The “London Walks” tour, led by the notorious Donald Rumbalow, was a remarkable experience filled with the terror and history behind “Jack the Ripper” murders. As we walked down the small alleyways and backstreets of East London, Donald explained and examined the mystery behind “Jack” and his victims. Donald did an excellent job of describing how the area would have been back then, and really set the scene for our grim tour.
Personally, it was interesting to see the changes of this area, and how different is was back in the 1880’s. Today, the area where Jack was doing all of his bloody business is quite chic and filled with students, businessmen, and hipsters. Prior to this, the area was a dark and run-down place, where everyone had to work hard to earn a couple pence, and where a lot of people were struggling to make ends meet. Donald explained that in Jack’s era, there were no electric bulbs and very few gas lamps. This helped make it easier for “Jack the Ripper” to murder his victims down these dark and gloomy streets. Donald explained that when “Jack” murdered his first victim and left her lying in the alley, two passerby’s did not even recognize her bloody body. Since it was so dark and there was no lights, the men thought she was sleeping.
Donald not only explained how “Jack” killed his victims, but he also focused on the psychology of the killer. He was very informative about the tricky skills that “Jack” possessed and the mystery to how he was never caught. “Jack” would tactfully kill these prostitutes in different areas in order confuse or disrupt the two different police forces. It was interesting to learn about how these two police forces would not cooperate together, because there was competition to catch the killer. This further enabled “Jack” to escape from his bloody crime scenes. “Jack” would also kill his victims on the weekends, which may have helped conceal his identity. In order to keep a low profile, “Jack” might have killed his victims in one area, but have a steady job in another part of the city. Being this anonymous killer is one of the reasons “Jack” has received so much attention. It created a sense of fear and suspicion in the area, and people started to suspect everyone.
It was interesting to learn about how the police of that era never dealt with a serial killed like “Jack the Ripper”. Jack was killing and mutilating his victims for reasons the police could not understand. Jack was killing these poor prostitutes that did not have any money or valuables. The police were also a lot less experienced back then and certainly did not have the technology used today. Donald explained how there was no DNA evidence, so it was impossible for the police to distinguish human blood from animal blood. Since the only evidence from “Jack the Ripper” came from eye-witnesses, it was easy for “Jack” to hide his identity. Donald explained that it was on the night of the double murder, that the police came closest to catching “Jack”. Donald informed the group that on this particular night, there was a lighted door open and police patrolled this small area regularly. It was bewildering how “Jack” could flee these brutal and gruesome crime scenes without being seen by anyone.