Jack the Ripper is the world’s most well-known notorious serial killer to this day. In the summer and autumn of 1888, he stalked the slums of London’s East End, slicing the throats of his unlucky victims and removing their internal organs.
Due to the precise nature of the mutilations, some speculated that he was a physician, butcher, or surgeon. The first five victims – the so-called “Canonical Five” brutally slain between August 31st and November 9, 1888 – were all prostitutes, plying their trade in the impoverished Whitechapel district.
The Queen herself closely followed the Ripper case at the time and was also of the opinion that the perpetrator had to be a butcher or a physician. Whether or not she was right, we will never know.
Despite enormous newspaper coverage at the time, and multiple investigations then and since, the murders remain unsolved. Jack himself died long ago, taking his dreadful secret with him to the grave.
Half Crowns like this one I recently found with my Simplex+ in rural NSW featuring the veiled portrait of Queen Victoria, were in circulation in Whitechapel in 1888. It only cost four pennies back then to procure the services of one of the East End ladies of the night that Jack the Ripper preyed upon.
Who knows, perhaps Jack or one of his unlucky victims may have actually carried this very coin? Either way, I think I’ve managed to recover a stunning piece of history, albeit dark, and I’m very proud of it.
Thanks so much for reading my story and I’ll see you all out there my fellow time travellers!
“Chasing my treasure, what a beautiful addiction” – Karl Sterritt NSW