Jack the Ripper was here!
What I am about to tell you is true.
In the late summer and autumn of 1888, in the poorest area of London, a murderer stalked his victims in the night. He became known to history as Jack the Ripper.
This is “The Ten Bells” public house in Whitechapel. It is a matter of record that at least three of Jack the Ripper's known victims were regular drinkers in this pub. The building has hardly changed in over 100 years.
Today is the anniversary of the murder of the first of Jack's victims - Polly Nichols, 31 Aug 1888.
On the night of Polly's murder, the rain was sharp and frequent and was accompanied by peals of thunder and flashes of lightning and the sky on that night was turned red by the occasion of two huge fires down in Shadwell dry dock.
Polly was last seen alive round the corner from the pub talking to a friend, Emily Holland, who was returning from looking at the fires.
It was 2.30am and she was touting for business. Polly was a prostitute; the going rate was 3 pennies - the price of a large glass of gin in any local pub or the price of a bed in the doss house. She was desperate for a client; any client. But the streets were quiet.
Who knows how long Jack was standing, watching, waiting. Judging his moment. In the shadows.
Perhaps he stood in the doorway where I took this photograph.
And then he moved out of the shadows and approached…
….makes you think doesn't it?
Pleasant dreams tonight……
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