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Jack the Ripper - source related questions and answers.

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Introduction

History Coursework: Jack the Ripper Question 1: Source A is a newspaper article which describes the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls. This Source tells us that the victims were the "poorest of the poor", this is and indication that the victims were prostitutes therefore will surprise the readers because prostitutes would not have anything of value. He article carries on to say the murder was motiveless and no suspects seem apparent. The writer say's the both crimes are "works of demented beings" meaning the attacks were carried out by a "mad person" with high level of violence used. This article contains similarities between the two murders without going into too much detail about the differences. Not a great deal of detail is used to describe the where the murders took place and at what time they took place, this shows us that the writer did not have a great account of the murders. The article is published within a month of the murders so the level of detail will be pretty vague, because the journalists had no modern ways of tracing the whereabouts. But on the other hand the newspaper is the East End Observer which would've had and better account because it was the local paper compared to other newspapers which would've been based in other regions so therefore did not have local knowledge. ...read more.

Middle

But then the houses were attached so therefore the neighbors should've heard screams or strange noises coming from the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street. Also when the ripper escaped there would've been sounds of foot-steps or even louder noises if he ran and this would have alerted the neighbors. From source E one cannot tell whether there were occupants living on either side of 29 Hanbury Street. Overall Elizabeth Long's testimony is useless for the reason that it does not give a clear description of the Ripper, but the source is useful as it shows that the police had no idea who was committing these crimes. The purpose of Elizabeth Long's testimony would've helped the police look for a certain individual, but it did not because the testimony was very vague. Source E shows the conditions in which the murders took place, a dark, murky and lightless place, this could be the reason for the vague testimony of Elizabeth Long. Question 4: Use sources F and G, and your own knowledge, to explain how the police tried to catch Jack the Ripper. Source F is a police leaflet published after the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddows. The problem with the leaflet is that it is in English whereas most of the population of East London were foreigners and could not speak English let alone read it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The police are shown to be hopeless "All the police can hope is that some accidental circumstance will lead to a trace which may be followed to a successful conclusion". This shows that people started believing the ripper could not be caught; this could be the reason for some bizarre conspiracy theories of who the ripper was. Source I is a map that illustrates how close the murders were but this was not for the advantage of the police as there was many alley ways and very poor lighting. This made the police's job much harder. Overall the police were partially to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper as the police were not set up to do this. The police officers which were deployed in the East End did not have local knowledge as they came from different areas such as Dorset. From the first ripper victim to the last victim the police investigation became more and more thorough. The numbers of patrols increased and bloodhounds were brought in. What made the investigation more difficult was that the police could not distinguish a motive for the murders therefore the police had no idea of whom and where the next victim was. The only thing they did know was that prostitutes were attacked who were in Whitechapel. The police at the time did not have the methods which are in use today i.e. a CSI unit to examine the crime scene, no DNA identification. But due to the Ripper murders the police investigation process improved. ...read more.

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