“Catch Me When You Can” – The Urban Sleuth Hits the Streets, or Neo-Dark Urban Performativity

“Blind Man’s Buff” Punch Cartoon by John Tenniel 22nd Spet 1888 Public Domain

Alicia Edwards

“The craving for sensation, the longing to be thrilled, are the master passions of this nervous and excitable generation. And after all there is nothing so sensational as death, which is the climax and end of all sensation. Literature, painting, the theatre, our exhibitions, journalism, all bear witness to the fact that murder, suicide, or sudden death – that is to say, bloodshed in some form or another – is the master spell for enchaining human attention.”
The Pall Mall Gazette, London, August 28th, 1888

Labyrinthine streets, vice, urban decay, monstrosity and inhumanity are motifs that permeate the urban imaginary of a Gothic London, and fact epitomised in the cultural construction of London’s East End. Its origins deriving from nineteenth century literary Gothic tradition and philanthropic studies,[1] the continual (re)telling of London’s East End as ‘dark abyss’ becomes the brick and mortar of a Gothic imaginary to a global audience. James Donald reminds us, the city is “an imaginary space created and animated as much by the urban representations to be found in novels, films and images as by any actual urban places.”[2] London is a palimpsestic text, formulated via a dialogic negotiation between narratives – factual and fictional – subject and material space. The tourism industry is both product and producer of the ongoing (re)narration of London’s biography: walking tours in particular are the ambulatory act of reading and writing urban spaces. The walker performs in the material city by navigating the physical streets through their own readings of urban narratives, extracting the locations from texts and locating these topographies of terror in the physical city. London’s history rich with narratives of death, suffering and strife provides a plenitude of dark tourism sites: sites ‘associated with death, disaster and destruction,’[3]  authenticating a Gothic urban imaginary of the city.

This paper stems from my own personal urban performativity and fascination with the macabre. When visiting London, I was always drawn to sites such as the London Dungeon, the Clink Museum, or historic landmarks of traumatic history such as the Tower of London. In the East End, there is one integral figure of horror branded onto its streets. When the clock strikes 7:30 PM, eager tourists set out on their pilgrimage in search of Jack the Ripper, uncovering various aspects of his sensational crimes on the streets he once walked. My aim for this paper is twofold: firstly, I will offer a reading of a specific case study tour, Ripper-Vision: Jack the Ripper Tour. Through this reading I argue that the performance of a specifically Gothic London demands the consideration of a new paradigm to describe the spatial practice of solely Gothic narratives: an ambulatory urban performer I call “the Occult Sleuth’. Secondly, provide an exploration into the implications of this performance on the urban imaginary and heritage consumption.

In the wake of the literary and cultural theory ‘spatial turn’, the shift in ideological focus from modernist temporality to conceptualisations of space,[4] concurrently with what Roger Luckhurst describes as the “spectral turn”:[5]  there seems to be a connection between the spectral and space. Critical attention to spatial practice and urban walkers have been ongoing since the nineteenth century: the Baudelarian figure of the flâneur described in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project; the literary detective, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, as emblem of modernity;[6] the voyeur described by Michel de Certeau in The Practice of Everyday Life (1984). These figures are central in spatial theory and literary studies, exposing the relationship between the literary, urban imaginary and urban performance. More scholarship regarding psychogeography and writing of London, particularly in the works of Ian Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd, are in abundance, and address the phantasmagoric and occult heritage of the city.[7]  Particular to the Gothic imaginary and the city of London, interdisciplinary edited collections such as Lawrence Philips and Anne Witchard’s London Gothic (2010) are indicative of the breadth of scholarship and material on and the prominence of Gothic narrative and the (re)narrating of London.

