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    Why Was ‘Jack the Ripper’ Never Caught? Essay

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    Why Was ‘Jack the Ripper’ Never Caught? In 1888, 5 horrific and brutal murders were committed, which the police believed were all by the same man. This particular case, even today, intrigues people all over the globe due to the fact that the perpetrator was never caught. He’s known to the world as ‘Jack the Ripper’ because of the vicious way in which he mutilated his victims. The four main contributors to him not being caught were the police investigation and incompetence, media sensationalism, the nature of the murders (modus operandi), and also the lack of forensic technology in 19th century Britain.

    So, what contribution did all these factors give to letting ‘Jack the Ripper’ get away? One of the major points that Jack the Ripper was indeed not caught, falls on the workings and failures of the police. The police never came close to capturing the murderer and bringing him to justice, causing the public’s fear and alarm to grow after each murder. Uncountable reasons that the police could not have even hoped at catching Jack the Ripper were often discussed and this made some of the public speak out against the workings of the police.

    Queen Victoria’s statement at the time suggested that, ‘the police must be improved’ and ‘that they were not up to the standards they should be’. She also knew that the lighting in the dark, dank, streets was a big problem, making it difficult for the police to actually see someone and she demanded that ‘all those courts should be lit’. Many people at the time, agreed with what she had to say about the failures and workings of the police, but many others strongly disagreed. They were for the police, sympathizing with them on how the Ripper seemingly chose his victims at random and displayed no motives or clues for the police.

    A ‘chance meeting’ of the victim and the killer, made it impersonal. Jack the Ripper was malicious, cold-blooded, brutal, ruthless, and was suggested to be a sexual psychopath, maybe even insane or a crazy maniac. He was very cunning, for he knew he wouldn’t get caught if he struck randomly and quickly, nobody having a chance of seeing him murder the victims. The suddenness of the attacks left them with no possibility of screaming for help in the dark alleys. So therefore he would be very hard to catch.

    The media clung onto every small, bloody, gory detail of the murders, feeding the public with the blood thirsty stories and names of the supposed killers the police accused. Newspapers emphasized the gruesome murders, making them sound a hundred times worse and the police clung to every word, fascinated by the crime. Random and normally innocent names were put forward into the papers of people that the public thought were the murderers, resulting in panic and innocent men being put in jail, even Prince Albert, the Queen’s son.

    Jack the Ripper was widely believed to have been a Polish Jew by the name of Aaron Kosminsky. Here is an extract from ‘The Jewish Chronicle’, showing the difficulty that the murders caused them. ‘Without a doubt, the foreign Jews in the East End of London have been in some peril – though happily averted – during the past week owing to the sensationalism of which the district has been the centre. There has been forcibly brought home to us the genesis of the anti-Jewish outbreaks which still occasionally occur abroad, and which were not unknown in England in ancient times.

    It is so easy to inflame the popular mind when it is startled by hideous crime, such as the Ripper murders. ‘ Other people, who didn’t think that Jack the Ripper was a Polish Jew, were under the impression that he was a local, a person that maybe everyone trusted or knew who just went around normally every day, then killed at night. It’s likely that it was a man who despised prostitutes and was trying to kill them off, one by one. This is because the majority of his victims were prostitutes. This too, fuelled journalists’ reports.

    The next of the reasons for the Ripper avoiding capture was his modus operandi, which means how the murders were committed. He struck only in the early hours of morning and only on weekends. These facts are revealing. For one, they suggest the Ripper was single, since he was able to keep late hours without arousing suspicion. Secondly, they point to the idea that he was probably regularly employed during the week (which would explain his inactivity Monday through Thursday). The manner with which he treated his victims also contained clues.

    All but one woman was killed by strangulation. Once laid carefully on the ground, the Ripper cut the victim’s throat, beginning with the side facing away from him. This effectively drained the blood from his victims before he began the ritual mutilation. Much of the organ removal was done cleanly. In the case of Catherine Eddowes, Jack the Ripper removed the left kidney from the front, rather then the back or side. Altogether, the mutilation and organ removals suggest the Ripper was a person with some form of anatomical or surgical training.

    The knife wounds inflicted also indicate that he was right-handed. In the modern day, these small details have told us a lot about the case, but in 1888, these small details would have gone unnoticed and the time and location of the murders would have most likely helped him to escape. Lastly, with the help of modern day forensic technology, the Jack the Ripper case would probably have been easy. For example, if in 1888, the police would have had finger print technology then they would probably have found the murderer’s prints at the crime scene.

    Also, if DNA recognition software was available then it’s likely that Jack, despite his obvious surgical knowledge, would have cut him self during the mutilations, and the police would have been able to find a sample of his blood. They could then do computerized DNA comparisons to reveal the murderer’s true identity. In conclusion, I believe that the main contributing factor for not apprehending Jack the Ripper was the lack of forensic technology, because even small pieces of technology could have made an enormous difference in the overall investigation. On the other hand, almost all aspects of the case could have been improved.

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