The Whitechapel Murders of 1888

The Whitechapel murders of 1888 sent a shiver down the spine of late Victorian England. What would become a series of murders, never to be solved despite one of the biggest investigations in history, still generates arguments and theories 131 years later.

Houses of Parliament and Bridge

Victorian Whitechapel was a district of extreme poverty in the capital city of London. Drunkenness was rife as a release from the everyday struggle to survive. Many women had to resort to selling their bodies just to get the 4d per night for a bed in a common lodging house.

It was on the 27th September 1888 that the Central News Agency received a letter address to “Dear Boss” written in blood red ink. This letter, whether from the real murderer or not, would create the name that would stand the test of time for the most famous serial killer.

Dear Boss

I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled.

Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again.

You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha.

The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.

Yours truly

Jack the Ripper

“Jack the Ripper” was named in the media as a result of the letter and took a whole identity of his own in the country’s psyche.

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