Jack the Ripper, Part VI – Lost in the Abyss

This is the sixth episode of Richard Walker’s new podcast series on Jack the Ripper.

In last week’s podcast Richard looked at the early life* and times of the first canonical victim – Mary Anne (“Polly”) Nichols – in the notorious case. This episode takes up where that one left off. Richard goes where Polly went in those last few months of her life – Peabody buildings; the workhouse; a room in Holloway; the middle-class household where she was domiciled, temporarily, as a servant; sleeping rough – “cold and anonymous” – in Trafalgar Square; tramping; the temporary reprieve of the middle-class household where she was domiciled, briefly, as a servant; a lodging house in Thrawl street; homeless in the East End. Richard goes with Polly – and takes us with him. In those last months we can see where she’s bound for, we begin to sense the terrible inevitability of her end.

The keynote for the three Polly Nichols episodes is, in Richard’s words, the question: “how did this 43-year-old woman end up alone in the early hours of August 31st, 1888 on the mean streets of Whitechapel?”

That, Richard says, is “the question I want to answer.” In this second episode in the mini-series, Richard closes in on the answer to that question.

Richard Walker is the actor, adventurer (he sailed across the Pacific in a tiny two-man skiff) and veteran, high-powered guide 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).

*N.B. Richard’s “biography” of Polly Nichols is a three-parter. This podcast is the second part.

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