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

Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

Extracts from this document...


Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper? Even today it takes quite some time to catch a murderer on the run, but in the case of Jack the Ripper, there were many aspects police today would not come across. Jack the Ripper was not your average killer, if there is one, he leaves no evidence or clues at all, and his killings are far worse than any we would come across today. Police and vigilantes filled the streets day and night and angry mobs attacked the 'likely suspects'. There were many things that added to the fact that the ripper wasn't caught. It didn't help that many people of the town were coming forward to the police and giving information about just general people acting strangely, these allegations were indeed false and the people had been released. The ripper was also very clever, he had advantages as to the locations he did the crimes in and also how quickly he worked. All of the murders except the last one took place in the dark alleys at night, which was a sensible decision. He obviously worked very quickly it took him roughly five minutes to do each murder. This is shown by the fact that Police Constables were patrolling Whitechapel at regular intervals and there was always someone on the look out, but no-one saw anything. ...read more.


In the Catherine Eddowes case, the chalk writing on the wall might have proved important in discovering who the killer was. The handwriting could have been compared with the letter or the postcard and this could have then been investigated further. It also didn't help that the police were unwilling to give any description of the ripper, which could've helped matters, because people would know who not to trust and who to look out for. All levels of police were very poorly prepared for an event such as this, and obviously had no idea about how to handle such a situation. The relationship between the people and the police was not very good, because of the police favouring the richer class of people. This was especially true in Whitechapel. This was because the police were mainly protecting the middle and upper classes who wanted the drugs, drunks, beggars and prostitutes removed. This made an initial bearing on the investigations, when the police were making inquiries about the streets and the people. The police had many witnesses, but they ignored most of the information and selected certain descriptions to follow up, which was a big mistake. They spent all of their time looking for a man who looked like a foreigner. People had described him in many different ways, things they should have taken into consideration were details like: height, which many people had included, whether he had a moustache or beard and average age. ...read more.


This also led the police to wasting time looking for a medical foreigner, who worked in either a slaughterhouse or an abattoir. There was an anti-Semitism view in the town, which made this even worse for the police. This was because the people were accusing many Jews, and the police were not sure if this was simply because they were Jews or if they really were connected to the case. The fact that the Home Secretary refused to give a reward probably hindered any response from the public. There was nothing for the people to work for, apart from peace of mind. If someone worked and worked pulling together clues they would be doing it all for no reward for such hard work and effort. In conclusion all of these points are important in trying to find out why the ripper wasn't caught. I think that the main problem was the police, they were very new to the business and used a very standard method of policing and detective work. This was very weakening because today the forensic science, DNA testing, fingerprinting etc. are the main key to discovering a criminals identity. Many other aspects added to the ripper escaping capture, but I feel that the limitations of the police were the main problem. Word Count: 1,416 ...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. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper

    The cleverness of the Ripper was seemingly enhanced by the bungling of the police work. In conclusion, the most important factor in the police's failure to catch the ripper was the lack of structure and poor working practice within the forces.

  2. Jack the Ripper questions and answers.

    However, the police did not investigate him at all. All of the evidence suggests that he Ripper chose his victims as he came upon him, and he killed the women so quickly that they were not able to fight against their attacker.

  1. why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

    Some said that he had a carroty moustache and shabbily dressed, others said that he had a slight moustache and was respectfully dressed some described him of looking foreign. The description of looking like a foreigner could have been unreliable because there was a lot of prejudice around because the

  2. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

    Catherine Eddowes body was found at almost 1.45 a.m. the same night as Elizabeth Stride. After the Ripper had been disturbed he went on to search for another victim. Catherine had been slaughtered like the others, her intestines strewn from her body.

  1. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

    The killer knew exactly what he was doing. But after the Kelly murders, doctors said that the killer used no medial knowledge or that of a butcher, while he was killing the victim. This had the police confused and made them embarrassed as they had said that the killer was

  2. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

    Because the Ripper had to blend in, if he wanted prostitutes to go with him. Also, the Ripper's gruesome mutilation was not what the police were used to dealing with, it was not a domestic murder case, therefore they had no leads, but the Ripper was striking at random prostitutes, therefore they had no idea where he could be.

  1. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper?

    The Metropolitan Police, known as Scotland Yard, was responsible for crimes committed in all the boroughs of London except the City of London. The single square mile in the heart of London known as the City of London had their own police force.

  2. Jack the Ripper Coursework

    She heard the man ask, "Will you?" and Annie answered: "Yes." Unfortunately Mrs Long only saw the man from behind. But she remembered that he stood only a little taller than Annie, that he looked like a foreigner and that he wore a dark coat and brown deerstalker hat.

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