Jack The Ripper & The East End



For £7 I’d expect to find out who the bastard was, frankly. I am no wiser to the existence of ‘Saucy Jack’ today than I was yesterday, which leaves me disappointed. So disappointed I want to go and eviscerate a whore. I’d best not be disturbed though, cos if I am I’ll only have to go and find another one to vent my spleen on, like Jack did to them two tarts in one night. You know – the one who just got cut a bit and then the one who ended up all over the shop. Anyway, I digress.

Did I mention it was seven quid by the way? Seven quid. Think on that as you read this. I took my girlfriend with me so that was a total of fourteen pounds.

In the 1880s fourteen quid would have got you a slap up meal at Simpsons, a carriage to your club, some fine cigars, more port and brandy than you could possibly drink in one evening, a carriage home to whichever leafy square you lived in and enough left over to do it all again the next day. Or, if you preferred Whitechapel to the West End fourteen pounds would have kept you in the cheapest, rottenest old whores just itching to have their internals worn as Easter Bonnets for years. I know which option I’d go for, eh readers!?

The exhibition is in The Museum at Docklands in the docklands, in The London. I paid my fourteen fucking pounds and entered the exhibition, already sweating in anticipation.

I’ll be honest, some bits were quite good, but I’ll sum them up at the end. The exhibition has a lot of audio going on. And since it’s not divided up into small rooms very well it can get a bit blurred and noisy if you’re growing into an old codger like me whose hearing ain’t what it used to be what with all syphilitic beldams screaming their last cockney death rattles in my fucking ear at point blank. They all sound like Babs Windsor when you cut them, y’know.

Most of the audio comes from screens in the walls with various experts on things telling you shit. One is a young lady who works with prozzies and she guffs on about how awful it is to be on the game. Like we don’t know already. Apparently, ninetysomething percent of street walkers are just mad for the heroin or crack. Yes love, I know. What this has to do with a debonair murderer in a top hat and opera cape I don’t know. Also, apparently most prostitutes today are in constant danger of being bashed up, raped or murdered. Yes, I fucking know. Saying “and it would have been the same in Victorian Whitechapel” does not a mind-bending link make.

Another expert was a copper. He was talking about modern murderers of the serial killery type. Didn’t spend time on him. It didn’t look like he was about to put the finger on who The Ripper was so fuck him.

The last one was fucking great. Some middle aged harridan with a short haircut (know what I mean, boys?) banging on and on about how she hates all the interest in Jack the Ripper as no-one cares about the victims, it treats whores like non-people…etc etc. You get her drift. She’s a lesbian. She then whines on about how the East End should be remembered and celebrated for all sorts of other things other than suave top-hatted gentlemen who like to indulge in genital mutilation of an evening. She says that the East End is good because it is multi-racial. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Right, so I can go down Brick Lane and eat a damn good curry, or stop off at a Kebab House, or buy illegal bush-meat from a rotting suitcase full of dead monkeys…but can I stumble out of a hellish gin-house and trip headlong over the spread-eagled corpse of a mangled ‘unfortunate’ with a gaping hole where her fanny once was? No I fucking can’t. So stuff your multi-racial East End ‘full of artists’…like that’s a good thing…up your PC fanny. Anyway, she wasn’t paying attention in class because the East End was very multi-racial back then as well. At that particular time it was full to bursting with Russian Jews who were fleeing terrible persecution and that. So she’s talking out of her arse. Jack would’ve know what to do with her, oh yes.

The exhibits are a bit of a let down too. There’s a stuffed bloodhound which is the cutest dead thing I’ve seen ever. Well, cutest after that ten quid trick I left splattered all up the wall with her liver between her legs. You then read about this dog to discover than the reason it’s on display is because bloodhounds were not used in the case. Well that’s fucking useful then.

