It has been 125 years since the Jack the Ripper Saga unfolded in Whitechapel, yet the notorious Ripper continues to amaze and even scare people to this day. In fact, people are so intrigued by the chain of events of the late 1800s, that millions flock from all over the world to walk the streets of the East End, the same streets that were once frequented by the infamous Ripper. All of this raises the question, why does Jack the Ripper remain so intriguing?
New Suspects and New Theories – There were almost two dozen suspects believed to be Jack the Ripper while the murders unfolded. That was 185 years ago and guess what; not much has changed. New theories about possible suspects continue to spring up; some of them baseless while others have some substance but nothing conclusive. Only recently did news emerge that the real Ripper may have been a painter. Others support the claim that he was a local butcher. And then of course there is the notion that British Royalty was involved. All this speculation has kept interest in the Ripper case alive. There is an ever present fascination to find out who actually did commit those horrible crimes.
Movies and Documentaries – The thing that separates Jack the Ripper from your average bogey man is that The Ripper was definitively real. The Ripper Murders and dozens more that followed it will go down as a dark chapter in the history of Whitechapel. There is so much mystery, horror, and suspense surrounding the whole saga that dozens of movies and documentaries have been made on this subject.
The most well-known movie about the Jack the Ripper was “From Hell” starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham. It was one of the first movies that was based on the conspiracy theories of there being a Royal connection to the Ripper murders. In the film the real Ripper is cited as a Physician (played by Ian Holm) to the then Prince, grandson of the reigning Queen Victoria who suffers a terminal illness, most likely from his philandering with Whitechapel prostitutes. This outrages the Physician who goes on a vengeful killing spree and becomes Jack the Ripper. The movie also attempted to squash the theory about the Ripper being of Jewish origin which was big gossip back in the 1880s.
Another great film worthy of mention is “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” directed by none other than Alfred Hitchcock. He even had a small cameo in the very beginning of the film. The Lodger went on to become one of the best movies ever made on Jack the Ripper.
Since the entire Jack the Ripper, Saga is a historical event, numerous documentaries have been made that offer a more in depth and factual look at the entire chain of events. Almost all of them have garnered critical acclaim and praise. A&E did a great one on him back in 1995. It was purely based on known evidence and most authentic and credible theories about who might the real Ripper be.
He Was Never Caught – Say what you want about Jack the Ripper. One fact is universally agreed upon; he got away with murder. He was never caught despite best team of detectives on the case, and despite the huge among of interest in the case from worldwide media and Scotland Yard. This factor alone is responsible for creating the mystery and fascination with the Ripper Saga that exists to this day.
Jack the Ripper Guided Tours – Arguably one of the best reasons Jack the Ripper saga is still alive can be attributed to the Guided Jack the Ripper tours. They are London’s top attractions and draw a crowd of millions every year adding to the tourism and travel flow in the UK. People who take tour, basically take a crash course of the chain of events; what happened, and how and why. Basically everything except for who did it.
Documentaries can boring. Films are usually lack authenticity as they skip over a few details trying to make a story out of the film. Guided tours is a great to look at the face of terror of the 19th century. Next time you are in London, be sure to take the Jack the Ripper Tour.
Richard Cobb – has written 213 posts on this site.
Richard Cobb is a industry expert on everything Jack The Ripper, he is also the founding partner of The Jack The Ripper Tour which has become extremely successful over the last 3 years.