Jack the Ripper’s murders may have taken place over 130 years ago, but it’s only now that the victims are getting a suitable memorial — and it’s all thanks to social historian Hallie Rubenhold.
Rubenhold is the author of The Five, a nonfiction story that delves into the lives of the five victims of Jack the Ripper — Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. As an advertisement for her book, a temporary mural was painted on Ebor Street in Whitechapel, the London neighborhood where the murders took place in 1888.
This has gone up on Ebor Street in Whitechapel. It's amazing to see the womens' faces here. It feels right. This is a temporary mural and an advert for the book, but I'd like to start a campaign for a permanent mural commemorating the victims. How do I do this, Twitter? pic.twitter.com/jVs3kK3DYs
— Hallie Rubenhold (@HallieRubenhold) February 6, 2020
But Rubenhold wants the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper to be remembered by a permanent mural in the area. At the moment, the only historical recognition given to those women in Whitechapel are Jack the Ripper tours and “museums” deemed morbid, insentive, and an example of the commercialization of violence against women.
“People have been talking about having a memorial to these women for some time,” she said to The Guardian, “Whitechapel isn’t really a place you put a statue. But a mural — that’s it. It’s exactly what’s needed. It’s so befitting — it’s perfect. There’s so much urban art in Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Shoreditch so it’s so germane.”
After putting out a call for help on Twitter about the project, Rubenhold is getting the support of Londoners, councilors, and local parishes. “It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of finding the right place,” she said.