Then there’s the letters. These are potentially quite interesting. These are the ones that were sent to the pigs and some of them were signed ‘Jack the Ripper’, which is how he got his name. Some of them don’t have the same hand writing though, so as usual the fucking maniacs and copy-cats were all over the case like an unhelpful rash. Shades of ‘Tyneside Jack’ methinks. Anyway, you can’t read most of the letters due to the (admittedly beautiful) handwriting that was common at the time. Fucking hard to read if you’re used to type and bubble writing. There’s a few artefacts from life in the poorest parts of London of the time…matchboxes, stuff, things and that. There’s also pictures of the poor up on the walls, who look, to be honest, as if they fucking stink. I don’t want to sound insensitive but I know them prostitutes were cheap as chips and a bargain’s a bargain but who in their right mind would stick his cock up one of them? The smell must have been appalling. Much better to pay your money, cut them up and then get your money back if you ask me. Jack knew.

The exhibition doesn’t focus on the five women that we tend to think of today as Jack’s victims, but all eleven or so who were in the included in the case by the police at the time. It’s not hard to see why most were then dropped as supposed victims of the one killer though. Some were just stabbed and one got strangled although this might have been an accident while she was all pissed.

The biggest disappointment were the photos. Now, I know those fucking whores were innocent human victims of a terrible man, and I know we shouldn’t take voyeuristic pleasure in the sight of their mangled remains…but come on! For seven quid apiece I’d expect to see a bit more hot fucked-up Jezebel action. The girlfriend and I were steeling ourselves as we approached the walled off photo area (covered in warnings) only to find some crap that wouldn’t even give Peter Sutcliffe a heavy dick. There was each beldam lying in a coffin with not a wound on show. Well, there was that classic pic of Mary Jane Kelly on…and around…her bed. And another one’s face looking a bit out of sorts, but nothing you’ve not seen before. I know there’s other pics (and trust me, they’re red hot) but they’re not on show. What a let down. Like the whole exhibition actually.

There were some ‘quite good bits’. Here they are:

A lower jawbone with a nasty case of Phossy Jaw. Horrible gangrene of the jaw what match makers got. Christ that must’ve hurt.

A skull with all the signs of tertiary syphilis. Fuck me, look at the corrosion on that skull, she must’ve gone fucking mental by the end.

A recording of some old codgers taken in the very early 70s. They were all poor Eastenders and some old granddad remembers the murders very well. The way he talks about one of the women sounds like he knew her very well. Bet it was him the old fuck.

The postcards at the end for visitors who have been ‘touched’ to write thoughtful things on. I fucking love the British public. Some twats had written how awful life must have been for wanton fucking whores who were just asking for it back then. But I think it was foreigners who wrote them. I had a quick look and these were some of the ones I liked and can remember:

  • I am a dinosaur!
  • I’m glad he’s dead!
  • I’m glad he’s probably dead because I’m a prostitute and can now go out on the game and get pissed on cheap gin in peace.
  • I’m glad you pointed out that Jack the Ripper was so named because he was a murderer. Until now I had thought it was because he had terrible flatulence.

That’s it really, that’s the only really good bits. And you’ll notice they’re not that good. Still, it put me in the mood for a drink and light repast and I steered my good lady out of the museum to go and look for a bawdy gin-house and pie shop. There were too many people around though so I’m looking forward to seeing her later so I can get sexy with the kitchen knives and wear her tits as earrings.

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79 Responses to “Jack The Ripper & The East End”

  1. george Says:

    Sounds like you’d have learnt more on his wikipedia profile.

    My parents took me to the tower bridge museum when I was a kid. They had a cockney that said ‘apples and pairs’ rather then ‘stairs’. It was practically child abuse.

  2. Swineshead Says:

    I can tell you who Jack the Ripper was.

    Nicholas Lyndhurst.

  3. george Says:

    No! He always seemed so nice.

  4. Swineshead Says:

  5. Swineshead Says:

    Those two pictures show he is capable of being nasty.
    And we all know he has the ability to cross the boundaries of time from his appearances in Goodnight Sweetheart Featuring Nicholas Lyndhurst.

  6. Who Says:

    Sounds good.

    How much does it cost to get in?

