As some of you may know I have always been rather fascinated by the legend of Jack the Ripper. (Don’t look at my browsing history – I’m a writer so it’s a bit weird!). For anyone unfamiliar with him Jack the Ripper stalked the London streets in the Autumn of 1888 and left at least five women dead and mutilated. These poor women were prostitutes of the lowest class; it was a dangerous profession. In many ways the killings highlighted the plight of the Victorian poor, particularly for females. Who did not have much choice in how they supported themselves if a husband was not around, or the family was very poor.
There are hundreds of theories about who he (or she) was – ranging from the grandson of the Queen Victoria (Eddie – Duke of Clarence who might have had some rather dubious doings but was several hundred miles away in Scotland at the time of one of the killings), to a mad doctor, to a Jewish slaughterman, to a midwife, to a wealthy Liverpool businessman (who himself was (possibly murdered by his wife Florence Maybrick ).
George Chapman, another unpleasant woman-killer of the time was also mentioned, as was the artist Walter Sickert. Any or none of these could have been the killer.
Who was this person who left London in the grip of terror? This new murderer more wicked than any before him? Who knows? That is part of the enduring legend. Jack the Ripper was never caught and his legacy is such that writers and historians aplenty have fielded proof, disproof, and stories for over a hundred years.
Anyway enough background…. The story is from the point of view of the killer – and recounts his last known murder – that of Mary Jane Kelly. I am not putting forward names – other than Jack but there is a twist at the end of his identity.
This was previously published as an anthology piece for Tales from Darker Places and Boo Fore! but has been updated and revised for this version.
Welcome to the darkness of Victorian London….
The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.
18 rated for scenes of violence.
Universal Link The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story
Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/the-watcher
Background reading for those interested.
Jack the Ripper – a rundown
Florence Maybrick – Did she kill him?
The Florence Maybrick case is fascinating in itself, tragic for all concerned and showed the morals of the time well enough. Mrs Maybrick was tried more for the fact she’d had affairs (including with her husband’s brother) than anything else. Her husband had a mistress, was a hypochondriac who took arsenic as a tonic, and in more than one case had struck his wife.
Walter Sickert – Casebook review