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Bad Women: The Blackout Ripper
50 minutes | Dec 22, 2022
Raising the Dead - Behind the Scenes of Bad Women
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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
61 minutes | Dec 20, 2022
S2 E11: The Killers and The Hangman
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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | Dec 15, 2022
BONUS: Hallie Rubenhold and Julia Laite on We Have Ways...
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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
46 minutes | Dec 13, 2022
S2 E10: Olga Hangs Up Her Whip
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) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
62 minutes | Dec 8, 2022
BONUS: The Music from 'The Blackout Ripper'
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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
46 minutes | Dec 6, 2022
S2 E9: The Blackout Ripper on the Run
Greta Heywood is being strangled in a Piccadilly doorway when a passerby interrupts the Blackout Ripper, who disappears into the night. Greta survives the attack and the killer leaves vital clues as to his identity. The police are now closing in on their man - but can they catch him before he can claim more victims? Further reading: Andrews, Maggie and Lomas, Janis. The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) Laite, Julia. Common Prostitutes And Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London 1885 - 1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) Lewis, Jane. ‘The problem of lone mother families in twentieth century Britain’, The Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Vol. 20 No. 3 (1998), pp. 251-283 Reeves, Josephine. ‘The Deviant Mother and Child: The Development of Adoption as an Instrument of Social Control’, Journal of Law and Society, Winter, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Winter 1993), pp. 412—426) Roberts, Elizabeth. A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women, 1890 – 1940 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984) Slater, Stefan. ‘Prostitutes and Popular History: Notes on the ‘Underworld’ 1918 - 1939’, Crime, History and Society, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2009), pp. 25 - 48 Sweet, Matthew. ‘The West End Front' (Faber 2012) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
57 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
S2 E8: Madam Nerva Sees Death
Rachel Dobkin has come to see her psychic advisor, Madam Nerva. After years of bitter disagreements and financial wranglings with her estranged and violent husband, Rachel wants to know what the spirits think she should do next. Through Madam Nerva the spirts tell Rachel not to go near her husband again... but will she heed their warnings? The case of Rachel Dobkin is another face of wartime crime and not the work of the Blackout Ripper - but it reveals a common thread. It shows how some men thought the disruption and chaos of war would help them get away with murder. Further reading: Carroll, Niamh. ‘The History of the Boundary Estate’, Bethnal Green London, 14 May 2021, Cole, Mike. ‘The Battle of Cable Street’, Historic UK. Cowan, Colin. ‘Mental observation wards: an alternative provision for emergency psychiatric care in England in the first half of the twentieth century’, History of Psychiatry, Eilers, Nicole Kvale. ‘Emigrant Trains: Jewish Migration through Prussia and American Remote Control, 1880 - 1914’, in Brinkmann, T. (ed), Points of Passage: Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain 1880 - 1914 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013). Lefebure, Molly. Murder on the Home Front (London: Sphere, 2013). Marks, Lara V, Model Mothers: Jewish Mothers and Maternity Provision in East London 1870 - 1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).. Odell, Robin. Medical Detectives: The Lives and Cases of Britain’s Forensic Five (Cheltenham: The History Press, 2013). Roberts, Elizabeth. A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890 - 1940 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995). Summerscale, Kate. The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story (London: Bloomsbury, 2020). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
38 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
BONUS: Black GIs and their "Brown Babies"
