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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? by Katherine Winter. This essay will examine exactly why the Whitechapel murders attracted so much attention in 1888, to the public and the press. The murders themselves were not new, because murder was definitely not unheard of in Whitechapel. It was the rippers Modus Operandi that had never been seen before, (the way in which he killed his victims.) The murders had a sexual undertone to them because of the victim's professions, which to outsiders made them all the more exciting. This made people want to read about the murders, and this essay will also include how the press contributed greatly to the commotion surrounding the unique case. All the murders took place in Whitechapel, an extremely rough area in the east end of London. It was dirty, dangerous and in complete poverty. Alcoholics roamed the streets and prostitutes could be found on every corner. ...read more.

Middle

As all of the prostitutes were uneducated and disrespected by society generally (for being lower class women) the only method of making money they had was using their body. The majority of the victims were alcoholics. They used alcohol as a way of escaping from their dismal lives. The fact that it was prostitutes being murdered drew attention to the case, because that had never been heard of. It became obvious that the Ripper was very specific about his victims, that he wanted them all to be prostitutes. That was probably because they became vulnerable when lifting their skirts (making his job easier). As stated before, murder was not unheard of in Whitechapel, however mutilation definitely was. This was the rippers Modus Operandi, which probably attracted the most attention, with the press's help. It was gruesome, messy and it was completely unnecessary. The Ripper obviously felt the need to mutilate them after slitting their throats, and what's more, gained pleasure from it. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the North to the South, the whole country was aware of what was happening in Whitechapel, and this was all down to the press. The press criticised the police force, leading people to believe that the police weren't doing everything they could to try and stop the Ripper. Everybody from the rich to the poor gained some kind of knowledge from the newspapers. The rich could read the articles, and the poor could look at the graphic pictures. The press had no boundaries when writing their articles and taking their pictures, they included everything and left nothing to the imagination. As gruesome and probably wrong as this was, it sold newspapers and that was all that was wanted by the companies, infact, Jack the Ripper helped their sales go through the roof, and they were thankful to him for that if nothing else. In conclusion, for all of the above reasons, a lot of attention was attracted to the Jack the Ripper murder mystery, and overall evidence shows that it was the press that caused all of the attention, and that was their intention. ...read more.

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