One cold, dark, February evening, Peer Group embarked on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour just across London Bridge into Whitechapel and Spitalfields. In the 21st Century, Whitechapel and Spitalfields is a very modern and vibrant area, bustling with offices, shops, and lots of people. However, we were about to learn about its dark history.
Our tour guide Paul from London Discovery Tours led us through a Jack the Ripper Crime Scene Investigation which set out to join the Victorian Police as they hunted history’s most infamous serial killer through the crooked, cobbled alleyways of the Victorian East End. In fact, the term serial killer would not be coined until the 1970’s and the investigation methods at the time were very much primitive.
We met Paul at Aldgate East station and began our tour. We were immediately led into a dimly lit backstreet passageway, that has hardly changed since the Victorian era, to set the mood for the tour. It was right next to a pub that Jack the Ripper used to frequent and it was eerie learning what had happened on the same street we were standing on.
As the tour went on, we learnt of the panic and terror that Jack the Ripper instilled into the local neighbourhood. We gained a detailed insight into the grimness and ferocity of the crimes committed and visited many of the murder sites.
After this insightful, but shocking tour we took to a real East End pub called the Hoop and Grapes. We warmed up hear with some hearty pub food and beer and enjoyed the rest of our evening.