• 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? Catching a serial killer today is no easy job, but more than 100 years ago it was an even more difficult job. The police then had to face no forensics, little structure within the forces, people unwilling to help, and yet they were still expected to find the ripper. In 1888 there were no forensics, no DNA tests and no fingerprinting. The area in which the murders occurred was an especially abysmal place where people often walked round covered in blood due to the slaughter houses. The technology of the time wouldn't have been able to distinguish between human and animal blood. The lack of forensic tests would also make it difficult to prove conclusively if two or more crimes had been committed by the same person. These limits were partly because of the bungling police work. Normally the police did not investigate cases like this under as much pressure. They only investigated this case because the rich had become concerned over the plight of the poor, as did the press. ...read more.


There was a history of rivalry between the two forces which meant information wasn't shared properly. The forces didn't have structure or good working practice. Of course, the police's job wasn't made any easier by an unhelpful public. They expected the police to catch the Ripper but weren't prepared to help. The people of Whitechapel were so petrified that they looked for scapegoats, grasping onto the Jewish community to blame. The fact that a witness in the Annie Chapman murder pointed towards a foreigner, added to the fact that 'Leather Apron' was Jewish quickly conjured up a very anti-Semitic atmosphere. In addition, every so called witness gave a different description which meant the police were not even able to create an accurate artists impression of possible suspects. This lack of reliable witnesses slowed down the case. The public's unhelpfulness was increased by the press' interference and opinions on the case. The press of the day were sensationalist. Not only did the press publish pictures which fuelled the anti-Jewish feelings within the public, they also wrote their own hoax letters supposedly from the killer. ...read more.


Unless aided by competent experts and supported by law enforcement agencies, many present-day departments cannot be expected to effectively investigate and resolve such murderous incidents should they occur in their field. The Green River Killer case is an example of this. In the reports for it, you see events comparable with those of the Ripper inquiry. Unlike the Ripper hunt, women police officers were used as decoy "customers". However, it was thought too dangerous for the women officers to enter a customer's vehicle in the hope of catching the killer. In the Ripper inquiry, sufficient record keeping, and information management/co-ordination was practically absent; and in the Green River Killer case it was too late in coming. In both investigations, the relationship between the law enforcement agencies and their relationship with the public was not idyllic. In both investigations, police also did not have the right knowledge and resources to accurately measure the situation, grasp its significant factors, and immediately collect an appropriate reaction. Even if the Jack the Ripper, and Green River Killer investigations had possessed the needed means, their investigations could not have lasted the absence of key people, poor public relations, interagency conflict, bad judgments, missed opportunities, or the exclusion of women from highly dangerous police work. ...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?

    This later lead to a lot of confusion because jack the ripper was thought to have been a left handed man. At the time there wasn t a lot of technology around. They had no fingerprinting and DNA testing facilities available.

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

    When the commissar Charles Warren arrived at the scene, he washed it away and said "If the writing had been left there, it would have been an onslaught upon the Jews, probably would have been wrecked and lives would

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

    This further wasted valuable police time. Conflicts in witness statements and evidence led to further press coverage and wasted police time. Evidence includes time of death, witness reports and the value place on the witness reports by senior inspectors. There was much speculation that the murderer was a foreigner, as

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

    It can be said they did their best using what evidence they had. There was no forensic evidence, finer prints were not used until 1901, there was no DNA evidence, and photography in this case had only just started, it made the police's job finding evidence difficult with so little of anything to go on.

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

    When Eddowes was killed, it was in their territory and this brought them into the Ripper case. You might have thought that with two police forces, the chance of catching the Ripper would have doubled but this did not happen because the men in charge of the two police forces did not cooperate very well.

  2. Jack the Ripper Coursework

    He related a story told to him by the sub-curator of the pathological museum attached to 'one of our great medical schools'. Apparently an American had visited him some months previously and had offered to buy specimens of the womb for �20 each.

  1. Why the police were unable to catch Jack the ripper.

    never been a killer like Jack before, also they did not know he was a serial killer, in fact they would have not known what a serial killer was. The police had a standard method of inquiry, and they always focused on preventing crime not solving it.

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

    This placed pressure on them, causing them to change the detective in charge of the case in an effort to illustrate what they were doing to move on the case. Newspapers produced bias accounts of the crime, like printing pictures of Jack the Ripper with Jewish features.

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