Whitechapel was a single district of a city that had become the largest and most populous in the world. Rapid industrialisation had bought prosperity, power, and most of all people, to London in their droves. While many of these new arrivals believed the streets were paved with gold, sadly, the reality was much worse.
Whitechapel’s previous suburban nature was later completely overtaken by slums, crowded with unemployed and poverty-stricken residents.
However, for women, there was one job that always had positions open - the oldest profession of all. During the Ripper’s reign of terror, it was estimated that there were 1,200 women this way engaged. Most lived in what were called “doss houses”, hostels with a fourpence nightly rate.
The only other businesses that made a decent turnover during this time were the public houses. Names like the Ten Bells, the Britannia, and the Frying Pan have now gone down in history as being inexplicably linked with Jack the Ripper.
Office blocks, car parks, and many other aspects of modern life have now claimed the streets that were once the sites of the victim’s death throws. Yet some still stand, and with the right angles, lighting, and time of day, you can still spy some of the same shadows that the Ripper would have stalked through as he made his escape.