A Look Back On 2015

Can you believe it? 2015 is almost over.

So, today,I thought I’d take a look back over the blog posts that have appeared on our website this year.

Throughout January the website was in the process of being redesigned to make it more of a newsy site and give it more of an informational feel. Therefore, for various technical reasons, no blogs were posted in that first month.

 FEBRUARY 2015

In February I made a short video of the Mary Nichols murder site in Buck’s Row (Durward Street as it now is) showing it as it was in 1888 and as it appears today. On this occasion I opted not to  provide a commentary, but rather add an evocative musical sound track. Here it is.

MARCH 2015

With the new website upon and running we began the first videos looking at the life and death of Sherlock Holmes. We also took a close look at another of the Whitechapel murders locations and paid a blogging visit to George Yard, scene of the murder of Martha Tabram. You can read the article here.

APRIL 2015

Emma Elizabeth Smith on her death bed.
Emma Elizabeth Smith In Hospital

April 1888 saw the first Whitechapel Murder, that of Emma Elizabeth Smith, who was attacked by a gang as she made her way back to her lodging house in the early hours of April 3rd 1888. This is the full story.

MAY 2015

In May we launched the first of our monthly quizzes, this one entitled “Are You A Ripperologist?” Your task, should you have chosen to accept it was to answer 10 questions of the Jack the Ripper murders. We also introduced our esteemed Department of Ripperology, which awarded you a certificate on completion of the quiz. If you missed it the first time around, or if you would like to do it gain – here it is.

JUNE 2015

With the summer well and truly upon us we did several blogs throughout June (16 to be precise) one of which looked at Jack the Ripper’s most popular item of apparel – and one that never actually existed(!) – his little black bag. Click Here To Read The Article.

JULY 2015

Our major blog for July 2015 was a look at the man behind the newspaper that, more than any other, sensationalised the Whitechapel Murders and used them to sell as many newspapers as they could whilst, at the same time, used them to further a political agenda by creating a metaphorical stick with which to beat the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren. The man in question was T. P O’Connor, his newspaper was The Star and you can Read All About It Here.

An image of Mr. T. P O'Connor
T P O’Connor

AUGUST 2015

The big story in August 1888 – with hindsight it must be said – was the murder of Mary Nichols on August 31st 1888. She is now generally acknowledged as being the first victim of the serial killer who became known as “Jack the Ripper.” This was also the day when James Monro resigned as head of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard, to be replaced by Robert Anderson.  So, of the 16 blogs we put out in August 2015, the big one was the article that dealt with the murder of Mary Nichols and the resignation of James Monro.. You can read it again via this link.

SEPTEMBER 2015

September was a big news month in the annals of Ripperology and we duly rose to the challenge. It’s difficult to select one story of the 15 or so we put out this month. (If you would like to see them all you can choose from this list. However, the most fascinating articles, from a personal perspective, were the two that dealt with the murder of Elizabeth Roberts, in 1898 and the murder of Kate Ronan, in 1909, both of which took place in Miller’s Court where Mary Kelly had been murdered on the 9th November 1888.

OCTOBER 2015

In October 2015 we began our “Out and About” series whereby our guides headed out into the wild East End of London and snapped photos of various locations during a year when many of the places that we visit on our Jack the Ripper tour began to change dramatically. The first one of the series was in the photographic company of Philip Hutchinson. Here is his story.

NOVEMBER 2015

The big story for November 1888 was the murder of Mary Kelly and we duly gave coverage to that horrific event. However, in researching the day by day events in the aftermath of her murder I came upon an intriguing article that reported the Death Of Jack the Ripper.

A view looking along the former Dorset Street as it appears in 2012.
Dorset Street 2012

Of course, you might have preferred another article so you can see all the articles for November on this list.

DECEMBER 2015

And so the year entered its last month and Christmas was, once more, almost upon us. I was torn between two articles as my favourites from the December 2015 crop. So, rather than agonise for too long, I thought I’d end the year by sharing them both with you.

Whilst researching World War One images for another project I came upon a newspaper article about a gruesome murder that took place in Hyde Park in 1915.

Alice Jarman’s body was found in a ditch in the north west of the park and, whilst searching for the murder weapon, the authorities found a bayonet that had been issued in 1888. It most certainly got me thinking! You can read the full article here.

The view of the now demolished Dorset Street.
The Former Dorset Street, December 2015

The final article of my round up of 2015 was one of the last to be published this year. In many ways I found this a poignant and nostalgic article as it looked at the various stages of the demolition of the former Dorset Street which has taken place over the course of the year. You can read the article and see the photographs here.

HERE’S TO A GREAT 2016

So, there you have it, a round up of some of my favourite articles that have appeared on our Website over the course of 2015. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them?

During 2016 we’ve got some great and original articles coming up and we’ve also got a big new documentary that you’re going to be able to watch exclusively on our website.

We’ve also got some great quizzes coming up and we continue to trawl the archives to bring you some great photos of the East End as it was at the time of the ripper crimes. We post these daily on your Facebook Page.

So, as the last hours of 2015 tick away into the ether and the stroke of midnight heralds in the New Year, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and for the time you’ve taken to read the 2015 blogs and to add your comments and observations as well as for taking the trouble to post your own photographs and your own finds.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2016.

See you there!