  7. george Says:

    SW: Good point. Reckon it could have been him who shot Kennedy as well? I wouldn’t put it past him.

  8. Swineshead Says:

    I don’t know who SW is…
    Salman Wushdie?

  9. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    That was a mammoth post. I wouldn’t have paid 14 quid for the privilege of being able to review such an exhibition. I’d have done some sort of cool Hollywood thing where I dressed up as a SWAT-team-man and then called in a bomb scare in the museum, then gone in, strolled about and left before the REAL SWAT-team-men arrived. That would have been super-awesome.

    About the author: John Q Wagonwheel is 12. His best friends are Dave and Gary but not Tom because he stole my Transformers Optimus Prime and smells.

  10. Mr Chipz Says:

    Yes, it was a mammouth post but I don’t review much so when I do, I do it big. As big as a gaping wound in a fucking whore’s abdomen. I don’t know who Jack was, but he certainly wasn’t a sugeon. I’ve seen a photo of one of them women what he cut up and if he was a surgeon then I’ll take my chances if my appendix explodes one day. Actually, one good thing about the exhibition is they don’t have any shit about who it could’ve been…none of that freemason, royalty shit.

    I’m going with the general feeling of the time. It was a Jew.

    There, I said it.

  11. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    He went for the ol’ guts over the left shoulder gig didn’t he? Not quite a triple bypass is it?

    Probably a Jew.

  12. Swineshead Says:

    *unscrews pen cap in readiness to amend WWM’s Most Racist list*

  13. Mr Chipz Says:

    Oh I think we can cover more than just racism here. I mean, we’re talking about poor women from the lowest rung of the social ladder in Victorian England.


    They loved it.

  14. Swineshead Says:

    It all gon quiet

  15. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Quiet in ‘ere.

  16. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Ah well, I think I’ll go to Kew Gardens. Tata. (H.)

  17. Napoleon Says:

    It’s ‘Wearside Jack’, not ‘Tyneside Jack’. I was so disgusted by this error, I stopped reading. Don’t know how it ends, don’t care.

  18. Clarys Says:

    Shame that it was a bit of a disappointment, I have a deeply morbid fascination about serial killers and the like. For £7 I would expect some deeply horrific pictures though, a la Celebrity Morgue.

    The London Dungeon is worse – something like £20 to watch out of work actors and actresses make you feel a bit squeamish. Hideous.

  19. Swineshead Says:

    More importantly – monkey brain powers robot arm:


  20. Napoleon Says:

    Terror Towers in Scarborough is fun. I went in there slightly the worse for wear on drugs and booze, and a bloke dressed as Jason chased me around the place wielding a chainsaw. I was genuinely terrified, so the name of the place isn’t a lie.

  21. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Woah, they’ve invented monkey-robot hybrid cyborgs. WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

  22. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Next they’ll have mentally-controlled robot fanny hammers. Then we’ll be obsolete. We’ve got to stop this EVIL TECHNOLOGY now!

  23. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve been to Terror Towers. It scared me too. I think it was a skellington what chased me though.

    The Dracula Experience in Whitby is worth a visit, while we’re discussing horror-themed tourist attractions in coastal Yorkshire.

  24. Napoleon Says:

    I wasn’t all that impressed by The Dracula Experience. Too much dry ice.

  25. Clarys Says:

    Not that it’s in coastal Yorkshire, but one of the worst “experiences” before a ride at Alton Towers has to be Hex. Absolutely awful, god knows why they thought it was a good idea.

  26. Clarry Says:

    Christ, what a day!

    a) I missed most of Apprentice the other night (forgot that it was broadcast on a different day this week), but am greatly cheered that Sophocles was removed. The twat.

    b) Like Clarys, I have a morbid fascination with serial killers. From the description of the exhibition above, I too would be wanting my money back.

    c) The monkey/robot arm thing gives me the creeps.

  27. Swineshead Says:

    Dry ice is exciting – it’s like smoke and mist and all that.

    Alton Towers let me down in a big way with the big new edition about 20 years ago – The Mouse.

