Abandoned by his father, mentally and physically abused by his prostitute mother, – he seeks refuge at sea.
John returns to Whitechapel a grown man. Solitary, naïve about women, he begins to see only the dark and seamy side of his surroundings. The one bright spot in his gloomy existence is Kate - an equally naive barmaid. For different reasons, they plunge into marriage. Shattered when she leaves, he concocts a deadly plan to bring her back by using his only skill. The memory of his mother haunts the faces of each victim, until the last.