Tuesday, October 16, 2012

True Crime Tuesday

It's True Crime Tuesday again! What do you get when you add sex to murder? A campy, yet slightly cruesome nickname. As always, the original material is lifted from True Crime Library, and all rights belong to them.
 
 
In post-war Britain, it certainly seemed for many that sex was something that was rarely seen and barely ever heard. Sex was a concept shrouded in secrecy. Yet society's suppression of it meant that exponents of the world's oldest profession were rarely short of customers.

Likewise, in the dimly lit back streets of England's capital city, married men were prepared to pay for the kind of services which "nice girls" such as their wives would not provide. Duke's Meadows, on the banks of the river Thames in Chiswick, West London, was one such spot, crudely nicknamed "Gobblers" Gulch' by locals in reference to the sexual practices said to be popular there. However, something considerably more sinister than the usual discarded prophylactics greeted police as they patrolled the towpath early on the morning of June 17, 1959. They stumbled across the body of a woman, sat up against a small willow tree, her blue and white striped dress torn open to reveal her breasts and some scratches on her throat. She had been strangled.

To find a dead body abandoned nearly naked in a public place was shocking even for experienced detectives, suggesting this was different to the crimes of passion, violence or avarice that police were used to. Yet despite house-to-house enquiries, interviews with prostitutes, pimps, taxi drivers, and night shift workers, no strong clues were found as to the killer's identity. As the case slowly went cold, Elizabeth Figg and the strange case of the semi-naked corpse were forgotten. It would be more than four years before anyone had cause to mention her name again.

Claiming as many as eight victims, Jack the Stripper, like BTK, after almost half a century may still be out there. Or like his namesake, Jack the Ripper, he may baffle crime buffs for many decades to come.

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