The murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls Essay

essay A
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Source a suggests that the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls were brutal and callous. Source A also gives the impression that the women were prostitutes and that the murders were not committed in order to steal from them. As well as this Source A implies that London had not seen murders this horrid previously, as it refers to London being shocked. Moreover, the article also alleges that a psychopath committed the murders, because he vigorously abused the bodies, after he killed the women. The newspaper wanted to emphasise how brutal the murders were. I think that this article has been exaggerated and has sensationalised the case.

Sources A, B and C

Does the evidence of source C support the evidence of sources A and B about the Ripper murders? Explain your answer. (8marks)

The evidence of Source C vaguely supports the evidence of source A because there is some relation into how the murders were violent and cruel. However, the two sources contrast greatly. Firstly, Source A is aimed at the middle-classed public, which means that it may have been written to entertain or with intention to pull in readers. Contrastly, Source C is a report for investigators; it is about the injuries caused to Elizabeth Stride. Source C is a detailed report concentrating on the condition of the body when found. Opposed to the article (Source A), this speculates what kind of a person the killer may be and sensationalises, the case. In comparison to Source C, Source A has no facts; Source C however is a very factual report. Source A uses attentive vocabulary, Source C is very official ad informative.

The evidence of Source C hardly supports the evidence of Source B because they both contain different styles of information. Source C is a coroner’s report of the death of Annie Chapman. It is about what kind skill or profession The Ripper is likely to have, however Source C is about injuries caused, the appearance and the condition of the body of Elizabeth Stride. Both reports are formal and are written for police investigators. There may be some indistinguishable similarity between the two reports, that the murders were not typical.

Study Sources D and E

How useful are Sources D and E in helping you to understand why the Ripper was able to avoid capture? (10marks)

Source D is useful because it suggests that (if Elizabeth Long was the police’s chief witness) the police not have a lot of information or clues about the Ripper. This helps to comprehend why it was easy for the Ripper to get away. It gives the impression that the Ripper was able to avoid capture because of the because of the lack of witnesses. It also illustrates that the Ripper may have escaped because of the police’s procedure if enquiry. Source D is a report of evidence given by Elizabeth Long after the murder of Annie Chapman.

Elizabeth Long claims that she saw Annie Chapman talking to a dark complexioned man at 5:30. However, there are several reasons to doubt this evidence. One reason being police surgeon estimated that the victim died at 4:30 (using the body cooling method), one hour before Mrs Long said she saw Annie Chapman. Nevertheless, there is the possibility that the body could have cooled down quicker. As the body was in the cold weather, and it was cut up, it may well have caused the body to cool down quicker than one degree per hour.

Another reason to question Elizabeth Long’s evidence is that she could not be sure of any thing she said. Frequently, throughout her statement Mrs Long doubted what she saw and was not sure of what she thought. As well as this, Mrs Long said the man talking to Annie Chapman was dark complexioned and looked like a foreigner. However, there are many reasons to contradict this. Firstly, she was not sure of what she saw. In addition, she saw them in an alley in the dark where there were no street lamps so any man would look dark complexioned. Moreover, this man was wearing a deer stalker hat which would have also made him look darker. What’s more is that the man had his back to Mrs Long, so some may question how she saw weather he was a foreigner in the dark if he was not facing her.

Nevertheless, there was still one abnormality. The police ignored the evidence because it disagreed with their surgeon and Mrs Long did was not definite in her statement. On the contrary, they followed up on the part of Mrs. Long’s evidence that implied that the man was a foreigner even though the rest of the evidence had been ignored. In my opinion, this was a pathetic fault in their enquiry and the evidence was used as a weak excuse to target the working class foreigners. Ultimately this source is adequately useful in helping us to understand why the Ripper was able to avoid arrest.

Source E useful because it gives the impression that the Ripper was able to get away because of the lack of potency and efficiency in the London police force. Source E also implies that the police were ignorant towards the public. Source E part of an article published after the murders of Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman claiming that a ‘informant’ had warned the police repeatedly about the level of crime in Whitechapel. However no name of the informant is mentioned, nor what station he went to and it does not say who he spoke to neither does it say what date he warned the police. There are no facts or reasons to confirm the existence and actions of this ‘informant’.

