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jack the ripper

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Introduction

Jack The Ripper Course Work Question 1 What can you learn from source A about the murders of Martha Tabrum and Polly Nicholls? Source A is an extract from a newspaper article published on September 1888, in the paper the "East End Observer". The article in question discusses the murders of Mary Anne "Polly" Nichols, and Martha Tabrum. The Article contains no real factually evidence like when the murders took place or at what time, it just describes the obscene violence and unnecessary "effort" put into both murders, this is because although the primary target of the newspapers are to inform the reader of current events, a larg e factor is to make considerable profit, so exaggerating the violence would seem more interesting to the readers than "A murder took places last night in Whitechapel" or something similar. The East End Observer is able to captivate and sensationalise its audience by putting a lot of estimations in the article, suggesting and inferring the murders were committed by the same person, as shown "the two murders are singular for the reason that the victims have been the poorest of the poor". This statement also suggest that there was nothing to gain along with "and no adequate motive in the shape of plunder can be traced". During those times, because of the thick poor/rich division, rich people were usually the target of crime where the committer of the crime has something to gain (usually money) but the article states that this is not the case and it also leaves questions about the true motive. ...read more.

Middle

She describes the suspect as "shabby genteel" which could depict any man in the area whether poor or rich. Taking into account the unreliability of this source it is clear that evidence or witness evidence hindered the investigation to find and catch Jack the Ripper. Source E is from a local newspaper and it is clear from the article that they think the law and police are failing to prevent crime and catch Jack the Ripper. The article states that an informant of the paper "warned the murder would ensue if matters were left as they were" but this was ignored. The article paints the picture and makes Whitechapel appear unsafe it also makes it clear that they think the police were not doing their jobs properly. The source tries to blame the police for not capturing the Ripper but it strikes as odd, that the article states the police were not interested in the information from the informant of source E but listened to the vague evidence of Elizabeth Long which leads to the question of whether the article could be trusted as they could of lied or exaggerated to make the police seem worse than they were. The sources shown that the Ripper was able to avoid capture, firstly due to the lack of concrete evidence that had no real leads and secondly the hate of the Police in the Whitechapel area (due to earlier riots) that was further enraged by the media who obviously did not help, also thirdly the limitations of the police force and the rivalry between the two forces that kept information and evidence away from each other, and the general shoddiness of them illustrates why the Ripper was never caught. ...read more.

Conclusion

Witness evidence was very unreliable and scarce (possibly due to no reward or fear). Most statements would have been near identical to Elizabeth Long's regarding the murder of Annie Chapman; unspecific, short and no actual facts that could lead to a suspect or arrest. As shown Jack the Ripper was not caught due to many reasons. There were no clear motives. Murders were frequent in the Whitechapel area even before Jack the Ripper and many prostitutes were killed before, the only reason Jack became famous was the gruesome way in which he carried out his murders and the press now being available to both poor and rich. There were hundreds of cases that could have been attributed to Jack the Ripper due to some kind of similarity in the case, although now it is narrowed down to 5 now due to different modus operandi and slightly different techniques, there are still roughly 15 that could have been committed by the Ripper. The Ripper seems to be intelligent as each murder took about 15 minutes and he was able to get away quickly. He murdered in the dark and was aided by the smog and poor lighting. The police although partly to blame cannot be given full responsibility for not capturing Jack the Ripper and the main reasons were the lack of technology and science, the belief of superstition such as your eyes shown your final moment before death but also the negative light portrayed by the media, the fact that the ripper possessed intelligence instead of just being a thug, and lack of concrete evidence. Nicholas Subramaniam Jack The Ripper ...read more.

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