Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

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Jack the Ripper


1) From the article we can see that the victims were both
prostitutes, very poor ones at that, which made the murders of Martha
Tabram and Polly Nicholls alike. Allegedly by the same degenerate. It
would be suggested that Polly Nicholls and Martha Tabram did nothing
to provoke such an attack but were murdered spontaneously due to the
fact that they had nothing a murderer could possibly want. This source
could potentially be a feeble source though as it is merely a
newspaper article from the ‘East End Observer’, newspapers tend to
focus on whatever would get the most readers rather than telling the
facts. Then again, it was written near the time of the murders and
they got the times correct so it could be reliable. The article also
says, ‘the excess of effort has been apparent in each murder’, this
tells us that the killer had intent to kill and a certain amount of
knowledge how he wished to murder his victim.

2) Source A is an article from the East End Observer telling about
the murders of the two prostitutes, Polly Nicholls and Martha Tabram.
Source B is part of the coroner’s report regarding the death of Polly
Nicholls. Source C is the report of Dr. Fredrick Blackwell on the
corpse of Elizabeth Stride. Source C is about the murder of Elizabeth
Stride and B is about Polly Nicholls, both of them talk about the
victim’s corpses as they were found and goes into detail about where
the cuts were inflicted, both C and B say the murders were committed
with a knife of some sort. Source A doesn’t give any information that
relates to the corpses, they just focus on where / who they were, and
the murderer. C and B are similar to each other due to them talking
about the victims corpses and how they were found but Source A does
not relate to them at all because it doesn’t mention the injuries of
the victims. Also, Source C contradicts Source A by suggesting it was

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the work of a “demented being” whereas Source C and B state otherwise,
saying it was the work of a skilful, smart and a person with very good
and precise anatomical knowledge Source C was written after Elizabeth
Stride died (Sept 30th 1888). Source B was written after Polly
Nicholls died (Aug 31st 1888) and finally Source A was written about
the deaths of both Polly Nicholls and Martha Tabram (August 7th 1888).
So, Source A and B are alike in the respect that they were both
written at about the same time but that’s about it.

Source A is written in a newspaper which means that it can’t be
trusted as much as C and B. Sources C and B are written by people with
insight in medical knowledge, and Source A is a mere report in a
newspaper which tends to try and get as many people to read it instead
of factual evidence of what happened, newspapers over exaggerate the
situation also.

3) Source D is useful in helping understand why the Ripper was able to
avoid capture. This is because Elizabeth Long gave evidence describing
the man that she saw talking to Annie Chapman, before she got
murdered. However in her evidence she is in doubt a few times.
Therefore her evidence could not have been as reliable, and so they
could not catch the Ripper. In source D, Elizabeth Long describes the
man to have a ‘dark complexion’. This could not be as accurate due to
the surrounding of London. This is for the reason that there was no
street lighting and so the Ripper would have obviously looked darker
then his natural complexion. Another aspect that supported the
statement that the Ripper was of dark complexion is that there were
narrow streets in London. Due to there being narrow streets they would
have looked dark and dingy. As a result complexions of people would
logically look darker. It is written that the accused wore a
‘deerstalker hat’. This helps understand why the ripper was able to
avoid capture. Additionally, it states he was a foreigner, this report
was taken extremely seriously and the police acted immediately to
track down a foreigner that matched this uncertain description.

4) Source F is a leaflet made by the police just after the death of
Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. It gives no information about the
appearance of Jack the Ripper, just about the times of death and to
look out for anyone suspicious. In Source G written by the Home
Secretary to the Mile End Vigilance on 17th Sept. 1888, states that
they weren’t giving rewards out for information which dramatically
reduced the chances of capturing Jack.

There was a door to door search for evidence. If the door was
answered, the police usually got the same type of responses. Another
way, which was frequently used, was the use of bloodhounds. These were
dogs with a remarkable sense of scent. They were more often than not,
taken to the crime scene, to get the scent of the scene within them.
They were then allowed to wander off, to find another place in the
area where the same scent was found. This is where they hoped to find
the killer, but normally the dogs ended up near someone who had been
involved in the investigation and who had been in contact with the
crime scene. The reason for this was that the police did not cordon
off the crime scene, so a lot of passers-by would have got quite close
to the scene and therefore carried the scent on them, which was sensed
by the bloodhounds. Members of the police generally followed closely
behind, but on one particular misty night they did not. They let the
bloodhounds loose and regrettably they never returned.

The police force started to become more and more anxious as the number
of Ripper victims increased. They increased the number of police on
the streets which did not work. So they tried to dress up male police
officers as prostitutes to try and trap the Ripper this also did not
work. After this attempt, they tried to use a detective there were
limitations on the CID because they where only just formed and was not
experienced in solving murder cases like this before. Although they
learnt the value of footprints, fingerprints. After all the attempts,
Jack still remained free.

5) The police did many things to try and catch Jack the Ripper, but
they never did. Many people have different views on whether the police
were to blame for this. Some people say the police were to blame
simply because they didn't catch him, but you have to look at all the
evidence before you can make a judgement.

Source E shows that the police were to blame for not capturing Jack
the Ripper, it says that the police did not have many police officers
on the streets when they were advised they should. They still didn't
listen to this advice after the first murder, but as I know they did
put a lot more people on the street after the second. Source G shows
that the police did not offer a reward for any information leading to
the capture of Jack the Ripper, which was probably a bad thing as many
people did not like or trust the current police force, and they had no
other way to get information. Source I is a map of the Whitechapel
showing where the murders took place. It shows that the murder sites
were close together which should have helped the police to catch Jack
the Ripper, as they would have known the areas to patrol and search,
but the place where he killed where random. There was no pattern to
help the police. Source J is a photograph of the site where Annie
Chapman died. It shows that there are houses all near this site, so
some people must have seen or head something, when only 3 people came
forward with sightings. A reward would have helped in this situation
making the public more willing to offer information to the police.
This photo does show that the Ripper could work in open spaces without
being captured, which shows how clever he was in not getting caught.

Using my own knowledge there are lots of reasons for the police to be
blamed. There was a lack of information for the police to use but the
information they did have they wasn't used properly, like the
descriptions after the death of Annie Chapman, which was disregarded
just because their times didn't correspond with the time of the
coroners time of death. When they questioned suspects they let them go
far too soon and didn't look carefully at them, just like they did
with 'leather Apron' that was taking money from prostitutes, even if
he wasn't the Ripper they should have investigated further.
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