The Art of Darkness

“Ripper” Museum Exhibition

March 4th, 2008 by Cobwebs

The news headline read, “Jack the Ripper Returns,” but disappointingly there’s no copycat carving up Whitechapel.

This April 3 will be the 120th anniversary of the first murder officially attributed to Jack the Ripper, and London’s Museum in Docklands is running a special exhibition about the murders from May 15 to November 2.

From police files and photographs to letters from the public and the supposed Ripper himself, examine, for the first time, surviving documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded.

Step back in time to the labyrinth of late-Victorian Whitechapel, and uncover the human stories behind the sensational reports and explore the lives of the victims, witnesses, suspects and police, and the world they lived in.

I was a college exchange student at Cambridge in 1988, the 100th anniversary of the murders, and Ripperphernalia was everywhere; you couldn’t walk down the street without running into morgue photos.* I also discovered that I was born on the 80th anniversary of the final murder, permanently interesting me in the case in a half-assed sort of way. (In other words, I know a goodly amount about the case, but not a creepy amount about the case.)

Anyway, if you’re planning on being in London, the Docklands exhibition looks intriguing and you might want to check it out.

This would also be a good year to have a Ripper-themed Halloween party. Have your guests come in their finest Victorian garb and party like it’s 1899.

*If an entire generation of London youth grows up slightly twitchy, we need look no further than the Ripper’s 100th Anniversary marketing team.

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