The scholarship on Dark tourism, the focal topic of this paper, remains theoretically fragile. Coined in 1996 in a special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies by Malcolm Foley, later transformed into the collaborative monograph Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster with John Lennon, Dark tourism became a burgeoning field exploring topics such as site management, subject motivation, ethical implications and heritage. The breadth of discourses undertaken in Richard Sharpley and Philip J. Stone’s edited volume The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism (2009), exposes the potential and breadth of topics under the umbrella term relating to site management, ethical considerations and subjective participation with death and suffering, but it remains at its early stages. Expanding on this current work, Emma McEvoy’s landmark work, Gothic Tourism (2015), has established the historical relationship with Gothic performativity and imaginaries tourism, emphasising that it is ‘bound up with the way we think about our past and our surroundings.’[8] The interdisciplinary research on the issue of the impact of the Gothic on creating heritage and place calls for the consideration of a new urban performative paradigm that engages directly with the ‘Gothic London’ and its occult heritage through engaging with its streets. It is essential that Dark tourism seek to identify spatial paradigms that are a direct product of dark tourism engagement. Emma Willis’ Theatricality, Dark Tourism and Ethical Spectatorship (2014) provides introductory, yet extensive investigation into the role of subject performance, as with Emma McEvoy. However there lacks the necessary shift to the model of performer. It is this gap that this paper will seek to address.

The Whitechapel Murders is a narrative encompassed in a spectrum of tourism sites, from ‘true’ dark tourism – the walking tours – to what Emma McEvoy designates as Gothic tourism, the “act of visiting, for the purposes of leisure, a location that is presented in terms of the Gothic,”[9] such as Madame Tussaud’s ‘Chamber of Horrors’ or the London Dungeon. These sites may overlap dark tourism criteria, but they are intermediary and theatricality shifts the focus from death and suffering to the pastiche play. [10] My concern here is not with sites of Gothic tourism, but tourist sites located at the scene of the crimes. Jack the Ripper is liminal character, supplying both an actual event of tragedy, but also is mythologised as a fictional Gothic figure equivalent to Jekyll and Hyde or Dracula.[11] According to Paul Newland, The Ripper has historically shared a symbiotic relationship to the idea of the East End. For this reason, I am concerned with the urban imaginary of the East End and its relationship to dark tourism – or the return to the crime scene – to explore the erasure between the Urban Gothic tropes and the condition of the physical city.[12]

Whitechapel became the hunting ground of the unidentified murderer from August to November 1888. This short period brought death to his ‘canonical’ five victims – Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly – and became known as “The Autumn of Terror”.[13] The crimes themselves provide a tantalizing mystery in which the identity of the murderer has never been definitively solved. He is by no means the world’s first serial killer, nor does his victim count exceed other active killers during his time. That being said, as forefather of “The Serial Killer” as a performed personae and media spectacle, Jack the Ripper has contributed not only to contemporary conceptions of serial murder both in the fictional and “real” world,[14] but has inscribed his legacy into the narrative landscape of Victorian Britain.

The East End is bombarded daily with an abundance of tourists gathering to participate in a Jack the Ripper tour. Although the primary subject matter of the tours are generally identical, each guide performs and disseminates of The Ripper story in their own way , therefore adding nuanced variation to the story of the Autumn of Terror. The Ripper-Vision tour provides a unique twist on the popular Jack the Ripper tours of London. Like many others, the tour begins at 7:30 PM every night at the Aldgate East Tube Station Entrance. Participants, over the span of approximately two hours, are taken to the various locations associated with The Ripper. The tour offers a loose form of re-enactment in which a criminological narrative is given and the participants are led through the crimes mediated by testimonies, police records and other primary-material. My study is based on my experiences on a specific tour guided by Ripperologist Mick Priestley. He is not garbed in Victorian costume, nor does he perform the role of an urban character. His specialty is true crimes and profiling, and as such, his tour is very much a ‘true crime’ experience.

