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Bad Women: The Blackout Ripper

by Pushkin Industries

The streets of wartime London are pitch black and the darkness offers cover to a murderer every bit as terrible as Jack the Ripper. During one awful week in February 1942 he viciously attacks women night after night. But the victims of the so-called Blackout Ripper are now all but forgotten.

In this season of Bad Women, historian Hallie Rubenhold and criminologist Alice Fiennes share new details from the archives to tell the extraordinary and moving stories of the women who died and why their deaths were swept from view.

And don't miss season one of Bad Women about a cold case like no other. In the fall of 1888, five women were brutally murdered in the slums of London. But everything you think you know about Jack the Ripper and those murdered women is wrong. Hallie reconstructs the lives of the five victims - revealing the appalling treatment they faced as women in the 1880s, and completely overturning the accepted Ripper story.

Copyright: 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc. © Any use of this intellectual property for text and data mining or computational analysis including as training material for artificial intelligence systems is strictly prohibited without express written consent from iHeartMedia


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Raising the Dead - Behind the Scenes of Bad Women

44m · Published 22 Dec 05:01

The rich and famous leave many traces in the historical records, but how can you reconstruct the lives of ordinary people who lived decades and decades ago? 

That was the challenge facing the team behind the Bad Women podcast. Hosts Hallie Rubenhold and Alice Fiennes sit down with genealogist Kate Healy to discuss the detective work involved in scouring the archives for the scraps of information which - when gathered together -  created a richer picture of the women chronicled in seasons one and two. 

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S2 E11: The Killers and The Hangman

55m · Published 20 Dec 05:01

Season Finale: Marjorie Cummins is certain that her husband is innocent - he's not the violent Blackout Ripper and he shouldn't hang for murder. She loyally supports him in court - refusing to believe the compelling evidence against him. Will the jury agree with her?

In wartime London, it seems, men could murder some women and still escape the hangman. Some juries defied the directions of judges to reach 'not guilty' verdicts if the female murder victims were painted as being promiscuous, immoral or unfaithful.   

One heavily-pregnant mother - Kathleen Patmore - was fatally stabbed by her soldier husband. Seemingly an open-and-shut case of murder, many instead felt that Kathleen deserved her fate and that her husband was the innocent party.    

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BONUS: Hallie Rubenhold and Julia Laite on We Have Ways...

44m · Published 15 Dec 05:01

The murders of The Blackout Ripper - indeed many of the crimes committed against women in World War Two - aren't often spoken about by historians of the conflict. That's changing. The co-host of Bad Women Hallie Rubenhold and regular guest Dr Julia Laite recently appeared on the WW2 podcast We Have Ways of Making You Talk to talk to James Holland about the wartime experiences of women. Here's chance to hear the conversation.  

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S2 E10: Olga Hangs Up Her Whip

39m · Published 13 Dec 05:01

Doris had made her living as "Olga" - a dominatrix alter ego charging men handsomely for sex involving corsets, whips and "unusual methods". But when she married aged businessman (and former client) Henri Jouannet, she'd promised to give it all up.  

The coming of war put a strain on the couple's finances and their relationship - and Doris secretly returned to selling sex. But the trade had changed - instead of seeing her regular clients, "Olga" now meets strangers on the street... including The Blackout Ripper. 

Further reading:

Billock, Jennifer. ‘Five Hotels That Were Occupied by the Military During World War II’, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 October 2019

Laite, Julia. Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885 - 1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

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BONUS: The Music from 'The Blackout Ripper'

59m · Published 08 Dec 05:00

The story of the Blackout Ripper partly takes place in the wartime bars and clubs of West End London. To recreate their sound, Bad Women's composer and sound designer Pascal Wyse put together a quartet to play jazz tunes of the time.  

Here Pascal and guitarist Ed Gaughan talk about the history of that music and play some of the numbers in full on this episode on Pushkin Industries' Broken Record show, hosted by Justin Richmond. 

The band included Ed Gaughan, Ross Hughes, Christian Miller and Marcus Penrose. They were recorded by Nick Taylor at Porcupine Studios, under the direction of Pascal Wyse. Pushkin’s Ben Tolliday mixed the tracks.   

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Bad Women: The Blackout Ripper has 39 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 22:50:05. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on December 23rd 2022. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on February 23rd, 2024 18:42.

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