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Additional resources for Crown - The Churchill Tank
Individuals are mentioned who have no known links with the Whitechapel murders – Polly Wright was one; Luisa Whitring another; Mary Bateman a third. Some have odd political references. On 3 November an untidy hand scrawled a resolution passed by the council of midnight wanderers of Belfast, offering ‘hearty fraternal congratulations to “Jack the Ripper” on the grand success he has recently scored’. The 1880s was a dangerous decade for Anglo-Irish relations, with the Irish secretary murdered in Phoenix Park, Dublin and a Fenian bomb demolishing part of Scotland Yard.
George Yard itself was demolished in 1972, although sections of Victorian walls still survive. The best known image, taken from William Stewart’s 1938 book, shows the original archway through which Martha walked. The precise murder spot was on a first floor landing. The space here, hemmed in by stairs and walls, is important to our killer as we shall see later. Polly Nichols died in Buck’s Row in the early hours of 30 August. The street had already been renamed Durward Street when Leonard Matters visited it in 1928, but the actual buildings had changed little: It is a narrow, cobbled, mean street, having on one side the same houses – possibly tenanted by the same people – which stood there in 1888.
6 That was only twelve feet square. Many writers on the Whitechapel murders have found something different or even special about the murder of Mary Kelly and I agree. But it has nothing to do with her age, her alleged attractiveness or her personal history. It has everything to do with the room in which she died. The crime scene of the last victim, ‘Clay Pipe’ Alice McKenzie, on Wednesday 17 July 1889, was described by the East London Observer: The scene of the murder is probably one of the lowest quarters in the whole of East London and a spot more suitable for the terrible crime could hardly be found on account of the evil reputation borne by this particular place… The thoroughfare itself [Castle Alley] is blocked up, both day and night, with tradesmen’s carts and wagons and costermongers’ barrows.