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

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Introduction

Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888? My essay will include details on the Whitechapel murders and the ripper letters which will relate to why the Whitechapel murders attracted so much attention in 1888. The ripper murders were very popular at the time because no one had ever seen such gore from a murder. The way these murders were conducted was not ones of vicious stabbing and bloodshed but of dissection and precision. The public had never seen anything like this and it caused a spark which spread through the population of London. The murders of Mary Anne Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Kate Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly were all conducted in exactly the same way: the murder would ask for the prostitutes services, they'd lift up their skirts, he would grab them by the neck and strangle ...read more.

Middle

Along with the fear of the killer and the popularity of the story the population of Whitechapel went on a manhunt which included the killing of butchers and doctors (especially surgeons) along with many Jews as well. Londoners at the time thought the Jack the Ripper was a foreigner and a Jew which led to many Jews being hunted down in the streets by mobs, another reason for this was that a previous suspect 'Leather Apron', who was Jewish, was accused of murdering the prostitutes but when it looked like the case was solved he came out with alibis for all the murders. These two facts and many rumours led to a very anti-Semitic atmosphere in the area. The finding of a message on the wall at the scene of one of the murders only furthered the anger of the community and threw police off even more. ...read more.

Conclusion

With the publishing of the 'Dear Boss' letters along with the identities of suspects ranging from doctors to slaughterers to sailors in European and American newspapers the murders were now internationally known and the panic finally reached its height in November 1888. In conclusion I believe that the Ripper murders were the most famous and feared murder in history and that with the combination of the newspapers publishing every known face in the papers as suspects and the Londoners hunting down people in the streets had actually helped the Ripper escape rather than helped the police catch him. At the time the publishing of the murders were boosting the sales of newspaper and for the first time in London newspapers sold over 1 million copies this shows that the newspapers contributed to the attention attracted to the murders. As well the modus operandi (the way they were murdered) was so unusual that they contributed a lot to the attraction. ...read more.

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