    The worst ride in the history of rides. And that includes the time I all but slipped out of the Pirate Ship in Skegness and knackered my knee.

  28. Swineshead Says:

    Hasn’t everyone got a morbid interest in serial killers?
    I know I have.

  29. Napoleon Says:

    The Mouse? I don’t remember that one. I was miffed when they hauled the bones of Black Hole 1 into the light and set it up as a supposedly ‘new’ ride. I forget the name, but anyone who’d originally experienced it in the dark knew they were being sold a bum deal on that one. The fucking cheats.

  30. Napoleon Says:

    There’s a serial killer museum in Florence, I was delighted to discover. I was less delighted to find out there was neither Fred West nor Dr. Harold Shipman in there after I’d shelled out my Euros. The fucking cheats.

  31. Clarry Says:

    SH – And another thing…. On your Swinesbrain blog Crumble dump, dated Jan 15th 2008, is that a picture of the ‘castle’ from castle fields in Sleaford?

  32. Swineshead Says:

    I didn’t like the original Black Hole, if I’m honest. I like to be able to see that my life is in peril.

    The Corkscrew’s the original and the best, I feel.

    Did you ever go on the Pirate Ship at Skegness? Surprised nobody’s ever died on that. Actually, they probably have but nobody found out about it as the circus folks ate the corpses.

  33. Clarry Says:

    Nemesis is the best ride at AT.

  34. Swineshead Says:

    Fred West – he was a character, eh? Smashing sideburns.

    Yes, Clarry, that is Sleaford Castle where I one day plan to live.

  35. Mr Chipz Says:

    Weirside, Tyneside, what’s the difference? None of them are proper English.

  36. Swineshead Says:

    The Mouse – utter shit.

    All you get is the feeling you’ve been cheated and grazes on your knees (I was wearing shorts).

  37. Napoleon Says:

    Henry VIII stayed there with his philandering wife on their Progress to the North. Little bit o’ history there …

    Fred WAS a character, you’re right. He looked the spitting image of my ex’s brother, Kevin. He was more interested in scooters than he was killing women with his wife, was Kevin. He’s married now, so that might have changed.

  38. Swineshead Says:

    What other serial killers are real characters?
    Which similar repeat murderers are the sort of chap you might say ‘he’s a bit of a card’ about?

  39. Napoleon Says:

    Ted Bundy always comes across as affable in old footage. And I imagine a night out with Peter Sutcliffe would be a bit like an episode of The Likely Lads.

  40. Swineshead Says:

    Dennis Nilsson was apparently always down the boozer. Admittedly to pick up young drunk men who had runaway from home or had learning difficulties – but still – at least he had his feet on the ground.

  41. Napoleon Says:

    This is a side of these people you don’t hear much about. Take Shipman: Alright, so he was a bit of a bad egg, but also an excellent bridge partner, apparently. Just goes to show you should never judge a book by its ghastly crimes.

  42. Clarry Says:

    Fred West is my definite fave. I also always had a soft spot for John Haigh, he seemed like a bit of a cad…

  43. Swineshead Says:

    Albert Fish could certainly compose a well-structured letter. You don’t get that kind of letter-writing technique these days – the sort of thing that should be appreciated not attacked as a callous and demeaning way of smearing the memory of his infant victim.


  44. piqued Says:

    I’ve been to Terror Towers in Scarborough as well

    Harold Shipman had an avuncular way about him I always thought –though his bedside manner, I’ve been informed, was a fucking disgrace

  45. piqued Says:

    Albert Fish looks like one Dave Brock of popular acid rock combo Hawkwind, by the way

  46. Mikey Says:

    Michael Corleone.

  47. piqued Says:

    No thanks Mikey, I’m on a diet

  48. Mikey Says:

    Piqued..It’s an offer you can’t refuse!

  49. Swineshead Says:

    Did you see Albert Fish’s letter? Even if ye’ve seen it before it’s worth reading again.

