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Jack The Ripper; Who Was He And Why Did He Do What He Did Essay

1351 words - 6 pages

Jack the Ripper was an infamous serial killer who terrorised east end London during 1888. He murdered a confirmed 5 prostitutes in the town of Whitechapel, mutilating each of their bodies. ‘Jack the ripper’ was never caught and the case remains one of England’s most infamous.

Whitechapel during the 19th century was a breeding ground for crime and bad habits; murder, prostitution and violence were not a rare occurrence. 76,000 residents lived in poverty during the time so many young girls and woman resorted to prostitution just to make ends meet. The overcrowding, poverty, and death rates in Whitechapel were the highest of any English town.

Whitechapel had also seen a huge influx of Jewish refugees, specifically people fleeing persecution in Russia, Poland and Romania. The lower class Jews spoke their own language and dressed in a different fashion to the rest of the east end; they lived in a different way to the gentile society and the gentile society in a way resented this difference. The fact that they were Jewish was not the main issue although anti-Semitism was there but not prominently.

A certain level of racism was present on the surface as the English accused the Jewish of taking English jobs and English homes. An across the board agreement however was that daily life was a battle. There was an overriding sense of fear and anxiety amongst the east end and Jack the Ripper came along and made that fear even greater and even more prominent. Jack the Ripper became the physical embodiment for all their fears and all their anxieties.

The suspect number in this investigation was ranged in the hundreds and all possible suspects were ruled out one by one. Throughout the Victorian police investigation over 2000 interviews were conducted, more than 300 were investigated closely and around 80 were detained for the crimes.

A well-known theory in the investigation is that the murderer had either medical knowledge of the human anatomy, or they had the ability of a butcher or slaughterman. The precision and speedy nature of the organ removal of the victims reveals that the perpetrator must have had some skill when it came to dissection. Neither of these theories took off as medical students and butchers were interviewed, and solid alibis were given by all possible suspects.

There were 9 suspects in the case that have been heavily investigated and each has solid or circumstantial evidence that accuses them of being Jack the Ripper. There is too much information to cover for all 9, so the 3who have the most importance or solid evidence I believe are Montague John Druitt, George Chapman and Aaron Kosminski.

Melville McNaughton, assistant commissioner of the London metropolitan police wrote a detailed memorandum in which he mentioned three names who he believed were extremely likely to be the criminal. One of these men, favoured as McNaughton’s prime suspect was Montague John Druitt. Melville Described Druitt in his suspect letter...

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