Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jack the Ripper Tour (191)

I've always been interested in the macabre. I don't know why, but I tend to be drawn to dark things. I've always been fascinated with serial killers and I love reading true crime books. When we decided to go to London, I told Ryan that one of the things I wanted to do while there was go on a tour of Jack the Ripper's London. (That would be through the East End/Whitechapel.) I had heard that they existed and if I was going there, there was no way I wasn't going to go on one. I'm sure I won't be going back there anytime soon so I definitely couldn't miss the opportunity. It's a case that I've always been particularly interested in.

There are several different groups offering the tour. I made a long, Internet study of it (around 5 minutes) and chose the one that had, in my opinion, the best website. The tour starts at 7:00 p.m. nightly and immediately takes you into the back alleys of Whitechapel. Our guide's name was Phillip Hutchinson and he was extremely knowledgeable. A little over the top at times, but still very entertaining. He's been a "Ripperologist" for the past 18 years. The case is his obsession. He's studied it extensively and had a book published last year. He took us to all of the murder sites. He gave background information about the victims (they were all local prostitutes) and described in great detail each crime scene. He also talked about local history and background to give you an idea of what London was like at that time. That would be 1888 for those that don't know. He had photos taken around 1888 or a little later to give you an idea of what it looked like then. Having been interested in this for many years, I thought that I had seen all of the pictures that were known of the crime scenes, victims, etc. He had a grisly photo of Mary Kelly that I've never seen. She was the only victim to have been killed inside. So, The Ripper was able to take his time with her. She was hardly recognizable as human. Truly horrifying. It was gruesome and sent chills down my spine. Just what I was looking and hoping for.

There are a million different theories as to who the killer was and the answer is this: NO ONE KNOWS AND NO ONE EVER WILL. Our guide had some of his own theories. He feels that the killer was most likely a local who lived alone. He had his own place to go home to. He couldn't have lived in some sort of boarding house. He surely would have been caught when he came home covered in blood. All the images of The Ripper in a top hat and tails, shrouded in fog are pretty fanciful. The East End was an extremely poor area and if anyone would have shown up looking like that, they would have been mugged before they took 10 steps down the street. His theory as to why the murders stopped: serial killers don't just quit. He gave 3 examples of killers who have taken long breaks, but only stopped because they were caught. One would be the BTK killer, Dennis Rader. He was caught just a few years ago and although he hadn't killed anyone for a few years, he never really stopped. Our guide feels that The Ripper was either arrested for something unrelated and spent the rest of his life in prison or an asylum and the police didn't know who they had. Or, he himself died. He didn't just stop because that never happens. Something stopped him.

It was all very thrilling and scary and made for a very interesting evening. I'm glad that I was able to satisfy some of my morbid curiosity. If anyone is planning a trip to London and isn't afraid of the dark, I would highly recommend taking this tour.

*I didn't take any pictures because my camera doesn't take very good night shots. Plus I was simply too engrossed in what was going on.

12 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Sounds interesting! Our next book club book, for October, is actually about a serial killer. Good times.

I posted today, asking who is planning on coming to the meet and greet. My blog has been very Christa free lately. Hope you can make it. (Did I make you feel guilty? Excellent. ;))

Jillene said...

That is RIGHT up my alley! I would LOVE to go and take that tour. I am a morbid type of gal too--maybe that is why we are such good friends! (0:

Oh yeah--thanks for feeding Zach on Friday night! He really liked the soup (I was shocked--he never would have tried it for me). They wanted to have a sleep-over but we had to go to my neice's b-day party at 10:00 a.m. Who has a b-day party at 10:00 a.m.?

Brittany said...

Wow, that sounds fun! Que & I went on a ghost tour when we were in Key West. I would have really liked to do the Whitechapel tour. I'd really like to also stay in the Lizzie Borden B&B in Massachussetts. I know, I'm weird.

Bobie said...

Did it feel creepy on the tour to see the murder places?? Creepy yet fascinating. I love this kind of stuff.

Nick & Amanda said...

I'm glad to see I am not the only person that is facinated with this stuff. I can't wait to send this to Nick and say "I told you so."

Eric H said...

We have a Patricia Cornwell (audio) book about Jack the Ripper that goes into great detail; she thinks she has figured out who the killer was......
You may borrow it if you like (I think Rachel had it last)

Christa said...

It was really creepy and really fun. It was just what I was looking for.

Brittany - Not weird at all. The Lizzie Borden B&B sounds great. I would be all over that too.

Kristina - I shall endeavor to resume leaving comments. I'm pretty sure that I will be attending the Meet & Greet. It just wouldn't be the same without me.

Rebecca said...

Ooo. Sounds way cool. I'm into that morbid stuff too. If we ever get to England, that's where I'll insist we go. Russ has been to the East End/Whitechapel so I'm sure it won't take much convincing.

Kristen said...

I also think this sounds so cool. Kind of funny that we are all fascinated with the morbid stuff when we actually pray that things like this will never happen to us or anyone that we know huh? I don't know to much about Jack the Ripper but I want to read about the details now.

TJ said...

I guess I'm all alone when I say that does not sound fun to me. Too spooky.
But hey, if you had fun, good for you.

Holly said...

Have you read Patricia Cornwell's Jack the Ripper book?

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,