It’s time for our monthly look at the television series Whitechapel, brought to you by our very special guest blogger Philipp Röttgers.
SEASON ONE: EPISODE TWO
The episode starts similar to the one before, this time with images of the Ripper, the dead woman found at the end of episode 1, and Chandler talking to the Commissioner. Chandler informs the Commissioner that the murder of the victim in Hanbury Street was similar to the one of Annie Chapman.
Chandler distributes Ripper-literature in his team.
Some of the publications are probably even used as sources for this blog (or are written by known authors/tour guides). DC McCormack informs the team that the victim “had three children, separated, she was an alcoholic and this one was definitely on the game.” All these attributes fit to Annie Chapman. Also, Chandler says that the victim was in a fight before she died. Annie Chapman had been in a violent argument with a fellow resident shortly before her death. Meanwhile, Miles interrogates a prostitute on the street.
He informs Chandler that the prostitute told him of a soldier that she and the other girls are afraid of. Miles links it to the envelope found at the murder scene, which comes from a soldier’s regiments. When Annie Chapman’s body was found in 1888, there was a piece of envelope at the scene with the stamp of the Sussex Regiment.
A MEETING IN A PUB
Chandler meets Buchan in a pub, who tells him that the envelope had nothing to do with the murderer of Annie Chapman.
He says that the modern Ripper creates all the false traces for Chandler to make him his Inspector Abberline. Back in the investigation room, Miles presents the suspicious soldier’s name to the team:
Private John Leary, who was also the soldier seen by PC Barrett on the night of Martha Tabram’s murder.
When the team talks about the different Ripper theories in their books, Fitzgerald mentions the Royal conspiracy theory, which inspired From Hell. Kent’s book says the murderer “is a sailor that went off to live in Jamaica”, probably the Carl Feigenbaum theory. Miles has a book about a woman as the culprit, which is a theory that was already postulated at the time of the murders.
The newspapers have been informed about the murders. Chandler warns his team of “false leads, false confession and false alarms, not to mention members of the public getting in our way. The press are offering money for information.”
BUCHAN BECOMES AN ADVISER
In 1888 this was exactly what happened. Buchan is taken in to advise the team and they talk about the upcoming “double-event”, the night of the 30th of September, where both Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were murdered by Jack.
Buchan points out that Mitre Square, where Eddowes was killed, still exists nowadays and that he thinks that Elizabeth Stride was not a Ripper victim.
In the investigation room, Chandler explains that if the Ripper prepares a double murder, the first one will take place on Henriques Street, which is now the name of Berner Street, where Elizabeth Stride was murdered.
A MURDER IN MITRE SQUARE
On the following night, the team cannot prevent the murder of Mary Bousfield on Mitre Square and Buchan is arrested as he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He wanted to catch the Ripper himself and while he is arrested, the Ripper has enough time to place Mary Bousfield’s body in the square.
Thinking he is the killer, the police interrogate Buchan and search his house. In the mortuary, Dr Llewellyn describes the wounds on Mary Bousfield: “He cut her throat first right through to the vertebrae. The abdomen has been completely opened up. There’s a stab wound in the liver. Genital mutilation. And the kidney and uterus have been removed”. This reads like the wounds of Catherine Eddowes. Chandler and Miles point out that Mary Bousfield knew the killer, just like Catherine Eddowes had said that she wanted to earn the reward offered for the apprehension of the Whitechapel murderer – “I think I know him.”
THE MURDERER HAD MADE CONTACT
The team finds out that the murderer must be someone who contacted Buchan via his homepage and asked him about the Ripper crimes and that this information is the basis for the new Ripper’s deeds. Buchan informs DC Sanders that according to history the killer is going to send a kidney to “someone he regards as his nemesis”.
In 1888, this nemesis was Mr George Lusk, the Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who received a letter addressed “From Hell” along with a parcel that included half a kidney.
The episode ends with the same package being delivered to DS Miles’ private home (Is this a hidden pun at Lusk’s home in Mile End?).