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Where the police to blame for not uncovering the true identity of Jack the Ripper?

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Introduction

5.At the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, the police forces of London were segregated, inefficient and inexperienced. This lead to the Police's poor handling of the Jack the Ripper case and in this respect, they were responsible for not capturing the Ripper. However it is also fair to say, that due to a lack of technology and support as well the harsh conditions in Whitechapel at the time, the Police were facing a case that they could solve. In many ways the police force were not to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper because of the harsh conditions that they had to work in. Source E an extract from a local newspaper at the time of the murders describes all the streets of Whitechapel as "containing some headquarters of infamy" and "The sights and sounds are an apocalypse of evil". This gives a very negative view of the area of Whitechapel and leads us to feel sympathetic towards the Police, as they had to work in these conditions. The conditions could also explain why the Ripper could get away with so little fuss. Source D tells us the Ripper wore a "dark coat", this means he would have been able to camouflage into the dark surrounding streets described in source E, "The main thoroughfares of Whitechapel are connected by a network of narrow, dark and crooked lanes". ...read more.

Middle

of investigation that was now plaguing them, therefore they had no past experiences to draw upon making it still harder to find a man able to commit such a crime. Journalists also contributed to the failure to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper by ruined the Police investigation and muddled an already baffling case. Evidence repeatedly leaked out about the Ripper murders and was published in the newspapers. This is clearly shown by the sources A, E and H (newspaper articles) which contain information on the murders, which was released to the public, this spoilt the police investigation as any member of the public could commit a copycat murder and confuse the police by leading them to a fake Ripper. Another good example of the presses interference is shown through the large amount of hoax Ripper letters the police received around the time of the murders, on such example of this is the "From hell" letter which brought the Ripper a new even more horrific status as a cannibal who could gloat over the carnage that he caused. These press interventions lead us to the question whether all five murders were committed by the same person, or was each murder a copycat of the previous murders. This publicizing of material confused the already baffling police investigation and made it very hard to obtain real evidence, as evidence passed on to police was often proven false or hoax making the murders near impossible to solve. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is clearly evident by the fact that the newspaper gained information such as how brutal the murders were, "...a demented being...extraordinary violence..." this clearly shows that the police must have released some information to the press therefore helping to add to there own problems. The police often published unnecessary information such as one of the many letters supposedly from the Ripper containing the phrase, "Next time I shall cut of her left ear." By publishing these vital clues the police were effectively encouraging copycats and in turn shooting themselves in the foot. In conclusion I believe that it was not completely the fault of the police for not uncovering the true identity of Jack the Ripper. This is because they had many unhelpful factors to deal with such as the harsh conditions the police had to work in, the lack of technology and funding, the fact that Jack was the first serial killer and journalists also hindered the investigation. On the other hand there is evidence to suggest the fact that the police were to blame for not capturing the Ripper. This includes such facts as the unnecessary rivalry between police forces around London and in effect the unwillingness to share evidence, the narrow lanes of investigation that the police used, the dismissing of key eyewitnesses and the fact that the police published evidence that could provoke copycat killings all contributing the then Rippers avoidance of capture. 4 Jack Sponder Jack The Ripper Coursework ...read more.

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