The London Hospital and Jack The Ripper

The London Hospital stands opposite Whitechapel Underground Station and looks down on

An exterior view of the London Hospital
The London Hospital
the busy Whitechapel Road. Although we don’t feature it on our Jack the Ripper Tour it is most certainly mentioned several times in the course of the walk.

It was at the London Hospital that Emma Smith died in April 1888. Although Emma was, according to the account she gave to a medic shortly before she died, attacked by a gang and was probably not, therefore, a victim of Jack the Ripper, hers is the first name to appear in the generic Whitechapel Murders file. We actually do pass the spot where she was attacked early on in our Jack the Ripper Walk.

It was also to the London Hospital that the kidney sent to Mr George Lusk in October 1888,along with the infamous ‘From Hell’ letter was eventually taken so that it could be examined by the Pathological Curator Dr. Thomas Openshaw. The police wanted him to ascertain whether or not it was the kidney that had been removed from Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes, who had been murdered on 30th September 1888, and thus that it had been sent by Jack the Ripper.

Despite newspaper reports to the contrary, Dr.Opens haw was of the opinion that, although he thought it to be half of a left human kidney, he was unable to say whether it was from a woman, nor how much time had elapsed since it had been removed from the body.

In the London Hospital Museum, which is free of charge, there is an exhibition that features a copy of the From Hell letter and other memorabilia that covers the various ways in which the London Hospital featured in the Jack the Ripper case.