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Many years have gone by and the Ripper murders are still unsolved. But why couldn't the police catch him at the time?

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2) Many years have gone by and the Ripper murders are still unsolved. But why couldn't the police catch him at the time? The people of Whitechapel were not fond of the police by any means and they mistrusted them. The police were often labelled as heavy-handed drunks, which probably had some truth in it. The Whitechapel area was poor and rough. The living conditions were squalid, and it was greatly overpopulated. Many women turned to prostitution as a means to get money because they were so desperate. Crime rates were very high, making the policing of the area difficult to carry out without a murder case to add to their problems. Whitechapel was a large maze-like area, with many small alleyways and shortcuts that a killer could take to escape. With little or no street lighting, he could have easily hidden in a darkened narrow alley without being noticed. ...read more.


He was a Jewish shoemaker whom the press had suggested. The police checked to see if he had any previous convictions. He had previously stabbed prostitutes, and because of this connection the police arrested him, but then a few days later had to release him because his alibi was too strong. He had been at a lodging at the time of one murder and the landlord could back him up. At another time he had been in hiding at a relatives house, which could also be backed up. This wasted a lot of police time and possibly put everyone's minds at rest, only to be shocked again by finding out that they hadn't caught the killer. The police were unable and unwilling to give out a good description of the killer and this must have hindered the murder case as someone could have possibly seen the killer at around the time of the murders. ...read more.


The Killer was obviously clever and cunning, and he worked quickly. It was said that his murders probably only took around 5 minutes and then he would disappear. He seemed to know what he was doing and appeared to play games with the police by sending them letters and making what he was doing look easy, although these may have been hoaxes. Also the murderer appeared to be a random killer. There did not seem to be any stalking involved and nothing was stolen from the victims. This type of murderer is hard enough to catch today with all the forensics and advanced detective methods that we have. Then they had nothing similar, so it was going to be extremely difficult for the police in 1888. The police also used to clean the murder scene and all of the evidence with it, so if there had been any traces left by the killer, they would have been removed. ...read more.

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