Beware the Whitechapel Murders: Jack the Ripper is stalking London’s East End

Victim of Jack the Ripper, portrayed by the popular press of 1888

Victim of Jack the Ripper, portrayed by the popular press of 1888 - Credit: Museum of London Docklands

Polly Nichols is to walk the streets of London’s East End for the last time on Friday night, August 31—before she is murdered.

Whitechapel Murders of 1888 begin

Whitechapel Murders of 1888 begin - Credit: archive

Mary Ann, her real name, is the third to be butchered in what is to become known as the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, but the first known victim of Jack the Ripper.

She is found dead at 3.30am this coming Saturday, exactly 125 years ago, in the gas-lit streets of Victorian east London.

Two men on their way to work come across her mutilated body, shocked and horrified, who then go in search of a constable.

The East London Advertiser has a 12-page supplement in today’s edition telling the story of the five victims, as well as other murdered prostitutes who some historians believe were also the work of the Ripper.

We also look at the suspects at the time, from Scotland Yard archives of 1888—as well as theories emerging over the next century-and-a-quarter putting other names in the frame, rightly or wrongly, including Queen Victoria’s grandson and heir to the thrown, now largely discredited.

Who was the killer? We still don’t know. Why did he stop that year? Some believe he didn’t. The killings continue into the early 20th century.

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These questions still remain as fresh today as they did in 1888 when the Whitechapel Murders shocked the world.

The Advertiser, which first appeared in the 1860s, reported on the killings at the time. Today, we take a unique look at the Whitechapel Murders and what happened to those who were involved.

Our website opens a special ‘Jack the Ripper’ section on Saturday, on the 125th anniversary of Polly Nichols’ slaying. Over the coming weeks, we will add more incidents, arrests, theories and press reports of the day, as they unwind, in the story of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders.

But you can get a head start in today’s East London Advertiser.