Philip Hutchinson:
THE SMILER WITH THE KNIFE

There have been several documentaries about the Whitechapel Murders that were broadcast more than half a century ago and are now considered lost. Foremost amongst these is the episode of 'Daniel Farson's Guide To The British' that investigated the crimes. In 1967, the BBC Home Service broadcast a 45-minute radio documentary which was called 'The Smiler With The Knife'. It exists in the BBC Genome Project but no copy was known to exist. Philip Hutchinson bought an open reel tape online about ten years ago of home recordings. It was sold as seen, but there was a newspaper cutting in the box about this lost programme. That tape was recently digitised. Although missing the first 15 minutes, you are about to hear this piece of history, now discovered, for the first time in 55 years.

Philip used to be a mover and a shaker in Ripper circles, but is now just a fusty old legend from the past. He once worked at The London Dungeon and led thousands of tourists through their Jack the Ripper section (following demolition of the original site, he now owns one of the large photographic panels from the exhibition which is kept in its packaging behind the wardrobe because it's not the sort of thing you want to look at). He began working as a Jack the Ripper tour guide in 2003 and was lucky enough to take a reviewer from a major international tourism blog around Whitechapel, which led to the first of many TV appearances discussing the crimes until he got too big to fit on the screen. He emceed for the Whitechapel Society for a decade, as well as for many crime conferences. He has also been a guest speaker at these events on numerous occasions over the years. He is the author of THE LONDON OF JACK THE RIPPER THEN AND NOW, which is due to be fully revised for DB Publishing in 2023, and THE JACK THE RIPPER LOCATION PHOTOGRAPHS. His unique collection of photographs and ephemera has turned up in the publications of some of the best respected authors on the subject. He has one of the largest collections of Jack the Ripper books in the field, and has no problem in confessing he's not read most of them and never will. After two years of no guiding work in London at all for some reason or other, Philip recently began working again for Discovery Tours and was shocked to see Whitechapel in 2022 as he remembers when it was all fields. Philip has also run The Ghost Tour of Guildford for over 20 years and manages his own theatre company, Lucky Dog Theatre Productions, which has played his shows about Laurel & Hardy, Joseph Merrick, The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster and, indeed, Jack The Ripper all over the UK and in Germany, the United States and the Czech Republic. He has done nothing with his life.

 

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