Jack The Ripper

London, 1888

Who, What, When, Where and Why

In 1888, "Jack The Ripper" terrorized the White chapel district in London's East End. He killed at least five prostitutes and mutilated their bodies, indicating that the killer has a knowledge of human anatomy. "Jack The Ripper" was never captured, and remains one of England's, and the world's, most infamous criminals.

Perspective #1

The points of view of reporters trying to blame, who would "Jack The Ripper", or make increasingly dramatic theme in the newspaper. For example, in 2000 history today published a report of William D. Rubinstein, professor of Modern History at the University of Wales, where he reviews and considers the arguments surrounding the Ripper Diaries. He was 90 per cent convinced that James Maybrick was "Jack The Ripper".

Perspective #2

"London lies today under the spell of a great terror... a nameless reprobate - half man, half beast - is daily gratifying his murderous instincts (Star, 8 September 1888)."

The dramatic and at times obsessive way the topic has been reported over the last 119 years, coupled with a personal interest in the case, it was compelling to conduct a research project into a subject of deep cultural significance to the history of an industry. Before carrying out this detailed project, personal experience was limited between the Ripper case and as a trainee journalist, the media industry.

Media Bias

Much of what they know about Ripper killings is the result of speculation, biased media coverage. Also the name "Jack The Ripper" was originates from a letter by someone who claimed to be the White chapel butcher. And they cannot be completely sure that all five Ripper murders were committed by the same person, or that other murders were not committed by the Ripper.

Criticism #1

The use of the media was not recognized as being a useful means of bringing a killer such as "Jack the Ripper" to book. Today the police would utilize the press in an attempt to gain valuable information. But the attitude of the Victorian Police was to keep journalists at arms length out of a fear that they might reveal their lines of inquiry to the criminal.

The press reacted to this lack of co-operation by grubbing around for any morsels of information that they could find and showed their frustration at the police's refusal to share information by subjecting the police to a barrage of criticism.

Criticism #2

In 2011, British detective Trevor Marriott, who has long been investigating the Jack the Ripper murders, made headlines when he was denied access to uncensored documents surrounding the case by the Metropolitan Police. According to a 2011 ABC News article, London officers had refused to give Marriott the files because they include protected information about police informants, and that handing over the documents could impede on the possibility of future testimony by modern-day informants.

Serial Killers - Jack the Ripper (The Whitechapel Murderer) - Documentary