The East End of London, 1888. The streets are laden with brothels and opium dens and the cobbled pathways are illuminated by only a slither of light from the moon. Drunks spill out of every pub entrance onto the deteriorating streets and another shrill cry goes unanswered as violence creeps along the back streets. And that was that, that was the reality of Whitechapel.
Even before Jack the Ripper began his terrifying reign the living conditions of Whitechapel reflected the deep poverty of its residents. As there was precious little access to anything at this time, the spread of diseases hit an all-time high and a vast majority of women turned to prostitution to increase their family’s income. Thugs and criminals wandered the streets as casually as residents did and at times, Whitechapel proved to be a menacing place to live.
In the knowledge that violence was a custom part of living in Whitechapel, it gives you a clearer impression of how brutal and inhumane the Jack the Ripper murders were to not only shock the town, but the entire world.
The crime scenes of the murders were often described as a gory tableau and the killer was known to retrieve several organs from his victims supposedly to keep them as trophies. Following these murders, it was said that the city was whipped into a frenzy of fear and mistrust. Despite their hard efforts, without today’s technology it was understandable that the police were never able to catch this monstrous figure regardless of the every growing list of suspects.
The unsolved case was then closed in 1892. In spite of this, a sudden interest in the killings erupted and since then has remained in society among a thriving subdivision of unqualified but enthusiatic criminologists commonly referred to as Ripperologists. This subculture has since been captivated by the surviving mystery of this infamous killer and is often found educating the public on all Ripper knowledge on Jack the Ripper tours in London.