Jack the Ripper is an infamous serial killer from the late 18oo’s whom is believed to have killed five females in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888, though there is still much speculation as to whether there was more than just five victims as well as to the identity of ‘Jack.’ These mysteries remain to this day with many theories surrounding these two very unclear aspects, the surrounding conspiracy and mystery creating a legacy that still reigns on to this very day.
This legacy appears in many ways throughout London and beyond including features in numerous museums, the London Dungeons, a shadow in the Chamber of Horrors in Madame Tussaud’s and many, many walking tours.
On my most recent trip to London, this was on our list of things to do and with a half-price offer from Groupon, we booked a walking tour for £5 (normally £10) each with Golden Tours. We had the option to book a 3.30pm, or an evening tour (6pm) and to add to the atmospheric quality of the tour, we decided to go with the latter.
Who was Jack the Ripper? Discover the victims, suspects and story behind the unidentified killer on this ominous and entertaining walking tour.
Excerpt from ‘Golden Tours’
Meeting just outside Tower Hill tube station overlooking the famous Tower of London with the river Thames behind, our group was ready for our walking adventure.
Our first stop was a few minute walk from where we left, still in the city of London but near the border of the metropolitan area of London in terms of police forces. The city of London police force patrols just one square mile of land compared to the Metropolitan police force patrolling 620. The ‘Square Mile’ is the richest part of London, always has been whilst Tower Hamlets alongside it in ‘The Met’ area is the poorest borough in London, but also in the entire country. This knowledge is supported not only in facts but also in reality, as the tour takes you across the border evidentantly placing you in a position to mark the constrast between the landscapes, buildings and overall living quality just using your very own eyes.
As you move from stop to stop (don’t worry, there are many and plenty of places to sit down at each spot except the last one), you go deeper and deeper into this area of London, the towering buildings of Canary Wharf (the business district of London) continuing to be in view and the sense of unfairness of it all hitting you, as this constrast has gone back many centuries, ceasing to change or narrow over the times. The border between these two police forces in close proximity plays a large role in the story of Jack the Ripper, the failure of the police to catch him and even a lack of / non-existant communication between the two until the fourth murder, inevitably all too late.
Our final stop was just outside the Ten Bells pub in the Spitalfields area of London, known for its connection to two of Jack the Rippers victims, Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly. You hear about the fifth and final known victim of Jack the Ripper, with more photos to see. When the tour ends, you have the option to go into the famed pub named above, explore the Spitalfields area or head elsewhere via Liverpool Street tube station just around the corner.
Throughout the tour, our guide always said that they would never say who they thought ‘Jack’ was as it is not their place to influence our own thoughts and feelings about the matter. They encouraged us to research further if we so wished, come to our own decision and that if you read various books about The Ripper, the name the author believes to be ‘Jack’ will differ. 150 potential suspects…. a mystery that will never be solved.
We really enjoyed this tour, it was very informative, detailed with photographs and copies of images/newspapers from 1888, with an open atmosphere to ask questions which resulted in knowledgable answers. Our guide was lovely, brilliant, passionate and humourous too.