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Jack The Ripper - source related study.

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Introduction

History coursework - Jack The Ripper 1. What can you learn from source A about the murder of Polly Nicholls? From source A you can learn a considerable amount about the murder of Polly Nicholls. The opening line of the source suggests that the murder was of gruesome content and so much so that it 'startled' most people around London. It is clear that Polly Nicholls murder was shocking because of many facts, one being that she was extremely 'poor' which indicates to me that there was no clear motive for the murder. Also the murder must have been of unbelievable 'butchery' as the source suggests that a lot of effort has gone into the crime meaning that it was not just a 'mere' stabbing, but a serious of vicious outbursts. A very disturbed and 'demented' human being carried out the crime, also suggested by the source. Surely a human being that has no mental problems could not carry out this brutal murder and as the ripper sager unfolds you see that the murders become even more gruesome, backing up the point of the ripper being demented. 2. Does the evidence of source C support the evidence of sources A and B about the ripper murders? In some ways source C supports the evidence of sources A and B, but in others it differs. For example source A gives good indication that the murder was extremely gruesome, this is strongly supported by both sources. Source B states how the murderer found the 'organs' which indicates that an extraordinary act of butchery has taken place, alike source C. ...read more.

Middle

So people that was able to look out for suspicious people, were almost certainly looking for the wrong people. The 'suspicious' peoples' names would be put forward to the police, all this meant was that the already snowed-under police force had more work to do. It is no hidden fact that police within Whitechapel were not exactly 'loved'. In fact they were some what hated by the public. This police notice is basically asking for public help and some people may uneasy at helping the police, even though it is true it would be in their best interest. The police wanted people to be aware of the killer and so thought by notifying everyone was in their best interest to catch him. They were definitely helped by the media coverage in 'promoting' the ripper murders. By doing this they ensured that everyone knew where the ripper was likely to be and where he was to commit murders. There was one way how the police tried catching the ripper that many people found amusing. The ripper was targeting prostitutes as his victims and so logic would tell you to catch him you had to be in and around prostitutes. This is fair enough but there were little if any women in the police at this time and so males within the police had to dress up as prostitutes. Although there was optimism at this tactic from the police, unsurprisingly it came to no avail. Source G is a letter from the home secretary basically stating that there would be no reward given for people who had information that would lead to the capture of the ripper. ...read more.

Conclusion

The newspapers also dabbled with the little evidence that was available. For example the media twisted the descriptions given by the few witnesses and the result of this was the targeting of a specific group that in this case was the Jews. This inevitably influenced the public and apparently the police. The public were also somewhat to blame for the ripper not being captured. They were very apprehensive in coming forward with evidence, this maybe due to the fact the ripper was, well the police said, from the whitechapel area. Also many hoax letters were sent in by the public which made it hard for the police to decide many things. These being; did the actual ripper send in letters and whether or not to take the letters seriously. This lead to police, maybe, carrying out work that did not need to be done. Another huge thing to blame for the ripper not being caught was Whitechapel itself. Whitechapel was full of undesirables and prostitutes, this made easy prey for the ripper. There were many alleyways and dark places for the ripper to carry out his work without being caught or seen. The ripper himself has to be credited for not being caught. He was obviously intelligent and careful how he went about his murders. There is no real evidence against him that would result in him being captured. All in all I feel the statement 'the police were to blame for not capturing Jack the ripper' is in some ways true and in others is not. There is no doubt that the police had a huge part to play in the ripper getting away with the murders but as you can see there were many other factors. ...read more.

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