Unlike white GIs, it was made virtually impossible for African-American servicemen to marry the women they met and fell in love with in the UK during World War Two. If these couples had children, those so-called "Brown Babies" were stigmatized and scorned - with many ending up in grim children's homes. Pausing the story of the Blackout Ripper - this episode examines the experiences of those Black GIs, their white partners and two "Brown Babies" - Leon Lomax and Terry Harrison - who have both spent decades trying to piece together their family histories. Professor Lucy Bland's work can be seen here: http://www.mixedmuseum.org.uk/brown-babies Further reading: Bland, Lucy. Britain's 'Brown Babies': The stories of children born to black GIs and white women in the Second World War. (Manchester University Press), 2019 Osur, Alan. Blacks in the Army Air Forces During World War II. (Office of Air Force History), 1977 Schindler, David and Westcott, Mark ‘Shocking Racial Attitudes: Black G.I.s in Europe’, The Review of Economic Studies. (University of Oxford), 2021 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
51 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
S2 E7: Shootout at the Dress Shop
Seamstress Doris Staples doesn't want to see Private John Waters any more... but the American soldier has other ideas. He goes to her workplace to make sure she doesn't "step out" with any other man... and carries with him a pistol. Men were expected to seek an outlet for their sexual appetites, but any women who saw multiple partners or wanted to exit a relationship faced stigma, hostility and deadly violence. Further reading: Ashton, John R; Machin, David; Osmond, Clive; Balajaran, Rasaratnam; Adam, Sheila A and Donnan, Stuart P B. ‘Trends in Induced Abortion in England and Wales’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 37, 1983, pp. 105 - 110. Dryden, Steven. ‘A Short History of LGBT Rights in the UK’. Ellwood, David. ‘The American Challenge in Uniform: The Arrival of America’s Armies in World War II and European Women’, European Journal of American Studies vol. 7, no. 2, 2012. Laite, Julia. Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885 - 1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Monckton Smith, Jane. In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder. (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022). Vickers, Emma. Queen and Country: Same-sex desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-45. (Manchester University Press, 2013). Wagner, Paul. The Youngest Crew (Cheyenne, WY: Lagumo Press, 1997). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
53 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
S2 E6: "The Lady" of Gosfield Street
Around Piccadilly she's known as "The Lady" - a quiet, rather remote figure. Widow Margaret Lowe tries to keep herself to herself and stay out of trouble - but trouble is never far away. The other residents of her building on Gosfield Street are used to hearing crashes and cries in the dead of night. Margaret sells sex in her flat, and with the coming of war that's an increasingly dangerous business. But when her clients turn violent, "The Lady" can't turn to the police and her neighbours seldom lift a finger to help. One night the man she brings the up stairs to her door is... the Blackout Ripper. Sources: Laite, Julia. Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885 - 1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Laite, Julia. The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice (London: Profile Books, 2021). Philips, Jock. ‘History of Immigration - Depression: 1885 - 1900’, Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Philips, Jock. ‘History of Immigration - The Great Migration: 1871 - 1885’, Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Philips, Jock. ‘History of Immigration - Migration: 1900 to 1914’, Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
48 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
S2 E5: 'Men Dodge Bullets, Girls Dodge Men'
The Blackout Ripper wasn't the only serviceman attacking women in World War Two. In cities, towns and villages women were being harassed and abused by men in the military - and the women who chose to join the armed forces weren't immune from such treatment. Those women who signed up for the army, navy or air force to fight Hitler were dogged by crude insinuations that they were promiscuous - especially if they went to dances and drank alcohol. When these servicewomen were stalked, raped or murdered, the official response was often a dismal exercise in victim blaming. Sources: Dunlop, Dr Tessa. 'Army Girls: The Secrets and Stories of Military Service from the Final Few Women who Fought in World War II.' 2021 Headline Publishing Group. Owtram, Jean and Patricia 'Codebreaking Sisters: Our Secret War.' 2020 Mirror Books. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
44 minutes | Oct 25, 2022
S2 E4: "Lita Ward" the Soho Girl
