The Whitechapel Murders

I come from the East End of London

and the East End ain’t pretty or sweet,

‘specially where I come from

just off Dorset Street.

And the people from up in the West End

with their noses up in the air

Either treat us like vermin

or pretend we just ain’t there.

Well they couldn’t pretend no longer

and they suddenly started to care

when the news of the Whitechapel Murders

broke in Pembroke Square.

Whitechapel’s part of the East End,

some people say the worst,

but no one foresaw what had started

on August 31st.

It was quarter to four in the morning

when a carter names Cross, walking slow,

thought he saw a tarpaulin

laid in the kerb in Buck’s Row.

So he walked to the opposite pavement,

as he stood there and lowered his head,

he saw that it weren’t no tarpaulin

but a woman. Drunk. Or dead.

A man name of Paul was approaching.

Shouts Cross “give us hand with her, mate”.

Then they looked and saw her throat bleeding

and the blood dripping down a grate.

They both ran to look for a bobby

and they found one named Constable Haine,

who called for a Scotland Yard doctor

to examine the tart by the drain.

When the doctor examined the body

he turned to the men with a scowl

saying “gentlemen, we have uncovered

a murder most horrid and foul”.

The newspaper rendors that evening

had placards displayed at their feet

saying “Woman killed in Whitechapel

and then disemboweled in the street!”

Now murders ain’t really unusual,

even less so around the East End,

but the slaying of Mary Ann Nichols

was something quite different again.

The public was sort of uneasy;

the press said a monster was loose

and that Londoners couldn’t rest easy

‘til he hung with his neck in a noose.

For eight days the hatter continued

and then, like a bolt from the blue,

on September the 8th Annie Chapman

was founds dead and butchered too.

In the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street,

with people asleep all around,

she was found with her throat cut and bleeding

and her entrails laid out on the ground.

Well, the people were now in a panic,

And people were heard to remark:

“If you don’t want to be the next victim,

don’t go out alone after dark!”

For three weeks nothing happened.

The police still hadn’t a clue,

But at least there’d been no more murders

And we hoped it might stop at two.

And then one Sunday it happened

and it put the whole city in fright;

another two murders committed

and both on the same bloody night!

A bloke with a cart found the first one;

at his gate his horse stopped and shied,

so the fella, called Diemshutz got down

and discovered the cause was Elizabeth Stride.

She lay there, her throat freshly severed,

she had only that moment been done,

and when Diemshutz had come ‘round the corner

the murderer had to run.

In fact it was highly likely

That the carter, not wanting to wait,

Had passed within feet of the monster

Who was hiding behind the gate!

At the same time, Katherine Eddowes

was being released by the police.

She had been taken in as a drunkard,

but was sober enough for release.

She was walking toward the East End

on her way back from Bishopsgate nick

when she met a man at Church Passage

and stopped to chat for a tick.

If you go down Church Passage a short way

you come to Mitre Square

and her horrible butchered body

at a quarter to two was found there.

Outside Kearly & Tonge,

sprawled out and half undressed,

with her entrails over her shoulder

and her throat cut like all the rest.

A letter was sent to the papers,

written completely in red,

from a bloke who said he’s done the murders.

Course he might have been out of his head.

He said “what do you think of the double?

With the first I had no time to clip her,

But the second I did, and there’ll be more yet!”

and he signed it “Jack the Ripper”.

Sir Charles Warren realized the victims

were all of one particular class,

but other than that he knew nothing,

not even his head from his arse.

The people were screaming for vengeance,

and, terrified, woman and bloke,

they shouted “the sack for Charles Warren!”

who they thought was no more than a joke.

The police had arrested hundreds,

dozens, sometimes, in one day,

hoping they’d caught the Ripper,

but they all got sent away.

And then came the day in September

that I have cause to regret.

My gaffer sent me to Millers Court

to a woman who’d got into debt.

The debtor was Mary Jane Kelly,

a nice enough girl, and well known,

she’d been living there with a fella

who’d gone off and left her alone.

Well, I went ‘round to hers in the morning,

‘bout quarter to eleven it were,

I knocked on the door for some minutes

but I couldn’t hear anything stir.

So I walked ‘round the back to the courtyard,

and a glass at the back of her room

was broke, so I pulled back the curtain

and reached up and peeped through the gloom.

Well I bloody-well wish I hadn’t.

I wish I’d not tried so hard

‘cause the sight that I saw thorough that window

nearly felled me right there in the yard.

On a bed near the window lay Mary,

or some of her anyway, dead,

with the rest of her laid on the table

or arranged down the side of the bed.

Her ears and her breasts and her eyelids,

and her nose, all given the chop;

all that remained was her carcass,

like a pig in a butchers shop.

I ran like old Nick was behind me

and my voice seemed to come from elsewhere

as I shouted “another foul murder,

for gawd's sake, is anyone there?”

It took me a month to recover

and I still wake up screaming at night

as in dreams I see poor Mary Kelly

laid in that terrible plight.

Well, it’s quite a few years since that

happened, back in 1888

since I found Mary’s body in Dorset Street

left in that horrible state.

The Ripper spent two hours on Kelly

alone in that dingy old flat,

and that must have satisfied Jackie

‘cause there wasn’t no more after that.

The police never caught Jack the Ripper,

they don’t have a clue to him still.

they didn’t know who he was then, mate,

and I recon they never will.

Tony Thorpe