|Jack the Ripper (the Whitechapel Murders)|
Jack the Ripper is one of London's most famous figures, and even today speculation continues as to his true identity. Theories range from a Jewish slaughterman, a Polish immigrant, and even the Duke of Clarence. But no theory has ever been proven.
The area that Jack the Ripper haunted was Whitechapel in the East End, and it was here that he killed six victims (five were prostitutes) between August and November 1888.
All the victims were found with their throats slashed and their innards removed, and it was this gruesome fact that made the murders so notorious and the killer so feared.
|Martha Turner was killed in Whitechapel Road, Mary Ann Nichols in what is now Durward St, Annie Chapman in Hamburg St, Elizabeth Stride in what is now Henriques St, Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Street and Mary Kelly in Miller's Court.|
The killer's nickname comes from a letter that was sent to the police which was signed Jack the Ripper. Although it is not certain that this, or any of the numerous other letters that claimed to be from the murderer, was actually from the killer, the name caught the public's imagination and has stuck ever since.
Despite the horrors, it can be argued that some good came out of the Whitechapel murders, for whilst attention was focused on the murders, the poverty and squalor of the East End became apparent to the authorities. The result was steps towards better housing, facilities and policing in the area.
If you are interested in the murders and want to explore the area where the crimes took place, the nearest tube station to the area is Aldgate East. There are various organised tours and walks available in the area that will take you around the scenes of the crimes.
Otherwise there are lots of places in London which claim associations with, or which feature the murders. Examples include Madame Tussaud's and the London Dungeon.
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