Jack the Ripper

by

jripper

The East End of London was a dire place in 1888. Opium dens and brothels shared cramped quarters alongside family housing. Drunken residents spilled from the pubs into streets where children played. Violence was commonplace; cries for help of “Murder!” generally went unanswered [source: Haggard]. The living conditions in the East End reflected the poverty of its residents. There was precious little access to clean water, and disease like tuberculosis and diphtheria spread easily. Some women engaged in casual prostitution to supplement their families’ incomes. It was a bleak, depressing and often menacing place to live.

Which makes it all the more significant that in the fall of that year, a series of murders were committed that were so brutal — so contrary to any degree of humanity — that they stood out starkly against this grim backdrop and captured the attention of the entire world.

In the East End’s Whitechapel district, a string of prostitutes were butchered. The crime scenes were a gory tableau; the brutalized bodies were perversions of the human form. The killer was a collector who took organs as trophies. The signature of a letter that arrived during the murders gave this monster a name: Jack the Ripper.

From How Things Work read more about Jack

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