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Why Did The White Chapel Murders Attract So Much Attention In 1888?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Jack the Ripper Coursework The Ripper Murders Why Did The WhiteChapel Murders Attract So Much Attention In 1888? On 31st August 1888 the first of five terrifying and horrific murders took place, the last on 9th November 1888. The five victims, all prostitutes were Polly Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly. Mary Ann Nichols August 31, 1888 Annie Chapman September 8, 1888 Elizabeth Stride September 30, 1888 Catherine Eddowes September 30, 1888 Mary Jane Kelly November 9, 1888 These five murders were the first ever publicized serial killings and in the period before 1888 there had never been any such killing on this level. These five victims of the commonly known 'Jack the Ripper' received a lot of media attention. Some of the possible reasons for such attention could have been that each victim was reported to have been in the company of a man described a foreign looking before they were killed. The nature of the murders was something that had never been seen before; the way that the bodies were mutilated was a shock to all. The bodies' disembowelments led to the thought that the killer had some medical experience, a man that was experienced and knew what he was doing. All the victims were women and where they were killed was a great worry to the residents of Whitechapel, the thought that ordinary people, as prostitutes were in Whitechapel were being targeted on the streets where they lived was a frightening thought. The media became interested in the murders from an early stage in the investigations, one of the things that attracted media attention

Middle

Attention was brought to the murders as it was believed that every prostitute was at risk and that there was a mad man targeting prostitutes. There was attention to this to raise awareness to those prostitutes still on the job so that they could be extra cautious as to who they are picked up by. From witnesses evidence it was believed that the killer was a foreigner and that he had a Jewish background. Many had said he was in his 40's, he had a moustache, wore a dark jacket, dark trousers and a dark deerstalkers hat. He was described by all of the witnesses as having a dark complexion and being of a foreign looking nature. One witness named Israel Schwartz reports seeing a man push Elizabeth Stride to the floor and call a second man by the name of Lipski over. This was the only witness that reported seeing two men. This would have attracted attention because it would have given the thought to many that there was more than one man and this would increase the risk of being attacked. Most of the attention would not have been for the women themselves but because the general public would have been concerned for their own wellbeing. All of the women were in their 40's, all except the last woman killed, Mary Kelly. She was just aged 25, she was the only one out of the five as well that she was foreign, she was from Ireland. The fact that all the victims were female prostitutes, in their 40's and lived within one square mile of each other was another reason for all the attention that the killing received.

Conclusion

Attached to the letter was a small cardboard box containing half a kidney which had been preserved in wine. This was of great interest to the press and the general public, knowing that the killer was now posting parts of his victim's bodies to people, this was something that had never ever been seen before, and something like this had never even been in someone's wildest dreams before. This press attention is something that I think the killer very much enjoyed. 'Dear Boss' letter Received on September 27th, 1888 at the Central News Agency, this letter was originally believed to be just another hoax. Three days later, the double murder of Stride and Eddowes made them reconsider Second page of the 'Dear Boss Letter' In the case of Annie Chapman it was believed that there was no struggle between her and her killer, this is the only killing where there were no signs of a struggle, there were no noises heard and there were no other signs of there being a struggle. Overall, there were many factors that caused the attraction of media and general public attention to the murders. These murders attracted so much attention because of the nature that the women were killed, where the women were killed. The time it took for the women to be killed and most of all the fact that the police had no leads to the killer, and to this very day, over a century later the well know 'Jack the Ripper' remains a mystery. This the most interesting part and the part that attracted, and still does attracts so much attention to the Whitechapel murders. Daryl Levett 10.1 10FF

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