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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 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 comments@roxburylibrary.org

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.

http://www.mkweb.co.uk/JACK-RIPPER-New-Suspect-revealed-Channel-5/story-26078284-detail/story.html#ixzz3Sqcbf8Np

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:

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

Dr. Mark Vogel discusses his presentation
 with The Amazing Kreskin.
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - 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.

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.”