'Whitechapel Real Time' Twitter project marks 125 years of multiple murders

The unsolved murder of more than five prostitutes in London still fascinates amateur sleuths. Now you can follow the events tweet by tweet -- 125 years after the event.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Twitter is renowned for bringing us up to the moment news. But it is also becoming popular for delving into history.

Credit: The History Press

 UK Publisher The History Press is inviting us to experience life in Victorian London through a ‘unique Twitter project’. Following on from last year’s award-winning Titanic Real Time campaign, from 24th August The History Press is going back in time.

beerhouse Whitechapel
Beer house in Whitechapel. Credit: The History Press

It will use its Twitter feed to explore details about a series of unsolved and gruesome murders and mutilations. 

Whitechapel Real Time is an ‘evocative account of life in Victorian London told through real time tweets.

Through Twitter you can ‘experience the poverty and unfathomable immorality of the Victorian way of life in London during the ‘Autumn of Terror’’.

The 'Autumn of Terror' refers to the killer 'Jack the Ripper'.

Jack the Ripper is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the impoverished areas around the Whitechapel district of East London in 1888.

The Ripper attacks typically involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of London and whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations.

The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led people to suggest that their killer had anatomical or surgical knowledge.

Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London. Credit: The History Press

It has been 125 years since The Ripper stalked the streets of London yet the shadow of his bloody legacy still looms large.

The question remains, what compelled him to kill those at the bottom of Victorian society?

The History Press has had success with a previous real time Twitter campaign.

Its Titanic real time project followed the moment by moment account of the sinking of the famous ‘unsinkable’ ship.

It won the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) Nielsen award for Digital Marketing, gaining particular praise for measuring the the impact of its marketing in sales.

The campaign generated worldwide buzz and amassed over 111,000 followers during the project. “For a small publisher to cut through all the noise going on around the Titanic anniversary and achieve so much on a tiny budget is incredibly impressive” said the award judges.

The publishers hope that the Whitechapel Real Time project will educate people about Victorian society and the history surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders.

“We have worked hard on the project to ensure that it is historically-focussed and factually accurate, using content sourced from our expert authors and some of the world’s top ‘Ripperologists’.

The aim of the project is to challenge contemporary stereotypes and provoke debate on key issues such as social divisions and press sensationalism” said Jamie Wolfendale, marketing executive at The History Press.

The Whitechapel Real Time project will be an integrated marketing campaign. Twitter will be the central hub for activity but the will also be specialist content and articles on the website and its Facebook page.

The History Press website will contain all of the expert content about the Whitechapel murders and Victorian society.

And for those of us who remain fascinated by the events of 125 years ago and have our theories about who actually committed the murders, will the experts agree with our tweeted views?

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