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jack the ripper

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Introduction

In this assignment I am going to describe why the police were unable to catch Jack the Ripper. I am going to use sources like the red coursework book and the casebook website to help me answer the question. When the police received the first report of the death of Polly Nichols, the police had no idea that they were dealing with a serial killer. So carried out 2 lines of enquiries that at the time seemed sensible, but led to false leads: 1) They thought the murder was probably carried out by a local man who hated prostitutes. They also believed he or she was a local person because of the area was known for its lawlessness, and seemed unlikely that an 'outsider' would come to Whitechapel just to commit a crime such as a murder. ...read more.

Middle

However this didn't stop the police force from believing the person responsible was a butcher of some kind. So carried on for many weeks following false leads. Inspector Frederick Abberline was put in charge of the investigation. He acted quickly as he knew Whitechapel well. Soon after Annie Chapman's, which was in Spitalfields and not in Whitechapel, Abberline started to work quite closely with Inspector Joseph Chandler who was in charge of the investigation into the second murder. The two inspectors agreed after reviewing all evidence that the same person was responsible for both murders. Shortly after Annie Chapman's death, the 'Rumour Mill' went into overdrive. The locals were looking for someone to blame, a scapegoat. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point in history there was a lot of anti-Semitic behaviour, therefore people started to blame the Jews for the murders causing even more friction between the two nationalities in Whitechapel. Although the police had lost a lot of time due to the false leads, it didn't stop people coming forward and passing on stories of 'suspicious characters'. Often these characters were describe as foreign looking and that they are Jews. This was people trying to scapegoat on the Jews. Some were arrested, but later released, wasting even more police time. In conclusion, I think that the police weren't able to catch Jack the Ripper, due to: 1) The wasting of police time and the investigations into false leads 2) The papers blowing everything out of proportion and causing more panic and scapegoating. And 3) The lack of police equipment and organization. ...read more.

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