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.

Author claims to have identified Jack the Ripper via DNA testing of a shawl

Jack the Ripper, one of the most notorious serial killers in history, has been identified through DNA traces found on this shawl, according to a book to be published Tuesday. The fabric was taken from the murder scene of Jack the Ripper's fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes. 

In the end, it may have taken a Johnny Depp movie, a shawl and a DNA test to solve the mystery behind one of the most notorious serial killing sprees in London: Who was Jack the Ripper?

British businessman and noted "Ripperologist" Russell Edwards claims to have finally and conclusively identified the serial killer as Aaron Kosminski, a Polish immigrant and barber.

Edwards unmasked his candidate for Jack the Ripper in the Daily Mail and chronicles how he came to the conclusion in a forthcoming book.

Kosminski has long been one of the more credible suspects in the five gruesome murders of women in the London's East End in 1888. Born in central Poland on Sept. 11, 1865, he moved with his family moved to east London in the early 1880s, and lived near the murder scenes, according to Agence France Presse.

He ended up in a workhouse the year after the murders and was described as destitute; a year later, he was discharged but eventually ended up in an insane asylum -- he was thought to have been "seriously mentally ill," Edwards writes -- where he died from gangrene in 1919. A witness had identified Kosminski as the murderer at the time.

Edwards said his interest in Jack the Ripper began after he watched "From Hell," a 2001 film about the murders that starred Depp as a clairvoyant police inspector.

In 2007, Edwards bought a shawl that had been discovered at the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth Ripper victim. Before Edwards bought it, the shawl belonged to the relative of a police official who had been allowed to take it home to his dressmaker wife, Edwards writes. "Incredibly, it was stowed without ever being washed," and handed down in the family, he said.

A contemporary sketch of Polish
 emigre Aaron Kosminski. 

When Edwards bought the shawl, he subjected it to DNA testing, which confirmed that the blood on it belonged to Eddowes. A UV light showed semen on the fabric. That DNA was compared to that of a Kosminski descendant, Edwards writes.

The identity of Jack the Ripper has eluded Brits for over a century and obsessed everyone from serious academics to armchair detectives. Queen Victoria's grandson Prince Albert Victor was thought to be a suspect at one point, but it turned out he wasn't near the murders at the time. Other suspects have included Mary Pearcey ("Jill the Ripper"), who had been convicted of murdering her lover's wife; in 2006, an Australian scientist, pointing to DNA results, suggested the killer may have been a woman.

Historian Mei Trow had previously identified mortuary attendant Robert Mann as Jack the Ripper, using "psychological and geographical profiling,"the Daily Mail wrote in 2009. The murder victims' bodies would have been delivered to the mortuary where Mann worked, where he was suspected to have "admire[d] his handiwork."

In claiming that Jack the Ripper was definitely, most assuredly Aaron Kosminski, Edwards has generated serious skepticism; as Agence France-Presse points out, the findings haven't been subjected to the methodology required for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

And the man who invented the DNA finger-printing technique, Alec Jefferys, called for greater scrutiny, telling The Independent it was "n interesting but remarkable claim that needs to be subjected to peer review, with detailed analysis of the provenance of the shawl and the nature of the claimed DNA match with the perpetrator's descendants and its power of discrimination; no actual evidence has yet been provided."

No matter who Jack the Ripper was, he remains one of the least liked figures in British history: Several years ago, in a BBC History Magazine survey, Jack the Ripper was voted the worst Briton of the last 1,000 years.

Be a ‘Ripperologist’ for a night: How to lead a Jack the Ripper walking tour

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.

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: Auction of police items nets £18,000

A contemporary newspaper illustration, probably
showing the discovery of Catherine Eddowes

Items belonging to a police officer involved in the Jack the Ripper murders case in 1888 have sold at auction for more than five times their estimate.

PC Edward Watkins was carrying the handcuffs, truncheon, whistle and a notebook on the night he found one of the five murder victims in London.

Each lot was expected to fetch up to £800 at JP Humbert Auctioneers in Northamptonshire.

The items were bought for a total of £17,700 by a private collector.

The handcuffs fetched 10 times the lower
auction estimate of £500

The serial killer, dubbed "Jack the Ripper", murdered and mutilated five women who worked as prostitutes in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888.

He was never caught but debate about his identity continues to fascinate case enthusiasts.

'Huge historical interest'

The items were each estimated to fetch between £500 and £800.

The handcuffs have been sold for £6,420, the truncheon for £3,950, the leather notebook cover for £4,450, the whistle for £2,600 and a collection of press cuttings for £280.

Jonathan Humbert, from the Towcester-based auction house, said: "It was a sensible estimate for each item, but we didn't have anything to compare it to and the results exceeded our expectations.

"Five women died and you have to be sensitive, but these items are undoubtedly of huge historical interest.

"Sometimes these unusual items just re-write the rule book."

Jack the Ripper murders, Whitechapel 1888 

31 August - Mary Ann Nicholls 
8 September - Annie Chapman 
30 September - Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes 
9 November - Mary Jane Kelly 

Martha Tabram, stabbed to death on 6 August 1888, is considered by some historians to be the first victim.

The auction house said PC Watkins was walking the beat when he found the body of Catherine Eddowes on Mitre Square on Sunday, 30 September, 1888.

She was the killer's fourth victim.

PC Watkins's personal effects were bought from his widow by a private collector in 1914 and it is the first time they have been auctioned.

The buyer wanted to remain anonymous and was going to put the items in a private museum in the UK, the auction house said.