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history coursework - question 3

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Introduction

Study sources D and E How useful are sources D and E in helping you to understand why the ripper was able to avoid capture? Source D is an extract of evidence given by Elizabeth Long at an inquest. It was given soon after Annie Chapman's death. It was put forward to provide evidence to help police forces catch the notorious ripper. However, instead of helping to solve the crime, the extract could have clouded the picture further as it was 5.30am when Elizabeth saw Annie Chapman talking to the man whilst she was on her way to Spitalfields market. This suggests that she was probably under the influence of alcohol, like most of the prostitutes in Whitechapel, and looking for a place to sleep. She mentions that the murderer looked like what she called, "shabby genteel". This contradictory description could suggest to the reader that she may have not been in a fit state of mind to give this evidence to the police. ...read more.

Middle

This is a massive limitation to the source because she isn't sure herself of what she saw, possibly due to the fact that she was under the influence of alcohol. The source is useful because it helps us to realise that the police were using the oldest method of interrogation in order to get evidence on the ripper and were struggling because of how unreliable Elizabeth was. Although the police took her statement seriously, they didn't consider her background and the fact that she was drunk to be a limitation of the evidence and took it very seriously. Source E is a newspaper article, published after the deaths of Polly Nicholls and Annie Chapman. This source is written to alert people that there is criminal in the area and to inform the public about the poor conditions of Whitechapel. The source is based on emotive and powerful language since it is a newspaper article. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this very time The House of Commons had already looked into similar allegations from reports of police violence and enquired that the police were not acting impartially; they were seen to favour the upper and middle classes. The source is from a local newspaper, therefore can be used as a good example of the public feelings about the police and their contribution to society. The source informs the reader, that an "informant" had demanded that the police forces on the beat should be strengthened; then, after the first murder, the informant had demanded again, and, this time warned the police that there would be more mischief unless they could clear the streets of "open and defiant ruffianism". From this I can infer that most of the lower class community believed the police to be incapable of doing their jobs properly. At the time of the murders, the numbers of detectives in the Met police was proportionately lower than the rest of the country; another possible political motive ...read more.

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