Jack the Ripper Dossier, Part XII – Richard cross-examines the witnesses

The Jack the Ripper Dossier.

Welcome to the 12th episode of Richard Walker’s new, weekly podcast series on Jack the Ripper.

This episode is Richard’s final podcast about the life and times of the second “canonical” victim, Annie Chapman. In it Richard cross-examines the witnesses. It turns out that the evidence – including the eyewitness accounts – is contradictory and unreliable.

What is so impressive about Richard is his assurance, his total mastery of the material. Like a brilliant attorney he gets us to take nothing for granted, makes us see it all afresh. Here’s an example.

“Perhaps it’s worth thinking of a busy street you were walking down three days ago. And then try to describe to yourself one of the people you passed by who you [like eyewitness Mrs Long] didn’t take much notice of. And check the level of your recall against the detailed description given by Mrs Long of the ‘foreign-looking gentleman.’ Of course if three days ago you walked past Boris Johnson or your mother you’d have no trouble but Mrs Long didn’t know Annie Chapman. But if Mrs Long was right, as the coroner and modern writers seem to think then it certainly confirms the theory that this 48-year-old woman, who was in very poor health, and had had no sleep since she told a friend ‘the evening before’, that she was ‘too ill to do anything’ managed, after being kicked out of Crossingham’s doss house just before 2 in the morning to search the streets for three and a half hours before arriving at the west end of Hanbury Street where, among the many people and clogged market vehicles she finally found a man whom she could accost and take, after the September sun had risen, through the front door of a house which, as Philip Sugden says, was ‘busy with people going to work.’ Now it could it have happened that way. But do you think it may have been possible that Mrs Long made up her story to get her fifteen minutes of fame…?”

Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s a tour de force. As is his walk, of course.

We say it over and over – it’s the London Walks mantra – but I cannot stress enough: it all comes down to the guiding. You want the best, you get a great guide. He – or she – will take it from there. Does the rest. Takes you there.

And it’s not just me saying that. Every review Richard gets – and he gets a lot – is a paean of the highest possible praise. “This is by far the best Ripper walk you will ever go on.”

It’s all helped of course by the other qualities, abilities and life experiences Richard brings to the party. To say nothing of his beautiful, singular voice – it’s like listening to vintage port being poured into a fine crystal glass. Richard is the actor, adventurer (he sailed across the Pacific in a tiny two-man skiff) and masterful Ripperologist performance artist who’s created a new version of the Ripper Walk. His walk is called Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel. It’s an exclusive VIP Ripper walk (it’s a guaranteed small group tour – the numbers are strictly limited).








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *