Jack the Ripper Essay

Question 1 From source A we can learn how both Polly Nicholls as well as Martha Tabram, being the poorest of poor, had been brutally murdered, by the same person was unknown. With source A being a newspaper article claiming how “a demented being” murdered these two and from this we know it’s in singular terms meaning one person. Also the fact that both of the murders startled London tells us that London had never seen violence to a degree like this and was completely shocked at it.

In addition to this we know how the people were surprised that poor prostitutes had been attacked. We can also learn how the newspaper would exaggerate their point to sell as much as many newspapers as they could, making this unreliable and might have stated untrue points or false information. These prostitutes were viewed on as worthless and a nuisance to society and there was really no reason for killing them except for some psychotic, vengeful or some other reason.

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Question 2 Source C being a doctors report it is meant to be as accurate as possible stating the true and right facts and only the right facts. Here Source C differs from source A being a newspaper article of which would over exaggerate the point and main purpose was to sell its papers. Source B comes from yet another professional view with it being from a Coroner who would know what they were talking about, in Source B it mentions how “the injuries have been made by someone who had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge” and who knew what they were trying to hit, e. . which organ. Similarly Source C mentions how the windpipe was cut completely in two and links Jack the Ripper to the skill he had for the body. Source C being from a completely professional viewpoint as it was a report from a Dr Frederick, implies that Jack the Ripper is a professional as it states that he cut the windpipe completely in two, two and a half inches below the jaw, whereas Source A states Jack the Ripper as being a demented making Jack the Ripper sound psychotic.

As well as this the vocabulary used is interesting and would most likely draw the public to buy their papers in Source A which is their main objective making itself unreliable compared to source B and C being professional. Source A connects Martha Tabrams murder with Polly Nicholls murder, with Martha Tabram’s murder including 39 stabs on the body showing no skill whereas Polly Nicholls windpipe was slashed twice and shows some anatomical skill for the body hitting precise areas, contradicting Martha Tabram’s murder.

Question 3 With Source D and Source E being of the same subject you would reckon the same results and statements would be included. With Source D being from a professional point of view and E from a newspaper article which would without doubt say points either untrue or exaggerate certain points to sell it’s papers. Elizabeth Long along with her evidence had proved useful in source D as her information was taken seriously and a lot of work went into finding a foreigner as she described the last man talking to Annie Chapman.

On the other hand Source E was a newspaper article they may have been trying to blame the police for failing to catch the murderer. Both sources D and E prove not very useful in helping me to understand how Jack the Ripper avoided capture, as both were pretty laid back and not sure of the point. Source E in addition to this suggested that advice was given to the police which was ignored and how Whitechapel was a hard place to police which is agreeable as there were dark and dingy as well as narrow streets being maze like.

Source D was written before the murder and E after the murder each would have had its different statements but both have proved not very useful in helping me to understand how he avoided capture. Source E did prove useful when it mentioned “the main thoroughfares of Whitechapel are connected by a network of narrow, dark and crooked lanes. ” As it emphasised the point of how Jack the Ripper from these streets could have avoided capture.

Source D mentioning how the man “was dark complexioned and was wearing a deerstalker hat” with it also mentioning how “he was wearing a dark coat” this had proved useful as it had made Jack the Ripper sound as if he didn’t want to be seen. If it was really Jack the Ripper the Source had made him sound like he wanted to be unseen and was very sneaky this adds to the point of how Jack the Ripper avoided capture by the police through just thinking about his move and shows how both Sources D and E would have some useful information but at other times completely useless information.

Question 4 Throughout the 19th century the police both the metropolitan police who patrolled the outside of the city and the city police who patrolled the inside of the city of London. With Source F being a leaflet that was handed out at a time it purposes was to tell people to inform the police if they see any suspicious characters. No rewards were given which at first may sound dumb but avoids false claims and confuses the police ever more.

This is backed up by Source G which is as well as being written from a home secretary, something professional and something reliable proving how rewards were not offered. The usefulness of this Source had shown how the police had stopped the reward offering as it had caused more harm than good. In addition to this the police would do house to house knockings to ask for any suspicious characters seen. With source F being done after the murders this proves how the source was not very useful and needed to send this awareness letter earlier, before the murders.

With it being from the police you would expect it to be very serious and down to the point which it is and it is from a professional view, but choosing the timing, it should have been sent out earlier to avoid future murders or may have bring in information of any sort including evidence being important, the sources usefulness proves not very useful with statements in the source such as “should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached” this was a pretty bad statement to tell the public as no information would come forth and gets the police no where and only hinders them.

Certain things the police do, like the CID work would find and even keep a close eye on the streets in this aspect the police were good at this work with other aspects such as dressing up lady’s to go undercover for work would prove completely useless and would be better off working on patrolling the streets or distributing leaflets or making them better. Question 5

In the year 1888 at the time of Jack the Ripper, the police force was made up of two organisations, these being the Metropolitan Police responsible for patrolling and law enforcement on the outer city of London and the City Police responsible for patrolling the inner city of London. Both the Met Police and the City Police tried their utmost to put a stop to the murders but in doing so as separate organisations and with lack of team work and evidence sharing they failed. Some aspects of their investigations proved useful, others however completely pointless.

It appeared that Jack the Ripper was always one step ahead of the police and was able to remain uncaptured even after killing a total of five victims in just a short space of time (from August 30 1888 to November 9 1888). The probability was that Jack the Ripper was a quiet recluse type who remained un- noticed but probably lived in the Whitechapel area in 1888 as all of the murders were committed in the same basic area, indicating the killer knew his way around the streets and was therefore able to go undetected and as history proved unfound.

