Talk: Discovering Jack the Ripper

Who was Jack the Ripper? It’s a question that has fascinated us for 130 years and one that is being raised again in Shrewsbury to mark a special anniversary of the final murder attributed to the mystery killer.

The mutilated body of Mary Jane Kelly was discovered in Miller’s Court, Whitechapel, on November 9, 1888 and Dr Lucy Andrew of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) will be reopening the case files at an event in the town on November 10.

Dr Andrew is Lecturer in English Literature and Programme Leader of the English degree at UCS and will be taking visitors on a whistle-stop tour through the Ripper case, the theories and culture as she explores why and how we are still fascinated by the Ripper 130 years on and questions whether we should be.

Her research specialities are in children’s and young adult literature and crime fiction. She is the author of The Boy Detective in Early British Children’s Literature and co-editor of Crime Fiction in the City: Capital Crimes.

“Mary Jane Kelly was the last ‘official’ victim of Jack the Ripper, the brutal and mysterious killer who had terrorised the streets of Whitechapel during the Autumn of Terror, simply to disappear into the London fog, forever shrouded in mystery,” she said.

“In the years since his disappearance, theories have abounded as to the Ripper’s true identity – the butcher, the doctor, the artist, the prince – with few escaping the notice of Ripperologists and conspiracy theorists.

“Ripper culture is still going strong 130 years on with a vast range of films, books, graphic novels, board games, walking tours and the infamous Jack the Ripper Museum which opened its doors amidst great controversy in 2015.”

Capturing Jack the Ripper: The Ripper Mythos 130 years on will be held at University Centre Shrewsbury, The Guildhall, Shrewsbury, between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, November 10.

The event is free to attend and places can be booked online.