Jack the Ripper symposium links crime and Whitechapel’s poverty

A one-day symposium about Jack the Ripper’s East End is being held tomorrow (Saturday) in the heart of the district where the 1888 Whitechapel Murders took place.

The Whitechapel Society, London’s leading Ripperology organisation, is bringing together six social historians and criminologists for lectures and round-table discussions.

The aim of the public symposium at the City Hotel in Osborn Street, off Whitechapel High Street, is to show links between the poverty, social history and criminology of the East End around the time of the Ripper Murders.

Tomorrow is the 124th anniversary of the Ripper’s second killing, Annie Chapman, whose mutilated body was discovered on September 8, 1888, in the back yard of a house in Hanbury Street, less than half-a-mile from where the City Hotel is today.

There has been renewed speculation in East End circles about the identity of the Victorian serial killer which has remained a mystery for 124 years, following claims by Ripper experts Christer Holmgren and Edward Stow at a charity evening in Bethnal Green last Friday about who he really was.

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They believe he was a Pickford’s cart-driver named Charles Lechmere, who was found at the scene of the first murder in Buck’s Row—but told police he found Mary Nichols’ body on his way to work at 3.45am. He lived close by, but gave a false name to police.

All the murders were on the route between his home in Whitechapel and his work depot in the City.

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