The close proximity of the killings was terrifying for the people living in the Whitechapel area at the time and London’s East end was filled with terror. In their attempt to capture Jack the Ripper the Police force used the methods that were available at their disposal at the time. One of these was leaflet distribution (as noted in source F. ) This source proved reliable as it is a police leaflet and comes from a professional view as it has come from the police. Its usefulness varies with certain statements such as “should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached.

This had been completely pointless as no one would come forth with any information and instead of moving the police forward it hinders them even more. Approximately 80,000 leaflets were handed out from door to door appealing to anyone that may have known of anything suspicious. A reward was not offered for any information provided because many people may have come forward with false claims which would have hindered the investigation giving false leads. The fact that no reward was offered to the public probably made it less likely that anyone would come forward with any relevant information.

At the time the secretary of state issued a statement saying that “there was nothing in the circumstances of the case to justify… ” a reward being offered. From this it seems apparent that even though two murders had been committed it seemed as though there was not enough importance given to finding evidence as quickly as possible, so in this respect both the Home Secretary and the Police Force with their poorly worded leaflet did not emphasise enough to the public the urgency of capturing the murderer.

Another pointless exercise which proved a waste of time was using police dogs to search for bodies which actually led the police to butchers and their stock instead of any concrete evidence. The police were also found extremely unapproachable which in a situation like this was terrible. Source E (a newspaper article) tells us that in one case when the police were approached, they were given advice which was completely ignored and in the near future would have proved useful with the murders.

Source E mentioned how “he warned that murder would ensure if matters were left as they were. He was referred from one police officer to another, but without making any impression” the police blatantly ignored a clear warning which proved true and showed just how ignorant the police were. If this advice was taken the murders that were to come may have been stopped. Another factor which enabled Jack the Ripper to remain uncaptured was that the Met Police and the City Police did not work together in the respect of sharing their evidence.

Because the City Police dealt with issues in inner London and the Metropolitan police dealt with the outer London issues it was easier for evidence to go undetected from one area to the other as the police forces withheld this from one another. So in their competiveness and privacy of evidence on the part of both police forces the murders continued so this was another hindrance to solving this case. In part of an article published in The Times after the murder of Mary Kelly it was though all hope had been lost “Not a trace is left of the murderer and there is no purpose in the crime to afford the slightest clue.

All the police can hope is that some accidental circumstance will lead to a trace… ” From this it becomes apparent that on the part of the police they were just hoping for some accidental evidence to show itself as their own efforts proved useless, and it appeared there was a lack of perseverance on their part and seemed as though they weren’t willing to continue until every shred of evidence however small was fully examined in the hope that it may lead to needed results.

Jack the Ripper took advantage of every opportunity available to him and it seemed the police were never quite ready for when he struck. With Jack being unknown to the public he walked the streets unsuspected. The only evidence we have as to the appearance of Jack the Ripper was is that of Elizabeth Long at the inquest into the death of Annie Chapman as she described the man seen talking to Annie before she was killed (source D) “He was dark complexioned. ” This source is one that can be relied on as it is a piece of evidence and has come directly from an Elizabeth Long.

This source was very useful to the police as they had something to go on something to follow up on. This had told the police that they were on the lookout for something and they needed to act fast and stay vigilant, source D had proved as a very useful one for the police. I think he was wearing a dark coat. He was a man over forty as far as I could tell. ” From Ms. Long’s quotation it’s clear that the man she saw was unknown in the area. Given this information the police should have been searching out somebody in the area who was not commonly known to the public.

They should have been vigilantly searching day and night for this suspect, bearing in mind that he knew the streets of the area accurately despite the poor smoggy weather and dark, narrow, maze like streets. This should have indicated to the police that this person was probably local and knew his way about without any problem even in the dark. It should have been priority to the police to try and reconstruct the footpath of the killer in order to retrace his steps in an attempt to stop any further murders but this was not done by the police either.

To add to this his precision with his mutilation methods at the time of the killings should have indicated to the police that the killer may have been a doctor or someone who most definitely had knowledge of the human anatomy and how to extract human body parts swiftly and accurately. Source B, part of the coroners report at the death of Annie Chapmen states… “The body has not been dissected, but the injuries have been made by someone who had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge. It was done by one who knew where to find what he wanted… nd how he should use the knife. ” The police should have noted that this was a professional coroners report, thus making it a reliable source, and should have followed this up in their investigations because it was indicating the type of man they were looking for and contained very useful information the police would have to be on the lookout for now. The conditions of the narrow, smog filled streets in London in the late nineteenth century had proved that crime could be achieved much easier than in the modern day.

Lack of police communication, modern technology, forensic science are all contributing factors to how difficult it was to clamp down on crime in the late 1800’s. Though the police seemed to have a lazier attitude back then they had also never encountered a serial killing spree like that of Jack the Ripper and with limited access to the appropriate aids all they had were themselves the police force who proved to be extremely inexperienced. The fact that London streets were filled with drunken paupers and prostitutes and smog filled conditions would most certainly have added difficulty to capturing Jack the Ripper.

The unexpected methods of the killings shocked the police as well as the public and they simply did not have the resources or know how to deal with it. In conclusion it’s fair to say that the ignorance of the police force in the 1800’s was partly to blame for the loss of these lives. Stubbornness between the two police forces not sharing evidence may have been a hindrance to the solving of this case. Not enough investigation was carried out and attention to detail was ignored.

The police should have been persistent with door to door investigations enquiring about possible suspects who were not well known in the community but had sound knowledge of human anatomy etc… Lack of public awareness also contributed as people were not given enough warning until it was too late. Life continued as normal even after the first murder whereas the police should have been more vigilant. Being an opportunist Jack the ripper took advantage of the slack police awareness and was able to carry out these gruesome murders. The police were most definitely accountable for the lose of these lives.

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