  50. piqued Says:

    I don’t think he was very well

  51. Napoleon Says:

    Michael Corleone wasn’t really a serial killer though, was he? The name’s just reminded me – anyone ever play the game of The Godfather? A 1930s Grand Theft Auto that had its moments.

  52. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve not played it Napoleon, though I’m beginning to tire of Scarface.

  53. Napoleon Says:

    ‘Old up! Where’s my last bloody comment disappeared off to?

  54. Napoleon Says:

    It’s back now. What’s going on?

  55. Swineshead Says:

    You’ve lost it mate.

  56. Mikey Says:

    NC. Michael Corleone wasn’t really a serial killer though, was he?

    No he wasn’t really was he. Oh well. Still, cracking films and he was real. Can’t say I have ever been intrigued by serial killers.

  57. Mikey Says:

    Scarface, thats a good one. Does he count?

  58. piqued Says:

    Yes, my comments keep going into the ether too. I did complain about this yesterday but SH called me a ‘ruddy plop’ which made me weep for hours

  59. Mikey Says:

    All your serial killers seem to be British. The only one that perhaps was of interest to me was the one in US who ate his victims.

  60. piqued Says:

    Whose serial killers? I don’t have any serial killers. Unless I was alarmed at how Coco Pops had tuned my milk brown and was excitedly trying to convey this information to mum with my mouth full of said Pops and some went into my windpipe and I choked to death at the kitchen table.

  61. Mikey Says:

    BTW..Enjoyed the review, Good that wwm is reviewing museums and days out.

  62. Napoleon Says:

    My serial killers weren’t all British. Ted Bundy’s a Yank, I think … unless he’s a Canadian. Anyway, he’s not a son of Albion, I know that much.

  63. Swineshead Says:

    Wasn’t Albert Fish an American?
    I think he was.

  64. Mikey Says:

    He might be of British stock though.

  65. Clarry Says:

    Blimey, that letter was a bit off….

  66. Clarys Says:

    “Blimey, that letter was a bit off….”

    Jesus wept, I’ll fucking say so. Imagine getting that in the post.

  67. Napoleon Says:

    He’s a stickler for detail.

  68. Badger Madge Says:

    Morning. Can someone explain to me that Jew comment above? Me not get. Should I be focussing hatred on JQW again or is it bland enough for me to let it lie?

  69. Mr Chipz Says:

    Don’t worry. At the time of old Jack the Ripper (the cheeky rascal) Whitechapel was full of Jewish immigrants. At that time the longer serving residents were worried that the whole area was becoming Yiddish speaking and they were feeling unnerved and alienated (same concerns people have with influx of Poles etc today). So when the murders happened a lot of people started to say that the killer was probably a Jew. Usual stuff really. We’re not really being anti-semetic, honest.

  70. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Sort of like how in the crusades the Pope told those who were unable to go on a crusade to stay at home and kill jews.

  71. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Bit o’ witch-hunt paranoia often finds its way to Jews.

  72. Badger Madge Says:

    Aaaaah, I getcha.

    JQW… Oh dear. Think a bit o paranoia is fair enough seeing as 6 million of em were wiped out innit.


  73. Mr Chipz Says:

    I think he meant the Gentiles were paranoid, not the Jewish brethren. Though yes, one could understand why some Jews may feel a tad “chippy”.

    Anyway, I’d like to state that I don’t think it was a Jew who did the Ripper killings.

    It was probably a Gypsy.

  74. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Yeah, that is what I meant, Chipz. Sorry for my ambiguous syntactical leanings.

    Gypsy it is.

  75. Badger Madge Says:

    I think it was Judy Finnigan

  76. Badger Madge Says:

    And why have I gone back to a blue pattern again?! Tsk!

  77. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I love that it’s a tourist attraction. It’s like Austria selling tickets to Fritzl’s house. Go commerce!

  78. Mr Chipz Says:

    I want to see something similar in Leeds, where you can buy hammers in the gift shop.

  79. styleslicker Says:

    OMG what an attraction, would love to go there and feel the adreneline.

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