The tour’s ‘checkpoints’, or rather specific locations that serialise the fragments of the events told to the group, range from buildings formally used as a dosshouse, which the women may have frequented, to the murder sites – or in proximity if the area is no longer accessible due to infrastructural alterations to the city. At each murder site, Priestley describes the sequence of events leading up to the discovery of the body. He gives detailed descriptions of the acts of violence, providing a coroner-style report of the wounds inflicted as well as speculation about the possible acts that have caused them. Supplementing his descriptions of the events and historical conditions are period photographs, including post-mortem photographs of the victims which are projected onto the structures occupying the physical site of the murder through a portable projector, which confirm the descriptions of violence. It should be noted that the tour is not solely dedicated to Jack the Ripper. There is an attempt to expose the socio-cultural conditions of the East End, drawing out fragmentary narratives layered within its streets (e.g. origins of street names). It is both the story of Jack the Ripper and the Victorian slum.

Jack the Ripper tours and related ambulatory practices of urban tourism invite new perspectives on spatial practice correlating to the Gothic urban imaginary. The city as text-in-making requires a collective of narrators to add their own readings to the meta-narrative of the city. Each footstep, phantasm and location of spectral resurrection is accompanied by the constant (re)negotiation of the shadows of the metropolis which can be mapped by new steps. Like an ongoing pilgrimage, each location holds meaning that must be maintained by those who follow in the footsteps of their predecessor. Urban tourism is a construct of locations that are profitable, and the film and literary communities incorporate the locations of Whitechapel into their own representations of history.[15] The hauntings of past violence are the “vestigial stains” of the metropolis sought out through the phantasmagoric.[16] The boundaries of transgression and the stains of violence rupture the meta-narrative of “history” that conceptualize urban narrative of development and its cultural representations. Yet, while influenced by the signs and imaginaries found in the broader spectrum of popular culture, the various distinct narratives are strung together, creating a collective of various “Gothic Londons.”

Legend and myth-making require the active labour of a collective in order to continuously (re)write the narratives onto the material city. “Heritage” is an exclusionary process of developing national canon controlled at the institutional level. The survival of fragments outside the master narrative requires a smaller collective of urban performers to embark on the task of amassing narratives to suture together a sub-narrative of great cities sedimented with traumatic pasts. Subjects attracted to narratives of trauma are a specialised collective that navigate the urban spaces through these ‘dark’ narratives to (re)affirm and preserve the Gothic city harboured in the liminal spaces between fact and fiction. Their allegiance to darkness may be minute or complex, yet when developing urban sites of terror, they embody the urban performer that I call “the Occult Sleuth”. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Man of the Crowd” (1840) offers the two derivative urban archetypes of the Occult Sleuth: firstly, in the pathological compulsion to indulge in trauma as a source of leisure similar to the “nightwalker”, secondly, in the embodiment of the detective’s movement influenced by urban knowledge and the hunt for a body.[17] The act of occult sleuthing initiates the imaginative transmutation of narrative temporalities into pseudo-authentic experiences, resurfacing select layers of the palimpsest to be consumed. Modifying the individuals’ perceptions of space from the immediate sensory to the imagined, or rather mapping of a ‘counterfeit city’, dictates spatial interactions.

This practice, exclusive to the narratives of terror and trauma, is an anachronistic process in which bodies of the past are resurrected and surface from deep inside the city’s cultural and textual palimpsest. The Occult Sleuth navigates London’s textual layers, extracting the desired narratives and transplanting them to the physical streets. The material city functions as a dark playground of imaginative cues in which the phantasmagoria may be pursued in movement through the maps of trauma. In its broadest sense, it is the art of navigating through palimpsestic layers of the city, and – echoing the role of the literary detective[18] – resurrecting the ‘secret lore’ of the past that remains, dormant in landmarks both present and absent, a trip to locations to imprint their own imaginaries on the ruins of the city. The Occult Sleuth is a figure of resistance, not only to temporal and socio-economic boundaries but also to a culture of monument and musealization. These practices attempt to curate a linear meta-narrative, popularising select narratives and actively forgetting others, reducing these narratives into their most simple form.

