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The author of The A-Z of London Murders investigates Jack the Ripper’s stalking grounds for even more crimes and killings in England’s capital.
For centuries London’s East End has been associated with some of the worst elements of human depravity, where foul deeds and murder were commonplace; and in 1888 the area’s disrepute was added to by the horrific murders committed by Jack the Ripper.
The East End was populated by people crammed together in close-knit communities. As the district grew from the ancient villages along the river, much of the village atmosphere and rivalry remained—along with some of the worst corruption and vilest slums to be found anywhere in the country. For instance the residents of Bethnal Green looked down their noses at those from Hoxton, barely half a mile away. During the 1930s, after the Depression, a government report estimated 60 percent of the children in Bethnal Green suffered from malnutrition and 85 percent of the housing was unsatisfactory. These were the times when the infamous Kray Twins were cutting their teeth. The East End’s claim to fame in the annals of crime in England is not without justification, as the pages of this book show.