Right so for those of you that know me probably know that I am extremely curious. I have this constant urge to know about anything and everything. It is almost like a drug – the more I know, the happier I am, and the more I want to know. It goes on and on and on. I guess, though, that partly comes with being a journalist? Or an aspiring journalist at least?
So about five or so years ago, I heard about Jack the Ripper – the serial killer who tormented the streets of East London in 1888, where he brutally murdered five women, all of whom were prostitutes. And to this day, his identity is unknown. He remains a mystery. So me being me, I grew interested in his story, and with the assistance of my buddy Google, I conducted a fair amount of research and learned a fair amount about him.
Now, years later, I went to the walk. And to describe it in a few words – it was so brilliant and so thought-provoking! I loved it. We got insight into what life was like back then – when people lived in stark poverty and when there was a killer on loose. When people could get a room which they would have to share with dozens others, and sleep in coffins four 4p. When prostitutes charged 4p. When gin was served for 4p. We learned more and more about the victims – who are too often forgotten. We talked about who could have done the murders and why. We saw images of the brutality the killer used. It was a walk down Whitechapel and indeed, an unfortunate memory lane. The tour took off at Aldgate East station and was concluded a few minutes away from Aldgate East station. The tour guide was so enthusiastic, so smart and really witty – which made the tour all the more interesting. (Sadly, I didn’t take pictures…it was dark and I was concentrating too much)! It was a great experience, and I am glad I attended the walk.
After the tour was complete, my cousin brother and I stopped to talk to the tour guide. We asked him who he thought committed the crimes. And he said his is an ambiguous theory. He went on to say that he feels as though it was a ship doctor…because at that time many people were coming in by ship and leaving by ship, and the doctor would have had the chance to disappear just like that…without a trace. I thought this was really quite a clever theory. I then asked him why he thought the doctor would do such a thing. To which he answered that, well there are psychos out there…take Ted Bundy for instance, then we went on and talked a little bit about serial killers and gruesome cold blooded murderers. Which is always a topic of interest with me. He then recommended we visit the London Museum…which I most definitely will be doing.
See, the thing is, murderers are present now, and they were present back then too. People lack consciousness and cannot see the line between wrong and right. But then, me being me, I got to thinking…back then, and even still, women were/are considered second class citizens. The social status was and sometimes still is minimal or none at all. So then I thought, did ‘Jack the Ripper’ commit these brutal crimes on women because of their social class back then? Because he thought they are so unworthy, that mutilating them and taking out their organs is alright, because, well they are women..worthless. In addition, these women were alcoholic prostitutes. The killer probably thought they were disgusting or unnecessary, and sought to eliminate them…which he ended up doing. We cannot forget that common factor in this situation – women and prostitutes. So that’s what I am thinking. Jack the Ripper was a probable misogynist.
Were they killed because they were women? Were they being killed because they were prostitutes? Were they being killed just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time? Who is Jack the Ripper? What drove him to commit these crimes? Why was he never identified? There are many unanswered questions that are going to haunt me for a while. Till then, I will read a book I bought about the murders and conduct Google searches. What’s your theory?
Until next time,