I deploy the term exclusively to refer to urban performances of heritage and urban narrative, and not necessarily to encapsulate all aspects of Dark Tourism. Aptly for the case of Jack the Ripper, the urban performativity of the sleuth is analogous to Tzvetan Todorov’s idea of the “second story” of detective fiction.[19] If the “first story” is the initial crime in detective fiction, the ‘second story’ is ‘precisely the story…the story of the investigation.’[20] It is the re-telling of the original story after it has happened. This act of repetition is the very essence of Jack the Ripper walking tours. This repetitive attribute of Detective fiction, of re-treading the ground of the criminal, as described by Peter Brooks, is equivalent to the walking tour. [21] The crime(s) have already been committed, and with the tour guide serving as narrator, the walker-reader (re)narrates the original first story.

The ‘Occult’ designation is rooted in the role of being initiator and assistant in actively haunting a space. Michel de Certeau asserts the notion of the city as a spectral space: ‘There is no place that is not haunted by many different spirits hidden there in silence, spirits one can “invoke” or not.’[22] I would take his argument further and deploy the term ‘haunting’ as a form of narrative repetition. It is the repetitive relationship between the narrative (spectre) and the witness-reader. Haunting is linked to place, and in direct association to specific events that give the place meaning. In engaging with the crime sites, the occult sleuth is invoking the narratives at the location, visiting a London of a past and maintaining its meaning in the current place. Returning to Paul Newland’s commentary of the symbiosis between The Ripper and the idea of the East End: s a symbiotic relationship between the Occult Sleuth and the idea of a Gothic London similarly forms. The ‘first story’ is dependent on the presence of the second to be known. The progress of urban development alters the physical condition of a city space, and the narratives and locations of meaning rely on a readership to render them intelligible. Hidden behind layers of material change, fragments of the past remain as dormant presences in the city that can be mobilized through the walker’s interactions and projections of London in 1888.

The exploration of imaginative spaces must heed the dangers of the “real” city, rendering certain locations forbidden to the lonely female sleuth. Despite contemporary improvements, the area of Brick Lane and its adjacent streets, which surround the area of the Ripper victims, are still in difficult socio-economic conditions, and are places of destitution, drug addiction, etc.  The dangers of being out at night increase when the narrow streets often appear to provide a sense of isolation and alienation from the busy roadways of Commercial Street. This is the compromise of the vulnerable when desiring to explore the shadowed alleyways of the Necropolis: women are denied access to the city at night for fear of being assumed sexual predator or predated and potential victims. [23] The limited scope of this paper does not allow me to articulate in great detail the issues of gender, however, even briefly, the engendering of the urban space, specifically at night, causes the tour to function as a form of protection for the feminine Occult Sleuth to walk the city. While this paper addresses the abstract ideology of the imaginative urban space, the city is a real space with real dangers. The socio-economic condition within the East End have not necessarily progressed as far as the processes of gentrification would suggest. David Cunningham gives an adequate observation on the current condition of Whitechapel: ‘…towards the end of the evening or early in the morning, there will be the women engaged in the same work as the Whitechapel murderer’s victims, albeit less likely to be ‘drink-sodden’ than addicted to heroin or crack.’[24] Whilst the tour offers an ostensibly-positive function in protecting vulnerable visitors, it also renders its vulnerable residences invisible. One is in search of Victorian destitution, and therefore can easily bypass its twenty-first century equivalent. [25]

It should be noted that the commodification of the murders is not a contemporary phenomenon. The Ripper murders became an instant site of dark tourism in 1888. An extract from the Pall Mall Gazette, October 1st 1888 describes the collective interest of Londoners to flock to the East End and visit the sites of death:

On approaching the scene of the murders yesterday morning it was easy to see, no nearer than a mile away, that something unusual was in the air. Along all the main thoroughfares a constant stream of passengers, all impelled by the same motive of horrified curiosity, was rolling towards the district. The scanty details which had then transpired were eagerly passed from mouth to mouth. There was but one topic of conversation. The few acres of streets and houses between Mitre-square and Berner-street seemed to be a goal for which all London was making.
…. From Commercial-road, Berner-street seemed a sea of heads from end to end …At nightfall the steam ran the other way. There seemed an exodus of disreputability from the East. Along the two great avenues leading westward the miserable creatures who apparently have most to fear from the mysterious criminal seemed to be migrating to a safer and better-lit quarter of the metropolis. The noisy groups fleeing before the approaching terrors of night were conspicuous among the better-dressed wayfarers in Holborn and Strand.[26]

