Goulston Street is just a short walk from Mitre Square, which was the murder site of Catherine Eddowes. It was here in the early hours of 30 September 1888 that a vital piece of evidence, the missing portion of Catherine Eddowes’ apron, was found.
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What happened on Goulston Street in relation to the Jack the Ripper crimes?
In 1888, Goulston Street had blocks of flats on either side of the road. It was in the doorway that led to the staircases of No. 108 to No. 119 that a vital piece of Ripper evidence was discovered.
A police constable was passing the doorway in the early hours of 30 September 1888 when he found the missing piece of Catherine Eddowes’ apron. The fragment he found was stained with blood and faeces and was wet from where the knife blade had reputedly been wiped.
The evidence provided certain clues about the Ripper’s behaviour on the night, which was the same evening Elizabeth Stride had been killed. Having murdered two people in an hour, the area would have been filling with police officers. The positioning of the apron in a doorway to the east of Mitre Square suggests the Ripper must have dropped it while he fled the scene rapidly and was going to ground.
The location of the apron piece suggests he was heading back to the East End after committing the murder, which probably means he was staying somewhere in the area. The police also surmised that it’s likely he had the apron and the murder weapon in his coat pocket. When he came across the recessed doorway on Goulston Street he had the perfect opportunity to wipe away any blood stains from his person that would have attracted attention, before simply dropping the apron in the doorway.
Intriguingly, there was also some graffiti left in the doorway. A chalk message was scrawled on the wall directly above the apron which read ‘The Juwes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing.’ Given the rising level of anti-Semitism in the area, the police made the decision to remove the graffiti before it could be seen by the public and possibly provoke attacks on innocent people.
Where is Goulston Street?
Goulston Street is situated in Whitechapel in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and in the heart of East London. The nearest tube station to Goulston Street is Aldgate East, which is just 1-minute to the south-east.
As well as learning more about the gruesome, but also intriguing, history of Jack the Ripper in the area, there are also a number of nearby attractions that are well worth your attention. The Electric Blue Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery are a must for those with an artistic bent, while the nearby Petticoat Lane Market and Christ Church Spitalfields are just a stone’s throw away.
What is Goulston Street in the present day?
Goulston Street is a thoroughfare that runs north to south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street. It still has residential properties on either side of the road but the ground floors of the blocks are shops, one of which is the Happy Days Fish and Chip Shop. It was in the doorway that now forms the entrance to the chip shop where the apron was found.
How has Goulston Street changed since 1888?
In 1886/87, blocks of flats called Brunswick Buildings and Wentworth Dwellings were constructed on either side of Goulston Street. Most of these dwellings were destroyed by a V2 Rocket in World War II, but those that remained deteriorated over the next couple of decades and were eventually demolished in 1976. The name of the flats is commemorated by Brunswick House which now partly covers the site where the Brunswick Buildings once stood.