Though married to chicken farmer Harold, Evelyn Oatley has given up on rural life and returned to live in seedy Soho under her showgirl alias "Lita Ward". The coming of war has meant a boom time for those selling entertainment, liquor and sex to the servicemen flooding the area. It is in this world of dancing and drinking that Evelyn lives. But beneath a fun-loving facade, Evelyn is lonely. Her male callers help stave off this sense of isolation, but only temporarily. And it’s while working that she’ll meet a cruel and sadistic killer and take him back to her apartment. Sources: Iglikowski-Broad, Vicky. ‘The Shim Sham Club: “London’s Miniature Harlem”’, The National Archives, 5 February 2020. National Fairground and Circus Archive, ‘The Second World War’, The University of Sheffield, July 2015. Sladen, Chris. ‘Holidays at Home in the Second World War’, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2002. Walkowitz, Judith R. Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
44 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
S2 E3: The Butchers of Germany
Evelyn Oatley dreams of becoming a stage star in London's glamorous theaterland. It's a world away from her grim provincial upbringing. The daughter of a German immigrant, her troubled home life was compounded by a wave of anti-German rioting that broke out during World War One. Tiring of both her job at a textile mill and her relationship with a local farmer, Evelyn ran off to London and transformed herself into budding starlet "Lita Ward". But she found neither fame nor fortune there... only danger. Sources: Andrews, Maggie and Lomas, Janis. The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Arthur, Sue. ‘Blackpool Goes All-Talkie: Cinema and Society at the Seaside in Thirties Britain’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 2019. Denness, Zoe. ‘“A Question which Affects our Prestige as a Nation”: The History of British Civilian Internment’, PhD Thesis, University of Birmingham, October 2012. Denness, Zoe. “Gender and Germanophobia: The Forgotten Experiences of German Women in Britain, 1914–1919’ in: Panayi, Panikos (Ed.). Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Company, 2014). Eyles, Allan. ‘Cinemas and Cinemagoing: The Rise of Cinemas’, BFI Screenonline, 2014. Higginbotham, Peter. ‘Boarding Out (Fostering)’, Children’s Homes. Hill, Hector. ‘Russell Street Picturehouse’, Cinema Treasures. Lassandro, Sebastian. Pride of Our Alley: The Life of Dame Gracie Fields Volume 1: 1898 - 1939 (Albany: BearManor Media, 2019). Mazierska, Ema (Ed.). Blackpool in Film and Popular Music (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Mort, Frank. ‘Striptease: The Erotic Female Body and Live Sexual Entertainment in Mid-Twentiety-Century London’, Social History, Vol. 32, No. 1, February 2007. Panayi, Panikos. ‘Germans as Minorities during the First World War: Global Comparative Perspectives’, in: Panayi, Panikos (Ed.). Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective (Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Company, 2014). Panayi, Panikos. Immigration, Ethnicity, and Racism in Britain, 1815 - 1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994). Stone, Peter. ‘The German Community in London during the 19th Century’, History London. Waddington, Keir. ‘“We Don’t Want Any German Sausages Here!”: Food, Fear and the German Nation in Victorian and Edwardian Britain’, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 52, No. 4, October 2013. Walkowitz, Judith R. Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012). Walton, John K. ‘The Seaside Resort: A British Cultural Export’, History in Focus, Issue 9, Autumn 2005. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
S2 E1: Murders in a City Without Light
London's West End - once a glittering Mecca of nightlife - is pitch black. The lights are off to hide the city from waves of Nazi bombers - but in the darkness a merciless killer is hunting down the women of this district. Join hosts Hallie Rubenhold and Alice Fiennes as they walk those bomb-damaged streets to tell the stories of the women targeted by this "Blackout Ripper" over the course of just one week in 1942. You'll glimpse inside the theaters, jazz joints and dive bars of Piccadilly and Soho; witness deadly air raids; and criss cross the blacked out streets where a serial killer lurks. You'll learn too of the hardships that blighted the lives of many women in wartime, and the extent of the violence they faced at the hands of men from their own side in the conflict. Sources: Bone, James. London Echoing (London: Jonathan Cape, 1948) Caddick-Adams, Peter. Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day (London: Penguin Random House, 2019). Cederwell, William. Reading London in Wartime: Blitz, the People and Propaganda in 1940s Literature (New York: Routledge, 2018). Farson, N. Bomber’s Moon (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1941). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
