Upon arriving to the walking tour, the weather was appropriate with dark clouds covering the sky and a constant streaming of wind. Due to our early arrival, Donald Rumbelow, our tour guide, told us of the area of public execution and recommended we saw the site for ourselves. The daunting atmosphere was only enhanced as we walked over to the infamous place of public execution of many historical figures. My superstitious fears left me weary from lingering in the area. As we returned back to the walking tour flocks of people showed up for the tour. I made my way towards to front to ensure that I would be able to hear him and Rumbelow began the Jack the Ripper walking tour.
Rumbelow’s extensive knowledge of Jack the Ripper was apparent throughout the tour as details of each location, the historical atmosphere during that time, and his detail answers to any questions. Knowing that he wrote the book specific on Jack the Ripper solidified his reputation during the tour. Due to construction, we were forced in an alley where the roaring of cars passing constantly disrupted Rumbelow. As he built up the story towards the dramatic moment a car would pass by, which made for the constant stopping and repeating of the story. The constant breaks in the story took slightly away from the ambiance Rumbelow was trying to create. Although with our first stop in the alley way I learned about the gruesome details that ultimately killed the life of Mary Ann. The moment that caught my attention the most, though, was when I found out the first victim was murdered on my birthday, August 31st. With this in my mind, we continued on the tour. The second sight and description of the victim only conjured the thought of a dead woman lying there, unnoticed by all the bystanders. I was amazed to find out that Jack the Ripper successfully committed murder within a short span of time and nobody was able to catch a glimpse of the murder. We then moved away towards the East End to talk about the other victims. I was shocked to find the incompetence and bitterness of the two police forces ultimately led to the only evidence linking the murder was erased. I became frustrated that the tragic victims were not even afforded the opportunity to seek justice due to the police forces petty feud. As the night got dimmer, the overall mood in the crowd was somber. When talking about the fourth victim that night, I was again astounded to find the murder of Annie Chapman occurred early in the morning with daylight and Jack the Ripper’s actions were not seen by anyone. The most disturbing murder from the tour was the final victim, Mary Kelly, and the final destination. The extensive mutilations are incomprehensible and the singular photograph taking of the victim at the crime scene does not accurately depict how the body in person, as described by Rumbelow. I left in astonishment and mystery as the identity of Jack the Ripper is still debated to this day. The overall experience left me more aware and perturbed by the events that occurred through the Jack the Ripper walking tour.