This ‘horrified curiosity’ or ‘Ripper fever’’, inflicted the London people and encouraged the musealization of the crimes, transforming the act of murder into a site of leisure and entertainment. A correspondence from ‘AN EAST-ENDER’ to the Echo, September 10th 1888 reiterates, par excellence, the spectacle of the crimes for popular consumption:

A DISGRACEFUL SCENE, Sir, Will you kindly allow a little space in your paper to call the attention of your readers to what can only be considered a public nuisance and disgrace? I refer to several low penny shows at the corner of Thomas’s- street, Whitechapel-road, nearly facing the London Hospital. These sinks of iniquity are at the present time doing a roaring trade by exhibiting horrible pictures representing the poor victims who have been so brutally murdered of late. Great crowds stand gazing at these bloodstained pictures, blocking up the pavement. Meanwhile, the pickpockets the best use of their opportunity (sic). Moreover, our young lads and lasses being morally corrupted by visiting these tragic scenes (sic). While walking along the streets it is truly painful to hear the jesting and trifling talk about things so awful…”[27]

The beneficial commercial opportunities supported by the murders serves as a justification for perpetuating the cultural fanaticism and musealization of the murders. Drew Gray identifies that in addition to the tourism practices during 1888, Commerical Street costermongers used the influx of patrons to the sites ‘to set up stalls and sell them snacks of fruit and nuts and one enterprising retailer even opened a small shop in Mitre Square itself.’[28] What this phenomena indicates is the ongoing profitability of sensationalised heritage narratives, benefiting not only the sites but those in the district. However, maintaining these narratives immortalises the East End as a site of destitution, deviance and violence.

The unique attribute of Ripper-Vision is the inclusion of period photography superimposed on the material city to contextualize and ground the oral and ambulatory component into a unified topographical simulation of late Victorian London. The images, juxtaposed with unchanged sections of the city, permit the walker to negotiate immediate perceptions of the material city and the realms of fantasy. Scraping away contemporary modernisations, one is able to navigate through temporal layers and imaginatively situate oneself to locate the circumstances of each individual death. The images provide visual signifiers to the now absent city. It serves as visual spectrality: an apparition of an absence. The material relics of the nineteenth century city still stand, although on the verge of extinction, offering an architectural referent to elevate the narrative by immersing the participant in the setting of the crime.  Alongside the photographs of nineteenth century London, post-mortem photographs are displayed specifically at the locations where the bodies were found. The participants are not introduced to the theatricalities of live actresses with “dirtied” faces and the rouge of a ‘lady of the night’ performance, but are instead confronted with the severity of working-class conditions of the nineteenth century.

We can consider “The Serial Killer” “the most ‘demonic author,’ writing his sensual will upon the world,”[29] his medium is the body and blood, and his artistry is the narrative of trauma. Juxtaposing these acts with Michel de Certeau’s conception of the city as “the paths that correspond in this intertwining, unrecognized poems in which each body is an element signed by many others,”[30] eluding legibility illuminates the role of the Occult Sleuth. Their primary role is to delineate the specific “path” that has been authored by Jack the Ripper, imprinting the map unknowingly forged by those before them, and contributing to The Ripper’s original ‘masterpiece’ through the centuries. Alexandra Warwick reminds us that the “Whitechapel murders as events have no order, no characterization, no protagonist and no solution. As events they demand to be told, to be produced as a narrative.”[31] The separate events are ordered to create the narrative of ‘Jack the Ripper’; the path that is delineated is the ‘path’ of his inflicted trauma. The bodies of the victims serve as a map to the Ripper, the murderer’s external representation of his private fantasies. The women become complex signs and (re)signify the idea of the East End. Firstly, Warwick discusses the body and the site of the crime:

