• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888? The Whitechapel murders were the first sexual serial killings in England, perhaps in the world. This made people particularly interested in them, as they were something completely new. The manner of death was also particularly gruesome - the women were brutalised and disembowelled. Their throats were cut from ear to ear, so deeply that it almost seemed the Ripper was trying to behead them. At the last murder scene, that of Mary Kelly, police are said to have been uncertain whether the remains they were dealing with were animal or human, because she had been so horrifically slaughtered. Dr Bond wrote that the arms and face had been "hacked beyond recognition". Her "heart had been cut out and could not be found". It was believed by all but one doctor that the murderer had to have some anatomical knowledge into where to find the organs, how to recognise them when found, and how to get to them. ...read more.

Middle

The actual murder scenes were much worse than these sketches. They also had a lot of short interviews, where a reporter would go around asking people questions, to collect the "soundbites" of the time. The famous "Dear Boss" letter, originally believed to be from the Whitechapel murderer, is in fact believed to have been invented by too journalists looking for another angle to their story. Instead of being sent to Scotland Yard, the most likely place for it to be sent if the murderer were taunting the police, it was sent to the Central News Agency. It was the first use of the name "Jack the Ripper", which sounded so much better in newspaper headlines - "Ripper strikes again" had a much better ring than "Another Whitechapel murder". The Victorian people were very prim and proper. The male dominated society appeared to deny everything pertaining to the flesh - in extreme cases, even piano legs were covered for fear that a man might look at one and think of a woman's leg. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seemed that to middle-class minds, prostitution was a bigger sin than murder. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "Jack the Ripper does the poor a favour", not meaning that he believed prostitutes should killed, but that the murders brought attention to Whitechapel, and with this came the exposure of their shocking poverty. Hundreds of news reporters wrote about the area, and with the murder details had to go the appalling living conditions endured by families in Whitechapel. There was also a political dimension. The murders occurred just before the first election to the London Council, and also just before the first Mayoral Elections took place. A new party had just emerged - the Radicals, who wanted to "do more for the poor", in areas such as Whitechapel. With the murders drawing attention to the area, this seemed quite a good policy. It was also mentioned at the time whether the murders would have happened in the prosperous West End of London. If they had occurred, would more effort have been put into catching Jack the Ripper? Would he have been caught? ?? ?? ?? ?? Claire Watkins History Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. Jack the Ripper questions and answers.

    Although every victim had their throats slashed, no other victim had been mutilated quite like Mary Kelly. After the previous murder, it was popularly suggested that the Ripper had some sort of medical or anatomical training. However, Dr Bond concluded in his report that 'the mutilation was inflicted by a person who had no scientific or anatomical knowledge.'

  2. Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention?

    Her face had been mutilated beyond recognition. Mary's nose was cut clean off and both of her ears were severed, and there were to V shape's cut into both of her cheeks that stretched right up to her eyelids. The uterus, one breast and her kidneys were found underneath her head and other body parts were scattered around her.

  1. Jack the Ripper- Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention?

    They were also all single or divorced. Each victim had been convicted of drunkenness and disorderly behaviour in the past and each victim had had several brushes with the law within their time in Whitechapel. All of the victims were from downtrodden backgrounds and had tough lives prior to their murders.

  2. Why did the Whitechapel Murders attract so much attention in 1888?

    detail and update about possible arrests, evidence or any suspicious activities going on. The press had often questioned the police on why they haven't captured the killer; this further fed the public's anger and fuelled the emotions as to why these mysterious murders were happening in their city.

  1. Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888?

    These and many other films show the mind of a serial killer and were highly successful. People wanted to know all about the murders and the press really assisted with revealing them to everyone. The final reason why the Whitechapel murders attracted so much attention was that the events in Whitechapel were recorded in the newspapers all over the world.

  2. Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888?

    The body inspection was much the same as Nichols had had. The fanatic cuts and slashes occurred over the body. Her body was cut open with her insides showing and even her intestines hanging out of her body. This was not the work of a petty thief.

  1. Why Did The Whitechapel Murders Attract So Much Attention In 1888?

    The strangest thing about his mutilations was how precise and accurate they were. Judging by the autopsies, he knew exactly where to cut, and how to not damage any vital organs when removing them. This fascinated the press, it posed the question, is the Ripper a professional?

  2. Jack the Ripper Coursework

    The murderer had then thrown up her skirts and ripped open her abdomen, exposing the intestines. Dr Llewellyn, who conducted the post-mortem examination, believed that the murderer had inflicted the wounds with a strong-bladed knife and that he had displayed 'rough anatomical knowledge'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work