‘Jack the Ripper victim’ bloody revenge hacking by women protest at museum

Triumphant Jane Nicholl and protesters take 'revenge on Jack the Ripper' outside controvercial touri

Triumphant Jane Nicholl and protesters take 'revenge on Jack the Ripper' outside controvercial tourist site at 12 Cable-street - Credit: Archant

Jack the Ripper was back on the streets of London’s East End yesterday hacking to death what appeared to be the latest victim—left slumped on the pavement covered in blood. The police stood by as ‘the Ripper’ decapitated the body on the pavement in what looked like a gory crime scene outside the controversial Jack the Ripper Museum in Cable Street, near the Tower of London.

The ‘body’ was an effigy of museum owner Mark Edgecombe-Palmer who has faced a barrage of hate and criticism since opening his Ripper museum in August under a misleading planning application for “a women’s heritage centre”.

In the event, the community got what many call “a tack tourist attraction” about the gory mutilations of the 1888 Whitechapel Murders instead.

Women’s groups and church and civic leaders have held demos and vigils outside the converted shop and dwellings at No 12.

Even the Bishop of Stepney and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets have picketed the premises since it opened to show their support for a campaign to get the place closed down.

But yesterday was “the Revenge of Jack the Ripper’s vicitms” where angry women turned the tables on the museum.

Members of Class War turned up with the effigy which they dumped on the doorstep while activist Jane Nicholl hacked at it with fake blood spilling onto the pavement.

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She delighted in taking a machete to dismember its head limbs in the fashion of the 1888 mutilations.

It was making a point to show how angry women are that they can be hacked to death and then be displayed years later as a sensationalist museum exhibit.

“We want to show him what it would be like if a man was hacked to death instead,” she told the East London Advertiser.

“I’ve worked for years with women who’ve been sexually and domestically abused and know what they’ve been through, only to have a museum displaying this.

“We want to get this place closed down. It’s just a vanity project.”

It was the Advertiser that first broke the story in July about a Ripper tourist attraction about to open instead of what the owners promised in their 200-page planning application to Tower Hamlets Council for a women’s heritage museum.

It led to a campaign to get it closed on the grounds of “an incorrect application”. The council has since rejected a retrospective application.

The protesters left the effigy slumped on the pavement in a pool of fake blood, ‘decapitated’ as Nicholl shouted to staff inside, while the front door remained firmly shut.

Police stood passively by as the women vented their “revenge”. One officer calmly told a curious passer-by later that it wasn’t real murder scene—just women “letting rip” with their anger at the Ripper museum.

The protest had, at least, succeeded on what should have been a busy Saturday in closing the tourist site for a few hours with its sound effects of women screaming while being murdered.

The women wanted Mark Edgecombe-Palmer to know what it might be like if men had been victims of the Whitechapel Murders instead—if he would still have opened a Ripper museum.