Saturday, 17 May 2008

Victorian England:Jack the Ripper and the East End: myth versus reality

London's most infamous unsolved murders have been the centre of much speculation over the past hundred years, but a new exhibition is boldly attempting to separate fact from fiction. MSN investigates.

The letter is scripted, artfully, in blood-red ink - penned, perhaps, by the hand of a murderous misogynist so notorious he has entered the realm of mythology: “Dear Boss... I am down on whores and I shunt [sic] quit ripping them until I do get buckled... Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.”
Whether or not the author was responsible for the Whitechapel murders, the “Dear Boss” letter - sent to a press agency in September 1888 after three women were fatally mutilated in a month in London’s East End - secured the serial killer’s place in history and, for the first time, gave him a public name.
One of the most celebrated Ripper artefacts, the letter has now been brought together with more than 200 other surviving original documents, including yellowing police files, fading photographs and bizarre letters from the public (many claiming to be the killer), for the first time in a bid to separate myth from reality in a case that has had our collective imagination in a stranglehold for more than a century.
Jack the Ripper and the East End, at the Museum in Docklands, is not for people with a nervous disposition. Eschewing frivolous sensationalism, it rigorously dissects the harsh realities of the time - bringing the true horror of the crimes into disturbingly sharp focus. The countless fictional works inspired by the crimes pale by comparison...... Read more here: Msn News uk
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