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Jack The Ripper -source based

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Introduction

Emily Carpenter 10Y History Coursework: Jack The Ripper. 1.From Source A, in relation to the murder of Polly Nicholls, I know that it was unusual. In the space of a month two murders of this type have occurred and in the "East End Observer" they were described as 'singular.' During this time murders wouldn't be uncommon so this must have been of an unusual nature. The victim was 'the poorest of the poor' so there is no financial motive. It took place the poorest part of London with narrow streets and a great amount of alcoholics. Murders wouldn't have been uncommon so this makes me realise that it was the first serial killer of the time. It is also described as 'the work of a demented being' and 'extraordinary violence' was used. It was obviously not a spontaneous attack, as the severity of the attacks must have been planned for the murderer to have a lethal weapon. There does not seem to be a logical explanation, which explains why these attacks have taken place, the killer has taken time to kill the victim in a very 'violent' way. I don't think this is the most reliable of sources because it is a newspaper article and is likely to be exaggerated to make money. As far as the actual murder of Polly Nicholls is concerned there are no facts explaining what happened or where the attack took place. ...read more.

Middle

This bias could've led Elizabeth Long to believing this man was part of the Jewish community. Source E is a lot more useful because it explains more about the area where the attacks took place. Whitechapel was very poor area of London and only the very poorest people lived and there were many prostitutes. Whitechapel was described to have "open and defiant ruffianism." This would mean that there would always be violence and disturbance in the streets, so it would be very difficult to spot a suspicious character. It was also described as "an apocalypse of evil." This suggests to me that the area was like a third world country; the areas police was not very advanced. They had never had to deal with a serial killer and did not know what to do. The police wanted to offer rewards to anyone with information, hoping to get more evidence. However the Home secretary did not believe this was needed, believing that this could create more false evidence due to the amount of struggling people in the area. These sources are useful to some extent but a lot more detail could have been included. The metropolitan police force had only recently been developed and the force only had detectives since 1842. The methods detectives used were slowly developing, but were very amateur at this stage. The basic method was simply to follow suspicious characters whilst wearing plain clothes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Taking all of this into account I believe the only way Jack the Ripper could have been caught is if he was found with a victim or if there was a witness. I think the Ripper was close to being caught after the murder of Elizabeth Stride as there was no mutilation of the body except for a slit to the throat, also he moved on to murder another women in the same night. Source H sums up the situation the police were in during these murders, describing the murders to be 'carried out with such ruthlessness.' This again bringing up the issue that the murders faced every day were normally by someone who knew the victim, as a drunken mistake or something of the like. However the Ripper murders were brutal and obviously intended by the killer. The police could not have been prepared for this because of lack of experience. I find it interesting that all the murders were in the same poor area, and every victim was or had ben a prostitute. I can see how close the muders were by the map in Source I. In conclusion I think it was not the fault of the police force, but lack of experience. If the case had been solved it would be down to chance and obviously the police did not have luck on their side! Around two months later when the Ripper had not been caught and another attack had not taken place, it was decided that he was dead, in an asylum or left the country. ...read more.

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