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Jack the Ripper ¨C History Coursework

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Introduction

Jack the Ripper - History Coursework 1. From Source A you can learn a few points concerning the murder of Polly Nichols in 1888. The most obvious is the fact that she was murdered in London; 'startled London'. This also shows that the news of her murder completely shocked and appalled the city, people obviously found it hard to believe that someone with so little money such as a prostitute would be murdered. The Source teaches us that she was incredibly underprivileged and deprived before she died as you can see when they mention she is the 'poorest of the poor'. It is clear from this passage that there was not an obvious motive and she was not robbed of anything, 'no adequate motive in the shape of plunder can be traced'. This could mean that it was someone she knows if there was no theft but it could just as easily be a stranger. The article also shows that it was a particularly violent murder with a lot of effort involved; 'extraordinary violence' which they believe to be a peculiar feature. This helps us to conclude that that the murder was committed by an unsound mind, as source A says; 'the work of a demented being'. ...read more.

Middle

This source therefore says that it was the police's fault that the Ripper was able to avoid capture and such sites of 'evil' were encouraging such behaviour. 4. Source F shows a police leaflet published after the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. It shows that the police were appealing for witnesses to either of the murders. As there was nothing like CCTV in the 19th Century witnesses are what the police relied upon and leaflets were good ways to appeal for them. The leaflet was issued on the 30th September 1888; this was after the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. The police believed this was the third murder committed by the 'Ripper'. Judging by this source they didn't take matters seriously enough until there were 3 believed murders. Detectives seem to have decided from their evidence that the murderer was 'someone residing in the immediate neighbourhood' though this isn't necessarily true. One big problem about the leaflet that it gave no description; this could be due to conflicting descriptions or so not to encourage liars. From Source G you can see that the police wanted to give out rewards to help find the Ripper but the Home Secretary believed that this might affect the validity of information received. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whitechapel was a red-light district; screams were not uncommon and therefore went unnoticed. The area had a network of narrow streets as you can see from the map in Source I and as it is written in Source E. The houses were close together and most of the sites of the murder were out of the way as you can see in Source J. By performing the crimes in such an area at night time it is not hard to understand why it went unnoticed. Jack the Ripper was quite clever when killing his victims; he cut them so that their blood would not splatter him, leaving him clean. The police could have done so much more to make their investigation successful, but there was an incredible amount against them. Source H speaks of how cleverly planned the murders were. As well as this there was no possibility of using the techniques we rely upon nowadays such as DNA, fingerprints and CCTV. Nevertheless, as Source E mentions, little was done by the police to improve safety on the streets in Whitechapel and clear away the brothels. The police force were clearly not prepared and did not expect such evil acts and wrongly estimated the severity of the case and therefore didn't do enough to prevent more murders. By the time they did realise, it was too late and nothing else could be done. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lauren Bennie ...read more.

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