Monday, May 25, 2009

A Slit Throat in September

Sept. 8, 1888 is the day upon which Jack the Ripper murdered his second confirmed victim, Annie Chapman, or “Dark Annie.” Witness Elizabeth Long last saw her alive at approximately 5:30 a.m. talking with a man in Whitechapel on Hanbury Street. Chapman needed money for lodging and was trying to procure said capital through prostitution. Around 6 a.m. Chapman’s dead body was found. Her throat had been slit twice, she had been cut from groin to throat, her uterus had been removed, and her intestines had been pulled out of her abdomen and over her left shoulder.

Gruesome? Yes … but also interesting.

Sept. 8, 1988 is the day I was born.

So Jack the Ripper murdered Chapman 100 years to the day before my birthday. What are the chances? Needless to say, I developed somewhat of an interest in hearing about the case and, in particular, Chapman.

Having discovered this information just a few days before departing for London, I was awaiting the Jack the Ripper tour to satisfy this intrigue. We went on the tour tonight (Monday), which was led by a Beefeater from the Tower of London

The tour wasn’t in the dark, so it wasn’t actually creepy or scary. However, the Beefeater, named Simon, was very entertaining, and, like other Beefeaters that I’ve encountered/heard about, a good storyteller.

However, I do wish my thirst for scariness could be met by some attraction while I’m here. OK, I’ll admit the London Bridge Experience guy did a pretty good job of making me jump out of my skin (see blog post “Building Bridges”), but the Jack the Ripper tour and the London Dungeon only produced blips on my fear-reaction radar screen. Perhaps, I’ll just have to watch “Jeepers Creepers” and be content with my laughter.

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