Hunting for Jack the Ripper throughout the East End of London can be a, to say the least, frustrating task. There you are, following up a clue or a sighting, thinking you’re getting close to a possible solution to the mystery when, hey presto, your carefully researched theory evaporates in front of you!
One thing we’re fond of saying on our Jack the Ripper Tour is that the one certainty about the Jack the Ripper mystery is that nothing is certain.
Let’s be honest, we don’t even known for certain how many victims Jack the Ripper had! That’s why it is such a fascinating topic.
It is one of those subjects that anybody can get into and on which everybody can, and does, have an opinion. Unlike many subjects you don’t need a scholarly bent to make a contribution to ripper studies.
Indeed, some of the finest researchers, and I’m talking here about those who have made genuine contributions to the field of ripperology, have never set foot inside a university.
Yet they all share one thing in common. A dogged determination to comb the records in the hope that the next document they uncover, or the next page they turn, might, just might, hold the final piece of the puzzle that will help solve a 125 year old murder mystery that has had people scratching their heads since 1888.
So, just because you haven’t got an in depth knowledge of a particular strand of history, don’t feel that that precludes you from making a, possibly, important contribution to the field of Jack the Ripper studies.
Even if you’re miles away from London, there is so much information available now on line that you will enable you to open your own casebook on the crimes.
Sometimes it just takes a fresh pair of eyes, or a fresh perspective, to see something that experts have been staring at for years, but which they haven’t actually noticed. Could that fresh pair of eyes be yours?
Even if you don’t actually succeed in solving the mystery, studying the case will involve you discovering an awful lot about many different aspects of history.
A serious student will, for example, look into the policing methods that were used by the Victorian Police, and will study the social conditions that lay behind the murders. And, in so doing, will find themselves looking back on a brief 12 or so period in history when the eyes of the world were focussed on a relatively small area of the East End of London.