47 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
S2 E2: The Death of a Quiet Druggist
Evelyn Hamilton has annoyed her bosses in the male-dominated world of pharmacy - they find her quiet and independent nature mystifying and odd. After an unhappy stint at a druggist shop outside London, she's landed a new job and a fresh start in a faraway town. In February 1942, Evelyn sets out on her long journey – just as the Blackout Ripper is hunting for his first victim… Join hosts Hallie Rubenhold and Alice Fiennes as they traces Evelyn's life and struggles; and with the help of Lauren Ober (host of The Loudest Girl in the World podcast) examine why the quiet pharmacist's demeanour provoked such hostility. Sources: Andrews, Maggie and Lomas, Janis. The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Diniejko, Dr. Andrzej. ‘A Chronology of Social Change and Social Reform in Great Britain in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, The Victorian Web, 2014 Neale, Alexa. ‘Case Files For Murder Trials: The Case of Cyril Johnson’, “Domestic Murder” She Wrote, September 2016 Webb, Laura and Webb, Kevin. ‘Selina Cooper: The Story of a Working Class Suffragist’, March 2019, UK Vote 100 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
6 minutes | Sep 27, 2022
NEW SEASON: The Blackout Ripper coming Oct 11
London is pitch black. It's wartime and the lights are out to confuse Nazi bombers. But in this darkness a killer as warped and as violent as Jack the Ripper is hunting for women night after night in the bomb-damaged streets. The women murdered by the so-called Blackout Ripper received little sympathy at the time and have been largely forgotten since. So historian Hallie Rubenhold and criminologist Alice Fiennes have gathered fresh evidence about the rich and complex lives of the women - and revealing what put them in the path of a killer. Bad Women: The Blackout Ripper starts with a double episode drop on Oct 11. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9 minutes | Sep 23, 2022
Death of an Artist: Ana Mendieta and Carl Andre
We'll be dropping a trailer for the new brand new season of Bad Women next week. But in the meantime, here’s a preview from Death of an Artist, a new podcast from Pushkin Industries. For more than 35 years, accusations of murder shrouded one of the art world’s most storied couples: Was the famous sculptor Carl Andre involved in the death of his up-and-coming artist wife Ana Mendieta? Host Helen Molesworth revisits Mendieta’s death, taking a closer look at how she might have fallen out of the window of Carl’s 34th floor New York apartment, and the following trial which has divided the art world since 1985. Hear more from Death of an Artist at https://podcasts.pushkin.fm/artist?sid=women. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27 minutes | Sep 20, 2022
From History Daily: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We’ll be back on October 11th with a brand new season of Bad Women, but in the meantime, we wanted to give you a taste of another history podcast we think you'll like. From History Daily, host Lindsay Graham takes listeners back in time to a certain day in history to explore a momentous event. On this episode, we'll go back to August 10, 1993 when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 107th justice, becoming only the second woman in history to serve on the country’s highest court. Find History Daily wherever you get podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
45 minutes | Dec 28, 2021
S1 E15: The Madness of Jacob Levy
Families of Ripper victims often suppressed the memories of their murdered loved ones - fearing the stigma of being related to supposed "prostitutes". And descendants of men accused of being the infamous killer have also had to endure seeing their ancestors' reputations sullied. We hear from a living relatives of Annie Chapman... and of Jacob Levy, a Whitechapel butcher whose appalling struggle with mental illness has caused unsympathetic observers to conclude that he was Jack the Ripper. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
37 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
S1 E14: The Monster Among Us
Children around the world are taught about Jack the Ripper and shown graphic images of his victims. Is that wise? Are we in danger of normalising his crimes and encouraging those who seek to venerate and even emulate him? Hallie Rubenhold talks to students and teachers, and hears from crime novelist and Ripper investigator Patricia Cornwell about finding a way to discuss the Whitechapel murders without glamorizing the killer. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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