Location Map Mary Kelly

Mary Jane Kelly (Jeanette) 1863 – 1888

  Almost nothing is known about “Kelly’s” background; she remains a mystery within a mystery. In November, 1888, she was around 25 and living in a small room off DORSET STREET, NO 13, MILLER’S COURT, just a couple of footfalls from the lodging house where Annie Chapman had resided. At 10.45 on the morning of November 9th her…

Location Map Catherine Eddows

Catherine Eddows (Kate Kelly) 1842 – 1888

A tiny, gregarious, woman who hailed originally from Wolverhampton, Cathy took up with an ex-soldier named Thomas Conway, who appears to have been a Writer of sorts, and bore him three children prior to their separating in 1880. Eddowes ended up in London where she became the common-law Wife of John Kelly, a Market Porter. The…

Location Map Eliz Stride

Elizabeth Stride (Long Liz) 1843 – 1888

ELIZABETH STRIDE’S dead body was found in DUTFIELD’S YARD, BERNER STREET, ST GEORGE’S-IN-THE-EAST, three quarters of an hour before Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square, which is fifteen minutes walking distance from Berner street. Stride’s sole injury was to her throat, which had been cut in a similar fashion to the above three. except that it was…

Location Map Annie Chapman

Annie Chapman (Dark Annie) 1841 – 1888

Arguably the definitive Ripper victim, Annie was born in Paddington, North-West London. Age 27, she married John Chapman, a Coachman, with whom she set up home at Windsor and had three children. Annie is the only victim of whom a known photograph taken during life exists. By the early 1880’s the family had split up. John Chapman subsequently died of…

Location Map Mary Nichols

Mary Ann Nichols (Polly) 1845 – 1888

  The Daughter of a Locksmith and Blacksmith, she married Printer William Nichols in 1864 and bore him five children. The marriage was not however a success and the couple separated in 1880. By August, 1888, Mary Ann – known to her friends as Polly — was reduced to living in East End lodging houses and…

Reinvestigating Murder: How Did ‘Long Liz’ Die?

Israel Schwartz had apparently been in Britain only a matter of days when he became embroiled in history’s most famous murder mystery. At about a quarter to one on the morning of September 30th, 1888, Schwartz was walking up Berner Street from Commercial Road when;

“he saw a man stop & speak to a woman who was standing in the gateway. The man tried to pull the woman into the street & threw her down on the footway & the woman screamed three times but not very loudly”.

Jack In The Box

Perhaps and maybe are words that Tony Williams and his co-author, Humphrey Price, use frequently in discussing `Uncle Jack`, their candidate for Jack the Ripper. Indeed, these words occur eight times in a single page of their book, suggesting a lack of conviction in their own theorising. Making accusations that erode the good name and reputation of long-dead eminent Victorians has become something of a cult in the vast literature that has grown up around Ripperology. Sir William Gull suffered at the hands of Stephen Knight and others and, now, Sir John Williams receives similar treatment from a family descendant. It is a pity that the reputation of such a distinguished man has been tainted by accusations of criminality based on weak circumstantial evidence.

Death and Rebirth – Durward Street In The 20th Century

The murder of Mary Ann Nichols in the early hours of 31st August 1888 put Buck’s Row on the crime map of London for good, as the Whitechapel Murders did for many other streets during the ‘Autumn of Terror’. This non-descript, narrow and ill-lit thoroughfare was by all accounts the home of respectable, working class types at the time, but less than a century earlier it had been partly rural, going by the name of Ducking Pond Row on account of the said ducking pond being situated at its junction with what is now Brady Street. The industrial age and the development of the London Underground system was largely responsible for the type of building that took place on Buck’s Row during the Victorian era and this was pretty much how it remained for many years after that fateful morning in 1888.

Sergeant William Thick

It could so easily be missed, this little chalkland village, as many miles from Salisbury as it is from Shaftesbury and once an insignificant settlement on the Northern rim of Cranborne Chase. The Ebble Valley road follows a winding westward course from Salisbury between the ancient downland ridges of the Shaston Drove and the Ox Drove, but at Broadchalke a spur sweeps round the church to run even deeper past succulent cressbeds and heron-haunted trout ponds. Here, at Bowerchalke, William Thick was born on November 20th 1845.

Reinvestigating Murder: The Kelly Enigma

Here’s a question. What links Mary Kelly to a famous quotation from Winston Churchill? The answer is his description of Russia: “an enigma within a riddle within a mystery”. Was she: “tall and pretty and fair as a lily” ( Elizabeth Prater and John McCarthy ), or: “short, stout and dark” with protruding false teeth ( Maurice Lewis and Elizabeth Phoenix )? What was her real name and age, where was she from originally and was she in hiding from someone? Was it even her corpse which was found at Miller’s Court?