Self-Guided Walking Tour of Jack the Ripper Sites
For those of you, who cannot attend our Jack the Ripper Tour in person, we put together a self-guided tour…
Five victims (at least). One location: Whitechapel, in East London. Three Months: (August to September). Suspects: dozens…and dozens and dozens as time has gone on.
One of the most famous unsolved crimes in the world, the Jack the Ripper murders transfixed Victorian society and still leaves crime-solvers and history buffs frustrated and baffled to this day. The Jack the Ripper killings, or the “Whitechapel Murders” are a much researched and discussed topic. Famous the world over, visitors to London often times find themselves walking the trail of Jack the Ripper, visiting the sites where his victims were found, and perhaps attempting to solve the case themselves!
Those of you who fancy yourself super-sleuths, or simply those whose interests lie in the darker side of history, read on – because herein lies the trail of Jack the Ripper. You may also be interested in our guided East End Crime and Punishment Tour.
Start Self-Guided Jack the Ripper Tour: Aldgate Underground Station
(Point A) From the start, make your way to Mitre Street. At 1:45, on the morning of the 30th of September, the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes was found here, in the corner of Mitre Square – the second of two gruesome discoveries made that evening, in a killing referred to by investigators as “the double event.” Catherine Eddowes (also known as Kate Conway and Kate Kelly) was a 46 year old prostitute living in Whitechapel, whom had been found lying barefoot and drunk in Aldgate Highstreet at 8:30 on the evening on the 29th of September. After being detained by police, she was released and was last seen alive talking to a ‘fair-moustached man wearing a navy jacket, peaked cloth cap, and red scarf.’ After her death, Catherine was buried in an unmarked public grave, however, in late 1996 the City of London cemetery authorities marked her grave with a plaque.
(Point B) Walk down to Whitechapel High Street and turn left into Goulson Street. Here in this street, a bloody piece of apron belonging to Catherine Eddowes was found, along with graffiti painted on the wall which read, “The Juwes are the men that Will not be Blamed for nothing.” It has never been definitively known if this graffiti was linked to the murder or not. Fearing anti-Jewish riots, the graffiti was immediately washed away on orders of the Metropolitan Police.
(Point C) Continue on until Goulson becomes Bell Street and from here you will reach White’s Row(now a carpark). Before White’s Row existed, this was a street known as Dorset Street. At 10:45am on the 9th of November, the 25 (or 24) year old Mary Jane Kelly – the youngest of the Ripper victims and also known as Fair Emma and Black Mary – was brutally murdered and mutilated in her bed in a rented room in a boarding house known as Miller’s Court. Mary’s body was subjected to far more damage than any of the other Ripper victims, leading some to believe that she may, in fact, have been the victim of another, unknown, murderer.
(Point D) Walk down White’s Row and turn left onto Commercial Street, then make a right onto Hanbury Street. It was on Hanbury Street, in the back yard of number 29 (no longer standing), that Ripper victim Annie Chapman was found. Aged 47, Annie had last been seen speaking to a ‘shabby-genteel’ man around 5:30 in the morning of the 8th of September. Her mutilated body was discovered and it was the severe damage done to her corpse that led many researching the case to believe the killer had anatomical knowledge. Many then thought, and still do, that Jack the Ripper was a surgeon, a butcher, or an apprentice of either trade. Annie was buried in south London near Forest Gate, but her grave no longer exists.
(Point E) Turn left onto Deal Street then right onto Underwood Road and take another right into Vallance Road and then left into Durward Street. It was here, in a road that was then known as Buck’s Row, that the body of 43 year-old Mary Ann Nichols was found on the 31st of August, making her the first known victim of Jack the Ripper. Thought to have been killed around 3:30 in the morning, her throat was sliced and her body had been mutilated – although a doctor attending on the scene expressed surprise about the small amount of blood left on the crime scene. She, too, was gifted a plaque on her grave in the City of London Cemetery in 1996.
(Point F) From Durward Street turn right onto Brady Street then right onto Whitechapel Road. Make a left into New Road, a right onto Commercial Road and a final left onto Henriques Street. Aged 44, and known as Long Liz Stride, Elizabeth Stride’s body was found here, in what was then called Dutfield’s Yard on Berner Street. Her body was found just moments after she was killed, with blood still flowing from a wound in her neck. This led many investigators to believe that the Ripper was interrupted by passers-by as he was carrying out his work. The other half of the “double event,” this situation has led many to believe that since the Ripper was unable to mutilate Liz’s body, he then went on to kill again later that night, resulting in the death of Catharine Eddowes.
Finish: Return up to Commercial Road and make a left, which will take you back to Aldgate East Station.
Margaret’s Top Tip: Sleuthing can be hard work…So reward yourself with a visit to one of London’s most well known pubs with a dark reputation: The Ten Bells. It is here, many say, that two of the Ripper’s victims – Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly – had drank and picked up clients in the hours leading up to their deaths. [An easy walk from Aldgate East, or one stop on the Hammersmith and City line to Liverpool Street Station]