In 1888, Jack the Ripper went on his infamous killing spree and to this day, is renowned for his malicious methodical killings. Although we may think we have heard everything there is to know about this malevolent murderer, several theories still remain in regards to the crimes and their perpetrator. Let’s take a look at some of the theories and unknown facts that still, to this very day, lurk over the East End:
A Dabble In Journalism
It was thought the letters that were sent allegedly by the murderer himself were almost certainly created by journalists. Some of the letters were posted to Scotland Yard while the majority were posted to the Central News Agency. In addition, a few newspapers at the time admitted outright that these letters were not only fraudulent but that one in particular was written to bear a striking resemblance in the form of a parody to Macbeth. According to the Huffington Post, one newspaper took the headline of ‘Murderer’s letters – all faked lies’
During the time of the murders, well-known entertainment venues were beginning to join the newspapers in exploiting the crimes. While Madame Tussauds refused co-operation due to the fact they maintained a respectable business by modelling from life, various other waxwork companies did not seem too troubled by this fact.
One company claimed that its waxwork head of Jack the Ripper had been carefully modelled after the sketches previously published in the Daily Telegraph that were initially built upon statements from witnesses who had claimed to have seen the murderer. Another waxwork business which was situated on Whitechapel road, just steps away from the location of the murders, was ordered to remove their work, as their illustration displayed outside the shop was declared too graphic for the public eye. Despite this complaint, their exhibition of Jack the Ripper continued.
Ballad-writers also seized the opportunity to turn the killings into a commercial market by producing songs which were sold on street-stalls and printed on single sheets accompanied by a note informing the purchaser of which popular tune the songs should be sung to. Not only this, in Whitechapel men were often seen with these sheets tied around their hats on street-corners in an attempt to flog their wares and make money out of the gruesome murders.
One of the lyric sheets seen by the Huffington Post includes the gruesome lyric: ‘Now Mrs Potts says she, I’d let the villain see / If I had him here I’d sure to make him cough / I’d chop off all his toes then his ears and then his nose.’
These are just some of the theories and facts that were, until a few years ago, unknown to the general public however whether or not you believe everything you are told is down to your own personal interpretation of the notorious killer that stalked the nights of Whitechapel in 1888.
If you’d like to find out more about the myths and facts surrounding Jack the Ripper, then why not join us on one of our fantastic Jack the Ripper tours to gain a true insight into what Whitechapel life was like in 1888 with an expert in Ripperology.