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Now Jack the Ripper linked to 1943 Bethnal Green air-raid disaster

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2012

Victim of 1888 Whitechapel Murders

Victim of 1888 Whitechapel Murders

Le Journal Illustre 13 February 1891

A Jack the Ripper mystery evening is being held in a church where organizers promise to reveal the identity of the Victorian mass killer.

It is being organized by the Stairway to Heaven Memorial trust which believes there’s a connection between the 1888 Whitechapel Murders and the 1943 Bethnal Green air-raid shelter disaster three generations later.

But they are keeping the link under wraps until August 31.

That’s when they stage the mystery evening at St John on Bethnal Green church, just yards from the entrance to the Underground station which was being used as a public air-raid shelter in 1943.

Among celebrities taking part are Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker and TV’s DIY expert Tommy Walsh.

It starts at 7pm with a talk about the shelter tragedy and two families who died in it on March 3, 1943, when 173 men, women, children and babies perished in a stampede during an air-raid alert—it was Britain’s worst civilian wartime disaster.

A re-enactment then follows of the Ripper’s first murder on the 124th anniversary, when Mary Ann Nichols was found mutilated in Buck’s Row, now Durward Street, 150 yards from the London Hospital, on August 31, 1888.

Ripperology experts then explain the connection between the two historic events to reveal who they believe was Jack the Ripper.

Tickets are £10 from Bethnal Green’s Fountain pub in Sceptre Road, or £15 on the door, proceeds to the 1943 memorial being unveiled later this year.

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