The victim becomes fused with the site; physically as the blood, hair, fibres and other particles are transferred between them, and metaphysically as the place of the end of her life…But the crime site is seen as representing more than just a physical map of the interior of the victim’s body; it is also a map of the interior’ of the killer’s mind. It is effectively his mind laid out, his work displayed and signed, a text to be read.[32] I would expand on this argument and suggest that the body serves a secondary role as visual narrative of the Gothic cityscape. The torn and emaciated bodies express the abundant narratives of suffering and poverty of the time. The corpses signify disease and destitution and supports the Gothic imaginary of the East End abyss. Yet, once again, their narratives are only made visible because of their murderer. Their narratives gain cultural value to give context for the crimes themselves, reiterating the claim by Judith Walkowitz that the women are the bearers rather than the makers of meaning. [33]

The women remain as emaciated canvases displaying the etchings of The Ripper, and their bodies become commodified trauma, symbols of the strife of vulnerable woman in the metropolis. They become a visual record, a photographic testimony and substitute for an actual corpse. On the tour, the post-mortem photographs are resituated at the sites of the murder. It is a deeply uncanny experience to witness corpses returning to a place that is both familiar, and bygone. The tour echoes an integral function of the Occult Sleuth, the search for bodies. The urban performance bears its own transgressions, primarily in its function of body hunter. The Ripper’s female victims’ immortalisation is as corpse. Their bodies no longer remain as a sexual commodity, but rather a commodity of trauma and as signification of the plight of poverty in the East End. As such, the victims themselves expose the controversy surrounding immortalising the ideas of East End destitution for global consumption during a time of rapid gentrification.

Although I have only focused on one example of dark tourism, various other sites exist in London that function similarly in both negotiating local histories and challenging the meta-narrative of glorious Victoriana, as well as developing a rather Gothic topography of the city. There is a plenitude of research potential in the relationship between both regional and global dark/Gothic tourism narratives in popular culture and their transplantation onto material spaces. As a very Gothic convention, in the pain and suffering of true horror lies the ability to negotiate pleasure, to abandon the “real” for fictional adventures in the urban labyrinth. The Occult Sleuth becomes the symbol of the urban Necropolis, the cartographer of deadly urban spaces across the globe.


[1] Charles Booth questioned the imaginary of East London of ‘[…] horrors of drunkenness and vice; monsters and demons of inhumanity; giants of disease and despair.’ See Booth, Life and Labour of the People in London , 17 vols (London: Macmillan and Co.; 3rd edn), I, p. 173

[2] Donald, James, Imagining the Modern City (London: Athlone Press, 1999),p. x.

[3] Richard Sharpley, ‘Shedding Light on Dark Tourism: An Introduction’, in The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism, ed. by Richard Sharpley and Philip R. Stone (Toronto: Chanel View Publications, 2009), pp. 3–22 (p.9).

[4] The ‘spatial turn’ was a product of postmodern criticism arising from key theorists such as David Harvey, Edward Soja and Henri Lefebvre. For an excellent critical overview, refer to Robert T. Tally Jr., Spatiality (2012)

[5] Luckhurst, Roger, ‘The Contemporary London Gothic and the Limits of the “Spectral Turn”’, Textual Practice, 16 (2002), 527–46.

[6] Markus Reisenleitner, ‘It’s a Kind of Magic: Situating Nostalgia for Technological Progress and the Occult in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes’, Imaginations, 5.1 (2014), pp. 122-134 (p.124)

[7] Examples of scholarship on Ian Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd include: Merlin Coverley, Psychogeography (2012); David Ashford, ‘The Mechanics of the Occult: London’s Psychogeographical Fiction as Key to Understanding the Roots of the Gothic’, The Literary London Journal, 10.2 (2013) n.p.; Jean-Michael Ganteau, ‘Vulnerable Visibilities: Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous Victorian Metropolis’ in Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben (eds) Neo-Victorian Cities: Reassessing Urban Politics and Poetics (2015)

[8] McEvoy, Gothic Tourism, p. 3

[9] Emma McEvoy, Gothic Tourism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), p.3

[10] Ibid, p. 201.

