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Jack The Ripper

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Question 1: What can you learn from Source A about the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls? Source A is Part of an article in the East End Observer describing the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls. What can you learn from Source A about the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls is that the murders were not committed for money because the victims were the 'poorest of the poor'. This could suggest that they were 'prostitutes'. We can gather that if the murders were committed against 'prostitutes', the murderer possibly had a particular dislike for them. There was no 'adequate motive in the shape of plunder' for the murders, this clearly points out that there was no motive, and this proves the fact that money was not involved. There is evidence that 'excess of effort that has been apparent in each murder', indicating that the murderer had made the intent to kill and mutilate his would-be victims. The murders are noteworthy for their unusual characteristics. It is possible the murderer was suffering from mental illness or distress as it states that killings 'are the work of a demented being'. The murders are in a similar place and that have a similar style. One thing we can from Source A about the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls is that they 'so startled London' this is because of the way in which these murders were carried out, there were many murders in the East End but in the two circumstances mentioned the murders were exceptionally violent and they stood out. The murders occurred over one month so this could lead to speculation that the murders were connected. The main weakness of this source is that there are no medical reports and no forensic evidence by a coroner or doctor. A journalist is not a professional so he can not comment on the murders as effectively as a coroner or a doctor. ...read more.


The leaflets told the public that Jack the Ripper could be 'residing in the immediate neighborhood'; this suggests that he was from the Whitechapel area. The leaflet was sent to 80,000 homes to inform people about Jack the Ripper and asking them for assistance. This was a tough task because many people in Whitechapel might have not been bothered to read the leaflets. Let us not forget also that some people may have been illiterate and could not read. This could possibly be because the leaflet was written in very complicated and different English. This could possibly be because they were foreigners. This document shows us that the police are trying this is because handing out leaflets is a sign that there was an increased number of police on the streets, they would not only have been handing out the leaflets but also asking questions at the same time. The number of patrols was also increased. The police 'beats' were regularly changed so the police were not consistently on the case so the groups could not gather enough evidence. There was a lack of an adequate CID so this could have helped. Source F demonstrates that the police were adamant about Jack the Ripper; this was even though they had no real proof. Source G is part of a letter from the Home Secretary to the Mile End Vigilance Committee on 17 September 1888. Source G is a very legal document and is very reliable because it was written by the Home Secretary The extract from the letter shows us that the police used to give rewards for people who gave information on criminals but eventually it was cancelled 'because experience showed that such offers of reward tended to produce more harm than good'. Certain people would make up stories and lie just to get money. This was a bad idea because it led the police on the wrong track and would waste their time. ...read more.


They should have increased the number of police and had a specific number of police officers on the case and they should not have continuously changed the police officers patrolling the area. The police were to open minded in the case and they could have improved on their methods. There was limited man power because in the 1830 there was 1 policeman for every 450 - 500 inhabitants but this fell to 1 policeman for every 900 inhabitants in 1841, this was something they could not prevent and it was not their fault but they could have tried recruiting more officers. The police also had destroyed key evidence. The message 'the juwes will be blamed for nothing', that was scribbled on a wall was also destroyed by The Metropolitan Police (this was where the 'bloody apron had been found). This was because the City Police wanted to photograph this message but the Metropolitan Police destroyed the message before it could be photographed on camera. This was in a way good thing that they did in a way because it prevented the Jewish population of Whitechapel being targeted and being killed as a result of rioting. If it was not removed it could have led to rioting that would not have helped the police. Unfortunately this in turn this led to the police being criticised by the public of being 'too heavy handed'. The police were not to blame for capturing the Jack the Ripper; this is because they were limited at what they could do and they did not have enough resources such as fingerprinting also they did not have enough evidence. If you look at present day situations even now the police are having difficulty in capturing the 'Suffolk Ripper'. If even now this is happening so what chance did the police have in the 1880's of capturing Jack the Ripper, so you can not blame them for their errors. In certain cases you can blame them but on the whole it was not their fault, so this is why you can not blame the police for not capturing Jack the Ripper. ...read more.

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