Unlike the other prostitutes, Mary Jane had a place of her own. She rented a filthy room in Miller’s Court (long since demolished, now part of White’s Row car park).
Several neighbours heard someone shrieking ‘Oh, murder!’ during the night, but no one did anything about it. Mary Jane’s body wasn’t found until just before 11 o’clock next morning, when the rent collector peered through the window. He nearly fainted at what he saw:
‘The throat had been cut right across with a knife, nearly severing the head from the body. The abdomen had been partially ripped open, and both the breasts had been cut from the body, the left arm, like the head, hung to the body by the skin only. The nose had been cut off, the forehead skinned, and the thighs down to the feet, stripped of the flesh…
‘The entrails and other portions of the frame were missing, but the liver etc it is said were found placed between the feet of this poor victim. The flesh from the thighs and legs, together with the breasts and nose, had been placed by the murderer on the table, and one of the hands of the dead woman had been pushed into her stomach’
Mary Jane was the last of the Ripper’s known victims. He is thought to have killed himself soon after this murder, unable to live with what he had done.
This little tableau stands on Liverpool Street station, just across the road from Jack the Ripper land. At first glance, it appears to show a couple of posh English kids looking forward to boarding school again, after a long summer holiday with their parents.
In fact, the kids aren’t English at all.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 115. Who are these foreign children at Liverpool Street railway station?
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