Many of them were refugees or fugitives from around the world who had come looking for a better life, London's East End was their boat's first stop, and they simply never made it out. Their language, cultural and social diversity usually meant only more challenges for an already struggling populace. By the late 1800s, the poverty in the East End was as rampant as the crime.

Ironically, it took the actions of the world's most infamous serial killer — Jack the Ripper — to expose an underbelly of society that was thriving and growing bigger every day. Jack the Ripper's gruesome killing spree terrorized all of London. Massive newspaper coverage detailed every aspect of these most brutal of murders — as well as the victims' pathetic lives. For months, the people of London were fed steady doses of information about Jack the Ripper and life in the East End.

Shamed into action, the politicians and the wealthier citizens of London, including Queen Victoria, began a movement to do something about the poverty, the crime and the disease in the East End. In the eyes of Victorian England, Jack the Ripper personified the evil festering outside the walls of their great city, and someone needed to do something! Unfortunately, when the killings stopped, the outrage dissipated. Other problems became more pressing, and, let's face it, change is just so slow!

As research for his book, popular British author Jack London decided to live penniless in the East End, and 20 years after Jack the Ripper's killing spree, he told of his experiences. The book was entitled "People of the Abyss," and it was considered one of his best works. In great detail, he told a compelling story about how the culture of poverty had taken on a life of its own in the East End. Arguing the need for effective and urgent reform, London's "People of the Abyss" was very widely read. Yet, nothing really changed for those stuck in the abyss.