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Why did the murders attract so much attention in 1888? The notorious Jack the Ripper left many, if not all of east Londoners living in trepidation and fear

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Why did the murders attract so much attention in 1888? The notorious Jack the Ripper left many, if not all of east Londoners living in trepidation and fear. Speculations began flying around like a flock of pigeons, and soon all of London was playing Chinese whispers. The printing machines were left hot from the many newspapers being printed, its head lines containing with big, bold writing; Jack the Ripper at it again. Well known for his terrible and gruesome attack on women, his mutilations of the body was certainly jaw dropping and utterly horrific. Yet with such an over crowded city and the population increase in the east end, how can one man grab the attention of thousands? Influenced In London 1888, it was a city of rags as well as the riches. The population was increasing due to the great business opportunities in London at the time. The poorer became even more poor than usual and women had no choice but to resort themselves to using their assets to their advantage. Prostitution became a well known self employment, as thousands of women deduced or forced out of starvation sunk as low as selling themselves. Here Jack the Ripper comes to the equation. With the 'network of narrow, dark and crooked lanes', Jack the Ripper attacked his first victim Marry Ann Nicholls on Friday 31st August. ...read more.


Source A is part of an article in the East End Observer describing the murders of Martha Tabrham and Polly Nicholls. The use of clever wording such as 'murders which have startled London', 'no adequate motive', 'the works of a demented being, as the extraordinary violence used....' is respectively going to increase the fear of citizens. The language used was very much intended to attract people and portray the seriousness of the murders. We see that the question 'was there a motive?' has been semi-answered, yet it is not exactly something the city would want to read. Now these people know that there is 'no adequate motive' it gives them even more reasons to consider that it could be them or a family member next... Source F is a police leaflet again published in the newspapers after the murders of Elizabeth stride and Kate Eddowes. It is pleading the public for any information that could guide the police to finding the serial killer. It quotes 'supposed by someone residing in the immediate neighbourhood', indicating that the murderer could possibly be from the local area, again another factor which causes alarm. This leaflet made many take notice and worry that the police after three or four murders still could not find any evidence to trace the killer down, this too emphasizes the ability and skills he must have had that not even polices were able to seize him. ...read more.


The pleadings of the police and very few witnesses left people afraid that this 'maniac' would never be caught thus attracting attention. London was the scene of chaos, people were acting franticly over the two months with all the press coverage surrounding the Jack the ripper murders. All around the country people were informed that this 'monster' was out on the loose; therefore people naturally feared for their lives. His skills and ability to get away with such wild and extreme actions grabbed the headlines, and the headlines grabbed the people's attention. In conclusion I believe that the newspaper captured the minds of citizens in London as well as the photo's, yet in a rational or irrational way is a thought to ponder on. The type of attention that was influenced by the newspaper was perhaps more exaggerated than it really was, or was it as horrific as it was said to be? What we do know is that both the skills of Jack the Ripper, being the first known serial killer and never being caught integrates a lot with press. If there was to be no media coverage it would have not attracted so many people across the country yet if there was to be no gruesome attacks or skilful mutilations there would be nothing to capture. One does not work without the other. ...read more.

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