Essay on Jack The Ripper

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The Whitechapel Murders and those of Jack the Ripper are not generally one and the same. Over a period of three years towards the end of the nineteenth century a number of prostitutes were murdered under different circumstances – the murder of prostitutes was not an especially unique occurrence during those times but several of the murders drew particular attention on account of the savagery with which the victim’s bodies were mutilated. Within the Whitechapel Murders was a cluster of murders that demonstrated sufficient similarities as to suggest that they were committed by the same person. One of the first instances of serial murder was thus identified and sensationalised in the media as the work of ‘Jack the Ripper’, nicknamed on the …show more content…
The employment situation was even worse for women and it is little wonder that many had no alternative but to resort to prostitution as a source of income.

The newspapers of the day were as colourful and inaccurate in much of their editorial reporting as the police forensic investigations were limited through lack of investigative techniques. Even the identification of bodies was dependent largely upon facial recognition, distinguishing marks, or papers on the corpse. Misidentification of bodies, either by accident or design, especially those subject to decomposition and including the very many corpses pulled from the Thames, must have been commonplace.

Fingerprinting was still in the process of being developed. A classification scheme appeared in 1901 and first used in a trial in the UK in 1902. Dental records were non-existent and blood grouping only developed after the identification of the different types in 1901. From that it became possible to serologically identify other body fluids. DNA was not discovered until 1953 and the unique identification of individuals by DNA profiling did not follow until 1985. In 1910, an important principle of forensic science was established by Edmund Locart who suggested that every contact leaves a trace; a criminal will always carry away with him some trace from the scene of the crime and will leave behind some trace of his presence. This is the very foundation of forensic science that has led to the

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