I MUST admit I have a macabre streak in me and love true crime documentaries. Back in 1978 I went on a Jack The Ripper walk by myself around the murder sites in Whitechapel.

A film was due to be shot at Elstree Studios called Murder By Decree, starring Christopher Plummer as Sherlock Holmes and James Mason as Dr Watson, in which they tackle the Ripper.

I had the pleasure to visit the set and interview the wonderful James Mason. He commented that of course the story as presented was fiction but I recommend you view the film for its stellar cast and entertainment value.

James told me that he was going to portray Watson as a loyal friend of Holmes and not as a silly sidekick as often portrayed on screen, and he succeeded. The film was a modest box office success but the producer or director went on to make a sexy comedy called Porkys in the States and it made a fortune.

Back to my tour of the Ripper murder sites. Whitechapel was then fast-changing for the better but some parts of Victorian London remained, especially Mitre Square.

It was about to be demolished, so a last chance to visit and it was very eerie. Nowadays everything has been modernised. I was actually stopped by a police officer on his beat and, as it was a September evening, asked what I was doing.

He kindly warned me that at that time the area was not safe so I took the hint. I retired to a nearby pub that had been frequented by one or more of the Ripper victims, which was then renamed the Jack The Ripper pub in those innocent 'non pc' days.

Later the local council forced the owners to change the name and I understand. I should say that it was one of my fellow journalists (way before my time), experts now say, who forged letters to the police coining the name Jack the Ripper.

My great grandfather was somebody in the Freemasons in Victorian times and I have been asked to join that band of brothers but it is not my scene, although they do wonderful work and the handshake is always fun. The idea that the Freemasons were involved in the Whitechapel murders makes good films and books, but really.

I was also drawn to a murder scene when I knew they were going to shoot a movie called 10 Rillington Place with exteriors actually in the street. I think Richard Attenborough did a wonderful job of acting the role of Christie the mass murderer. I again recommend you view the film.

I still remember walking down that road to stand outside that house after all these years. Thankfully the whole area was redeveloped shortly afterwards. As all the doors were similar, I am told that the demolition crew sold the door to number 10 several times but that's called earning a living.