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Jack the Ripper - What can you learn from Source A about the murder of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls?

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Amandeep Dhaliwal 10W2 Jack the Ripper Coursework Assignment 1) Study Source A What can you learn from Source A about the murder of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls? Source A says that the victims Martha and Polly were the 'poorest of poor' and were from London. This suggests that the murderer is targeting poor women in the London area. The content of source A also shows that the murderer had 'no adequate motive' in committing the murders. This suggests, that either there is no clear motive or there may be a motive but the source, which is a popular 'East End' newspaper may be trying to create panic in the East End of London. Source A was written when Jack the Ripper had committed his first murders. At the time the source would have created considerable alarm among the poor East End public. In the Nineteenth Century there was a large poor population. This suggests they were vulnerable victims for Jack the Ripper. The nature of Source A is from the 'East End Observer' a local newspaper. This means that they may be trying to dramatise the situation, words like 'extraordinary violence' create a shocking view of the crime. The language of the newspaper makes the crime seem more extraordinary. The origin of the source as a newspaper is also affected by the journalist who wrote the source. They may have individual experiences that affect their writing. The source is limited as it does not give details of substantial facts such as forensic evidence. The source says 'the crimes were committed by a demented being,' this is only an opinion. This source is also useful as it is a primary source this can be seen from its nature and origin. This is important because it allows the reader to understand the views at the time of the murders. The source is only useful if it is used with other sources. ...read more.


This was because they had a lack of forensic evidence and experience in relation to murders like Jack the Ripper was committing. When interviewing witnesses the police force did not make use of all the available evidence. The fact that the police failed to catch the murderer shows that the police at the time were unsuccessful. Source F's nature shows that it is a police leaflet published after the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. The purpose of this leaflet is to inform the police the public of Whitechapel to come forward with any evidence about the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. The significance of this leaflet in showing how the police tried to catch the Ripper is that the police were now appealing for information regarding suspicious characters 'should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached, you are earnestly requested to communicate...' This leaflet only gives the dates of the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes, and it is very vague about where the murders took place. Another point source F shows is that the police's lines of enquiry were running out and they needed other sources of help from the Whitechapel public, as their other methods were failing. The source also shows that the police continued to conduct their investigation in Whitechapel. This means that they were still keeping their enquiry very localised. Finally, source F shows that the police were unsuccessful because source F is a limited way of helping the police. The leaflet does not include any information about the killer like any clear description of the murderer. Source G's nature is a letter to the Mile End Vigilance Committee from the Home Secretary. The origin is from 17th September 1888 which was after the murders in Whitechapel; by Jack the Ripper. The purpose of this letter to the Mile End Vigilance Committee was to persuade them that a reward for giving evidence to find the Ripper was not allowed. ...read more.


The article which was published after the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls talks about how there was, 'no adequate motive.' The victims 'have been the poorest of the poor.' This also shows that there was no obvious motive and this would have made it difficult for the police to capture the killer, as they wouldn't know who to look for or who the next victim would be. The article shown in source A may have been misleading to the police force, 'each murder suggests the idea that both crimes are the work of a demented being.' This article may have led the police to the wrong type of suspects. Source D can also be used to show that the police weren't to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper. Source D is a witness account from Elizabeth Long who was describing the man seen talking to Annie Chapman before she was murdered. This witness account has many flaws and the witness does appear to be convinced of what she saw, 'I think he was wearing a dark coat but I cannot be sure.' The evidence given by Elizabeth Long could also have led the police down the wrong line of investigation. 'He looked to me like a foreigner, as well as I could make out.' This shows that the police were wasting resources and time and potentially allowing the Ripper to escape from the police and commit another murder. In conclusion, the police were to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper. This can be mainly seen from the sources I have studied and also from my own knowledge. The sources that show the police were not to blame for capturing Jack the Ripper are weak. Sources such as E, F, G and H demonstrate that the police enquiry was flawed. The sources show that the police ignored key informants who had good advice for them. Using my own knowledge I can see that the police were to blame because of their lack of experience with such types of investigations. This inexperience allowed Jack the Ripper to avoid capture. ...read more.

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