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Jack the Ripper walk (part one)
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In the East End of London, during 1888, there were a series of horrendous murders. At least five (but possibly up to seven) women, all of whom were prostitutes, were horribly murdered and their bodies mutilated. The victims had all had their throats and vocal chords cut, presumably in order to stop them screaming for help; they were then all mutilated in a gruesome fashion.

Nobody knew the identity of the killer, so the police named him “Jack the Ripper”. This name was rather inaccurate, as the man who carried out these atrocious crimes appeared to have known what he was doing. The quality of the killer’s knife-work was said to have been so good that some believed he may have been a surgeon, while others think he may have been a butcher. Whoever, and whatever Jack the Ripper was, one thing is very certain – he was never caught.

Theories about the Ripper’s identity continue to abound and rumours have even connected the murderer to the Royal Family and the Masons. However, despite police investigations and numorous studies and books on the subject, even today, the true identity of Jack the Ripper remains a mystery.

During the 1880s, the Whitechapel area of the East End of London was known for its poverty, slum housing and crime. Disease and infection were widespread, due to the overcrowded housing and poor sanitary conditions. Many women (including the Ripper’s victims) were prostitutes, not by choice, but were forced into street prostitution to find the pennies to pay for a bed for the night. Whitechapel alone had over 1400 known prostitutes and over 80 brothels. There were pubs on every corner, many of which were open all day and alcoholism amongst the poor was widespread.


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