Jack the Ripper a notorious and clever figure to the public and police since the person responsible was never caught or convicted. He has influenced society from the time he has mysteriously sopped killing to some even more slightly recent events like the zodiac killer and even to today. Many people have tried to find reasons for his killings but so far nobody has found anything that may have given him a motive for these acts he has committed, maybe he killed the women to bring attention to the much so neglected Whitechapel district in London. His actions have led to news coverage by journalists about the lower-class district of Whitechapel, he also influenced the way many serial killers and the media have created a relationship in which they could benefit from each other, and he also influenced the people’s obsession with serial killers, murderers, criminals of all types.
Starting from the oldest but also the most recent events from the killings would be the reporting and acknowledgment of the horrid conditions of the district of Whitechapel in London. Shortly after the killings had ceased many of the journalists that had visited Whitechapel were astonished of the horrible living conditions many of the lower-class people were living in (Jones). They shortly began reporting on that and brought attention not only to the people in the district of Whitechapel but also brought attention to all the people who were living in the lower class districts. Jack the Ripper may not have been a senseless killer after all… but then again maybe he was and that was just an unintentional good byproduct that was created from his actions. Because of a large amount of journalist coverage, many people throughout the world would now consider the east-end of London to have one of the worst living conditions in the world. The killings also resulted in the police reevaluating their instigative techniques which in turn lead to the creation of better technique for crime scene investigations. The unsolved murders lead to the creation of new techniques for crime scene analysis like beginning to take pictures of the crime scene to see if they could possibly spot something odd or peculiar in the photo once they have cleaned up the scene. Then it leads to the creation of a different way to analyze the victim’s bodies to make it a lot more efficient to find the killers motive for their action.
During the time of the Ripper killings, the media had been covering every murder which gave the ripper more attention from not only the people living in Whitechapel but also people in the high-class districts and even across the world. They began to create a beneficial relationship with each other, while the killer supplies the media with things to catch the attention of the audience, the media, in turn, provides the killer with not only the attention of the people but they also give him this undenounced power to strike fear into people who may be committing actions that relate to the killer attacking someone for doing. Jack the Ripper struck fear not only into the world but also specifically into women who may have been involved in prostitution since all five of his victims were women prostitutes because of his actions and peoples/women’s fear of being attacked, women were deterred from doing those acts that would make them a possible victim (Monster Thesis 5). This connection was first established when the police had received many letters stating they were from the killer but the letter that was most remembered was the letter “From Hell” which was a letter with a package that contained half of a kidney Jack the ripper had eligibly taken out from one of the female victims. When the news had gotten information about the various letters and heard of the name “Jack the Ripper” their mass spreading of that name stuck as the killer’s name giving him even more power and attention to instilling fear in the people of London. We also see this relationship still present even to today, like the Zodiac Killer who would also send messages to the authorities taunting them and catching the media’s attention which in-turn would then give the Zodiac Killer power to influence people with fear and make people lose their trust in the police departments. Jack the Ripper was one of the very first killers to gain worldwide attention for his actions which in turn aided in the interest people took and still have for the motives and reasons for why killer commit such heinous acts.
Jack the ripper to this day has not been caught, and just like the Joker from the batman he does not have a confirmed background or backstory, thus not letting people empathize with him or try to find ways to sympathize with him. Since people cannot find a specific way to sympathize with him they will try to find the smallest detail about him to emphasize with him/her (Monster Theory 3). People may also be obsessed with finding ways to see what drove the ripper to commit those actions to try to avoid the path that drove the ripper to commit those murders. The ripper was just another member of society until something drove him to murder innocent women. There can potentially be many people out in society today that can be just like the ripper and are just waiting for something to cause them to act, and what causes fear in many people is that they don’t know what could have caused that person to decide to finally snap. Jack the Ripper can be compared to the joker as stated before because they both lack a background, a motive for their actions and most of all they both have escaped from the forces we associate goodness with, and taunted them for them failing to capture them, Jack the Ripper is in a sense our real-life Joker.
There have been many speculations of what may have happened to the ripper, some say he immigrated to the United States, others say that he may not have only killed those five women but actually killed many more during his period of killing (Begg & Bennett). Jack the Ripper could not have attracted all of the attention if it weren’t for the help of the media. They spread the news of his actions to the whole world and astonished everyone that someone was able to murder five women and not get caught by the authorities. As stated before he caused or created a spike of interest within the people of society to try to analyze and understand what may have caused the killer to commit their actions so that maybe people themselves can avoid those certain causes and avoid becoming what society deems as monsters, people who don’t abide by societies standards and decide to break or ignore the boundaries set by society. The Tale of Jack the Ripper may even be a cause for someone to decide to kill too since they have seen that some people have been able to escape the authorities, we may never know the true cause of what lead him/her to kill and or the true killer.
Begg, Paul, and John Bennett. Jack the Ripper: the Forgotten Victims. Yale University, 2014. I used this source to expand on the possible outcomes and possible extra murder victims that jack the Ripper may have claimed throughout the time he was killing.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. University of Minnesota Press, 1996. I also used this part of the book to help make connections of the alleged monster to some of the thesis and to help support my claims to some of the effects.
“Jack the Ripper.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017, http://www.biography.com/people/jack-the-ripper-9351486. I used this website to help provide more information on Jack the Ripper to be able to analyze some of the effects he has had on societies interest in killers.
“JACK THE RIPPER STUDENT RESOURCE.” A Brief History of the Jack the Ripper Murders, http://www.jack-the-ripper.org/jack-the-ripper-study-resource.htm. The website also aided in providing more information about the Ripper case and helped me find some effects that Jack the Ripper had on the police force not only in London but throughout the world.
Jones, Richard. “How Jack The Ripper Impacted On Society.” The Kray Twins – Ronnie and Reggie East End Gangsters., http://www.jack-the-ripper-tour.com/generalnews/how-jack-the-ripper-impacted-on-society/. I used this website to help provide some evidence for the causes that may have resulted from the Ripper’s killing in the district of Whitechapel.