The article talks of the inhumane condition of these neighbourhoods and the evil in the streets, lanes and alleys; the article uses exaggerated phrases and criticises the police force greatly. As well as this many middle-class reporters visit and write about the fateful alleys and crooked lanes of Whitechaple however, they all manage to come out of Whitechapel perfectly well and write about their death threatening experiences. In my opinion, the article exaggerated the condition of Whitechapel to entertain the middle-class public. In addition, I believe that there never was no informant and that the newspaper was using the police as a scapegoat to satisfy the public, as they would have someone to blame for the murders of the two women. Also I think that the writers were using their hindsight.

Sources F and G

Use sources F, G, and your own knowledge, to explain how the police tried to catch Jack the Riper. (12marks)

There were numerous techniques and lines of inquiries made by the police force in attempt to catch Jack the Ripper. The Police force had only been formed a short period before the Ripper murders and they did not comprehend very well on how to solve the crime. They did not have the advantages of modern technology that we take for granted today. However, they did endeavour some methods, which they believed would help catch the Ripper.

Firstly, the police force increased patrol. They supposed that increasing the amount of police on the streets would increase the chances of catching the murderer on the streets. Although this theory could have been somewhat correct, the heavy clunky boots of police officers could very easily be heard. So a criminal could easily sense that there was a police officer nearby and leave the crime scene before anyone saw them. Another point to consider is that many police officers were drunk on the job. Police officers had to work long and hard, around14 hours a day, 7 days a week which resulted in tired police officers, and several were under the influence of alcohol.

Another known attempt was that the police force disguised police officers as prostitutes and tried to catch the Ripper that way. However during that epoch women were not in the police force so it was up to a male to revamp as a female prostitute. Unfortunately, Jack the Ripper was not convinced by the police’s effort. This was because a male police officer with clunky boots, heavy build, masculine features could not pull it off as a prostitute.

Furthermore, after the murder of Annie Chapman a more practical line of enquiry thought of. The Police Force figured that the Ripper was someone who had experience with dissecting bodies. This was alleged because on many of the murders, Jack the Ripper would remove organs such as kidneys, removed the uterus, sliced off ears, and made various carvings. They thought that the murderer would have to be someone with the skill of a knife and body.

As a result of this, many butchers were taken in for questioning. On the contrary, even if it was a butcher they could easily get away with it. This was for the reason that there was no strong enough evidence to prosecute a suspect. Although blood was found on some occasion, (some was on the victim and some on the suspect) a suspect could say that it was the blood of an animal without difficulty. This was because in those days they could not identify whether or not the blood belonged to a human or to an animal. All they could identify was that it was the blood of a mammal. Another reason why this line of enquiry did not work was prejudices in the police force. The Ripper could have been a surgeon, as they would have had skill with a knife and the human body, however probably because doctors were middle class, they were not taken in for questioning.

Moreover, another process was undertaken, to hand out leaflets door to door to the locals, pleading for someone to come forth. The idea was that someone might have known, seen, or heard something that could help with the inquiry to catch the Ripper. Source F shows why this method was not very worthwhile for numerous reasons and although this may have been, a good idea not all was taken into consideration. The most important of which was that the police force did not have a very good reputation with the residents of Whitechaplel.

Whitechapel was a low class area and police had reputation for targeting and picking on these poorer people in the lower classes and favouring the upper classes. Many of the residents had previously received bad treatment from police officers and they did not like them. Therefore, even if someone did have information they would probably not like the idea of going to the Bobby, as they may have felt threatened. Another reason why this was a failure was that it wasn’t very informative and that dates were confusing as it informs the public to contact the police on the 30-09-88 but the leaflets were publisher on or after that date.

However, the Police Force did not offer a cash reward for the discovery of criminals. Source G is a part of a letter from the Home Secretary, giving their reasons for not offering a reward. They claim that offering a reward would be a useless method to find the killer. They also, give that impression that they believe people would come forward with false evidence in order to gain a reward. In my opinion if it was the evidence was asked for from the middle class public there would be a reward, I think this because in the police gave the impression that the residents of Whitechapel were rouges.

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