Of all the murders in the Whitechapel file, none is more mysterious than the body found in the railway arches on Pinchin Street, St George, in the East End of London, on September 10th 1889.
The coded telegraph message “Whitechapel Again!” was sent to all stations in London, but this time, it was not a victim of the Ripper. Instead, it was the only victim we don’t have a definitive date and method of murder for. We also don’t know their identity, because what was found was not a complete body, but the headless torso of a woman.
The body, missing both its head and legs, was wrapped in an old chemise and probably has more to do with another chain of unsolved murders that occurred in London around the same time. In May 1887, a bundle containing a female torso was retrieved from the Thames in Rainham. A little further down the line, other parts of the woman’s body were recovered, eventually forming an almost complete body, excluding the head and upper section of the torso.
More than a year after this discovery, body parts belonging to a second corpse were recovered from different areas around London, including the foundations of the soon-to-be headquarters for the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard. The Thames Torso Murder and the “Whitehall Mystery” (as the two murders were dubbed in the press) were never solved.
Though, as mentioned, the nature of these killings had no connection to Jack the Ripper, could his murders have inspired a killer to come out from the shadows and continue injecting fear into the community? Possibly.
If you believe this may be the case, why not start at the roots on our Jack the Ripper walk in the East End of London. Don’t forget to stay tuned for our second instalment though, of The Pinchin Street Torso!