An utter fascination of mine, the mid-19th century mystery of Jack the Ripper, an unidentified serial killer believed to have committed
most notorious unsolved murders. Ripper was believed to have committed the grotesque
murders of five prostitutes in the then impoverished area of Whitechapel
located in London East London. The neighborhood was
crime-filled and heavily populated by eastern European Jewish refugees, as well
as Irish immigrants. A pub laden Commercial
Street was an invitation for sex-workers, believed
to be the main thoroughfare the victims traveled before their savagery deaths –
presumed to have been committed by Jack
the Ripper, also coined "the Whitechapel Murderer."
I began my journey at the Whitechapel Underground (Tube) station, traveling east along
Whitechapel Road, a
community densely populated by middle-eastern and muslin settlers with a host
of landmarks, which includes the Royal
East London Mosque and the .
An unassuming gentleman directed me to the heart of the Whitechapel murders,
the epicenter of its history, a pub called the Ten Bells. A friendly bartender freely
provided information on the murders, highlighting the connection between the
Ten Bells and the notorious killings. I enjoyed a glass of white wine while I
documented details. London
Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly, both Ripper's victims were said to have frequented the Ten Bells. It is believed to be the last place they were both seen before their gruesome deaths. A couple of murals depicting the mid-19th century eccentric dressed prostitutes draped the walls of the Ten Bells, a distinctive attraction for numerous curious onlookers who dipped in and out of the pub to take photos and selfies for memorabilia.
Later, I roamed the alleys where the canonical five were found dead. The experience was still quite daunting even after two centuries. Unburdened by my 3.2 pound camera hanging from my neck and my aching feet, I journeyed along my self-guided trails aided by a detailed map.
There are several Jack the Ripper nightly tours in Whitechapel for as little as £10. Most originate from the Aldgate and Liverpool Street Underground (Tube) station. However, there is a Free tour (donations only) at 8pm from the Tower Hill Underground (Tube) station. Just look for the tour guide with the orange umbrella when you exit the station. All tours take you to the murder locations of the canonical five, including the site where the first clue was discovered.
There are a number of fascinating things to see and do in
. If the Whitechapel murders happen to
be one you fancy, an exhibit titled, Jack
the Ripper and the East End will be on display at the London
this Fall. Perhaps I may journey back to Museum of London
for its historic unveiling. Until then...Cheers. London