Whitechapel London, 1888

Reads: 26  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic




Wanton women of Whitechapel
Desperate and destitute
Weakened from want
Shrunken stomachs barren of bread
Dying from disease in dingy dosshouses
Selling themselves on the streets for shillings
to buy beer, a bed for the night
or a bonny new bonnet
to enable them to appear more
enticing to men with money to spend
A woeful and wretched existence
worn down by the world
envisioning escape

Evil born and bred in that cesspool of sin
unleashed upon the East End of London
Dwelling in the darkness
that deplorable demon
Swallowed up by the shadows
Propositioning his prey
Whisking them away
Where he wouldn't be witnessed
as he went about his work
would not be disturbed as he
did the dreadful deed
It was not he but she that would pay
the price for her promiscuity

A single swift stroke
of the knife he had
kept carefully hidden
out of her sight that
he now held in his hand
Slicing through her throat
severing the throbbing vessels
that sustained her life
sending blood spurting
She would soon succumb to
Laid out like a slaughtered lamb
Entrails slung over her shoulder
like a bloody boa
her body left lying there
for those who dozed as she died
to discover as a new day dawned

Two in one night
filled all females with fright
Yet with scant choices
save to starve or forego shelter
they continued to seek clients
taking their chances
of drawing the death card
from the deck
well aware that they
were destined to die
no matter what they did
for the felony of poverty
There was more than one
murderer in their midst
What difference did it make
if that dark angel came calling
to claim them due to drink
sickness, starvation
or the malevolent mind
of a madman?

Scotland yard stymied in their search
for that son of Satan
forensic science far in the future
descriptions differed
clues were few
A letter scribbled in scarlet ink
addressed "From Hell"
accompanied by a small cardboard box
containing a kidney
that they could not verify came from the victim
A message scrawled on a wall
that made no sense at all
Rumors spread as rampant as syphilis
in that section of the city
He must be a Pole or a Jew
A villain new and alien to the area
for they were sure no man of British breeding
could commit such unspeakable crimes

Mary Kelly mutilated
Found in the morning
dead in the bed
of the boarding house
where she was behind on the rent
Sheets stained red
Her carcass carved to the bone
The flesh of her face filleted
what was left of her
hardly appearing human
A heinous and horrendous
gruesome grand finale
disappearing after her demise
as if he had been but a bad dream
vanishing into vapor like a vampire
in the morning light
his moniker and motive a mystery

Some say he died by suicide
or was apprehended
for another crime
Locked up in the looney bin
or set sail for foreign soil
seeking new stomping grounds
to continue killing
somewhere else with fresh faces
far away

To this very day
no one really knows
nobody can say
Who was Saucy Jacky?



Submitted: February 04, 2021

© Copyright 2021 AJ Douglas. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


J.D. Anderson

As soon as I read Whitechapel I knew it was about Jack the Ripper, which is pretty good for a Yank. Personally, i think he went to "foreign soil" because there were a few ripperesque murders in New York City not long after the last one in London. Very good writing, really enjoyed it.

Thu, February 4th, 2021 5:32am


There's lots of theories. There was also a series of similar murders in Texas not long after as well. The truth is we'll most likely never know. It's interesting to think about but it can also lead you down a very deep rabbit hole.

Wed, February 3rd, 2021 10:10pm


Jack the Ripper is such an evocative subject. There are so many theories as to who he was, and every year another name seems to be added to the ever-growing list.

One of the newer ones sounds very convincing.
Charles Allen Lechmere AKA Charles Cross. (The man who actually found the first victim) But then again, Conspiracy Theorists can make the most tenuous evidence fit the bill, that's what they do to make money from their books.

Getting back to your poem!
I found it to be a riveting read. It flowed really well and did not spare the reader the gruesome details.
You conjured up the dirty, peasant streets of Whitechapel really well.
Nice job.

Thu, February 4th, 2021 10:20am

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