Jack the Ripper is one of London‘s main attractions – the darkest legends always make us eager to know and learn, and Jack the Ripper is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating characters of the last century. In fact, so many people feel attracted for this unsolved mystery that there are Jack the Ripper themed tours in Whitechapel, the neighbourhood of London where he committed his crimes.

 

But who was Jack the Ripper? A mystery man with a cape and a top hat who killed 5 prostitutes in Whitechapel in 1888… and who was never found. Many names have been added to the suspect list, the most controversial of which was the queen’s doctor himself. The hypothesis of the Ripper being a doctor has always been a popular one, as the killer’s horrors denoted knowledge of anatomy. Whoever he was, he has been the subject of books, movies and lots of investigations, and has become the darkest legend of the city of London. In fact, we could say that the Jack the Ripper investigation is ongoing, as the fascination doesn’t end – he still drags thousands of tourists to Whitechapel.

Jack the Ripper - Gowithoh

The latest theories on Jack the Ripper

Some of the names that have been mentioned in the last few years as the identity of the Ripper are those of the artist Walter Sickert (in Portrait of A Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell, although her theory has been widely challenged), or the lawyer Montague John Druitt (in I, The Ripper, by Stephen Hunter). The latest publication on the topic is Jewbaiter: Jack the Ripper by Australian journalist Stephen Senise, who has an innovative theory about London’s darkest myth: he points to local labourer George Hutchinson as the killer. His reason? He was an anti-Semite who wanted to frame the crimes as Jewish rituals. As we can see, the allure is ongoing.

 

However, we could say that the fascination that provokes Jack the Ripper is a very debatable one. Historians have debated the ethical implications of London making money thanks to a killer of women, which is what Jack the Ripper ultimately was. A controversial museum opened in the East End in 2015; The Ten Bells, meeting point of the Whitechapel prostitutes at the time, is still open and running, and Jack the Ripper guided tours are quite a success. What do you think about it? What would you add to the debate? We’d love to read your opinions in the comments!

Author
At GowithOh, we are an enthusiastic team of self-confessed Europhiles who are passionate about travel. We especially love the variety of city breaks possible in Europe, from the historic UNESCO heritage cities like Prague, to the more cosmopolitan beachside destinations like Barcelona. We love discovering the hidden gems in different cities and sharing them with our fans so everyone can benefit and enjoy the perfect city break in Europe.