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Why were the police unable to catch Jack the ripper?

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Shane Lightfoot Why were the police unable to catch Jack the ripper? There are many factors and possible reasons to why the police were unable to catch Jack the Ripper. The Ripper is thought to have been very clever in the way that he manipulated the fact that there were two police forces around in this time, both in direct competition with each other. Jack the Ripper was thought to be a resident in London, the general public and the press wasted time with false leads, hoax letters and red herrings. There were very little clues, Jack the Ripper was very careful about what he did and left no leads for the police to follow up. There was never any one description of the killer; each witness gives a different description as to how they saw him. The Ripper struck at random and there was no connection established between him and his victim. The police and the CID were still in their infancy after just being founded, they had little or no experience with serial killers as the ripper was the first one, and the killer was took quick for beginners. ...read more.


After killing, the killer was able to stay very calm when he was mutilating he victim's body. The Ripper was a very clever and cunning person; he was able to play off the two competing police forces against each other. Each force had boundaries, which any of the other force was not allowed to cross when in uniform and patrolling for the ripper. The police had no idea of how to track a serial killer, it had never been done before, and they had no idea of where to start and what was the best way of tracking him. They didn't know what methods were successful and which methods weren't. Finger printing had not yet been invented and photographing had only just been introduced. There was no such thing as forensic evidence back than either, just the clues that they found in the area of the crime and on the body. Most of the time the CID spent looking for foreigners in Whitechapel, they believed that the killer lived in Whitechapel, but was also thought that he was an outsider and only visited at the weekend. ...read more.


Jack the Ripper was never caught because the police were still very much in their infancy, they were inexperienced and did not have the methods that we have today of tracking down the killer. The killer left very little evidence and leads giving the police nothing to follow up. Time was wasted chasing up fake letters that were made by the general public and the papers; time was also wasted on the hunt for a foreigner that lived in Whitechapel. Police had little help from the witnesses or the doctors, as their evidence conflicted and there was no one description of the killer. The killer was skilled, quick and quiet; he used his brains in playing the two police forces off against each other causing the police to pick up nothing. The fact that they kept things from each other and were in constant competition did not help in the search either; neither did the two forces handling of certain evidence and not sharing their resources. These are the reasons as to why the police were unable to catch Jack the Ripper. ...read more.

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