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Jack the Ripper - source based work.

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Introduction

Jack the Ripper coursework 1. The first thing that we learn from source A about the murder of Polly Nicholls is that , at the time, some people believed that the murder was also connected to the murder of another woman, Martha Tabram. The writer of the newspaper article believes that both crimes were "the work of a demented being" as "extraordinary violence" was used, therefore suggesting that he believed that the crimes were connected. From the source we learn that 'extraordinary violence" was used in both although the newspaper may be exaggerating this fact, as it is a local newspaper. We can assume that murders similar to this in the East End of London were unusual at the time as the newspaper describes them as "singular". We are also told by the Newspaper that "excess of effort" was used in both Polly Nichols case and Martha Tabram's, suggesting that both murders were premeditated and that the murder was not an act of self defense. We can also deduce from the fact that she was described by the newspaper article as being of the "poorest of the poor" that money was clearly not a motivating factor in the murder of Polly Nicholls. 2. Source C is a doctor's report on the body of Elizabeth Stride. ...read more.

Middle

To a lesser extent the fact that it is secondary evidence makes it not as useful as source D. Source E is prejudiced against the police force, so is therefore not very useful as we are only being given information the journalist is using to try and persuade us to agree with him. The source suggests that the police force was not strong enough and did not do enough to try and reduce the amount of crime. The source suggests that at night particularly there was not enough order, this would make the task of catching Jack the Ripper even harder as they had all the other crimes to deal with as well. The Source does, however, provide some useful evidence as it informs us that "The main thoroughfares of Whitechapel are connected by a network of narrow, dark and crooked lanes" which would make it easy for Jack the Ripper to escape, if he knew the area well. 4. From source F we can learn that the police tried to find witnesses or informers by distributing leaflets after the murders of Catherine Eddows and Elizabeth Stride. This method was not very effective as local residents did not trust the police force so in addition to distributing leaflets the police visited common lodging houses to interview people staying there. ...read more.

Conclusion

One thing that the police did not do, according to source G, was to offer a reward to anyone who discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper, even though this could lead to false leads. I believe that it would have been a great help to the police force as they did not have the support of the working class, who were the people most likely to have any useful information and a reward could have persuaded them to reveal any information. In conclusion I do not believe that the police were to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper. The police are to blame to a certain extent but at that time the role of the police was limited in investigating and solving crimes. The police also suffered from a lack of technology, for example now the police have the use of forensics to aid them. To a greater extent, the fact that the people at the time did not give the police the support that they needed to carry out their jobs properly is one reason why Jack the Ripper was never caught but, to an even greater extent, the skill and care that Jack the Ripper used is why he was never caught. The environment in which Jack the Ripper operated in also made it harder for the police to capture him as "the main thoroughfares of Whitechapel are connected by a network of narrow, dark and crooked lanes." 1 ...read more.

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