[11] Philip Simpson argues that the Gothic tradition is progenitor to fictional killer narratives. If Jack the Ripper has been attributed to the formation of “The Serial Killer” as figure in popular culture and criminology, than it can be argued that there is a relationship between creation of The Ripper myth and the Gothic literary tradition. For a useful overview of Serial Killers and the Gothic tradition, see Philip Simpson, Psycho Paths Tracking the Serial Killer through Contemporary American Films and Fiction (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000), pp, 26-36.

[12] Paul Newland, The Cultural Construction of London’s East End: Urban Iconography, Modernity and the Spatialisation of Englishness (New York: Rodopi, 2008), p. 69

[13] An abundance of literature addressing the crimes of Jack the Ripper assesses the victim count of the murderer depending on which identity they put forward. Asserting a ‘canonical five’ derives from the general acceptance that these women were all victims of the same murderer.

[14] For a detailed explanation on the role of Jack the Ripper and contemporary serial profiling, refer to Mark Seltzer’s Serial Killers: Life and Dead in America’s Wound Culture (1998).

[15] Refer to Gary Coville and Patrick Lucanio’s Jack the Ripper: His Life and Times in Popular Entertainment (2008) for a thorough study of Jack the Ripper in popular culture.

[16] The term ‘vestigial stains’ is taken from Robert Mighall, A Geography of Victorian Fiction: Mapping History’s Nightmares (1999).

[17] Beaumont, Matthew, Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London Chaucer to Dickens (New York: Verso, 2015), pp. 402-404

[18] See Donald, Modern City, p. 69-70, for a description of the role of the detective as one who embodies the secret lore and knowledge to render the enigma of the city intelligible.

[19] See Todorov, Tzvetzan, ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’, in The Poetics of Prose, trans. by Richard Culler (Oxford: Blackwell, 1977), pp. 42–52

[20] Todorov, Tzvetzan, ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’, in The Poetics of Prose, trans. by Richard Culler (Oxford: Blackwell, 1977) pp. 42-52 ( p. 45)

[21] See Brooks, Peter, Reading for the Plot (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980)

[22] De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life , translated by Steven Rendall (London: University of California Press, 1984) p 108.

[23] Beaumont, Matthew. Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London Chaucer to Dickens (New York: Verso, 2015) p. 4

[24] Cunningham, David, “Living in the slashing grounds: Jack the Ripper, monopoly rent and the new heritage” in Jack the Ripper: Media, Culture, History, eds Alexandra Warwick and Martin Willis. (New York: Manchester University Press, 2007),  pp 159 – 175 (p. 161)

[25] For an in-depth discussion on the negative impact of the tourism industry in the East End, please see David Cunningham ‘Living in the slashing grounds: Jack the Ripper, monopoly rent and the new heritage’ in Alexandra Warwick and Martin Willis’s Jack the Ripper: Media, Culture, History (2007), pp. 159-175.

[26] Quoted in Drew D. Gray., London’s Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City (New York: Continuum, 2010), p. 46.

[27]  An East Ender, ‘A DISGRACEFUL SCENE’, Echo, 11 September 1888 in Casebook: Jack the Ripper < http://www.casebook.org/press_reports/echo/18880911.html&gt;

[28] Drew D. Gray, London’s Shadows  p. 46

[29] Simpson, Philip L., Psycho Paths: Tracking the Serial Killer through Contemporary American Film and Fiction (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000), (p. 35).

[30] de Certeau, Michel, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. by Steven F. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), (p. 93).

[31] Alexandra Warwick “Blood and Ink: narrating the Whitechapel Murders” in Jack the Ripper: Media, Culture, History, eds Alexandra Warwick and Martin Willis (New York; Manchester University Press, 2007) pp. 71-87 (p. 74)

[32] Alexandra Warwick, ‘The scene of the crime inventing the serial killer.’ Social & Legal Studies, 15.4 (2006) pp. 552-569, (p. 564)

[33] Walkotwitz, Judith.  City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late Victorian London (London: Virago, 1992) p. 21