How do we decide what’s a monster? The actions they commit, their appearance, or the overall fear they inflict on us. The monsters we know that are fictional that we hear in stories are those monsters the ones we actually fear or is it the monsters that are real life people that commit disturbing, psychopathic acts of crime. I feel Jack the Ripper fills this monster role a person that was never identified in 1888 East London killing five women in butcher like fashion from August 7 1888 to September of 1888 then ended in the fall of the same year he left people I horror. Jack the Ripper was a real person a real monster that actually existed and left an impact on history.
Thesis II: The Monster Always Escapes “we see the damage that the monster wreaks,the material remains (the footprints of the yeti across Tibetan snow, the bones of the giant stranded on a rocky cliff), but the monster itself turns immaterial and vanishes, to reappear someplace else (for who is the yeti if not the medieval wild man?”(Cohen 3) Jack the Ripper killed five women and was never caught leaving the crimes unsolved with the killer’s identity a mystery. Jack the Ripper’s killings were recorded from August 7 1888 to September 11 1888 then suddenly stopped in fall of that same year adding more to the Thesis that the monster always escapes.
The 1988 film “Jack the Ripper” showed a decent representation of the criminal but did have its flaws the film didn’t show the victims after they were “killed” they just stated that they were killed. That takes away the effect Jack the Ripper had on Whitecapel the bodies Jack the Ripper left were horrific to look at and people were left in terror that a person like that was capable of psychotic killing methods. The film didn’t tell the real story in the film detective Abberline couldn’t catch the killer the entire film until he got leads he needed and testimonies. That ultimately helped him catch the killer which was the deranged doctor and during the detainment of the doctor he was injured so badly he was going to die so the commission ordered Abberline to keep Jack the Ripper’s identity a secret. This isn’t a good representation of the real life killer he was never caught the identity of Jack the Ripper is still unknown which makes the killer scary because nobody knows anything about the killer especially the police. Jack the Ripper sent the police letters telling them he was going to kill again each of the five murders were within a mile of each other these murders were planned out and the police were even informed and they still couldn’t stop the murders from happening. Jack the Ripper was pure evil a monster that the world never seen before and was putting fear into everyone.
According to Monster Culture (Seven thesis) Thesis IV: The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference “any kind of alterity can be inscribed across (constructed through) the monstrous body, but for the most part monstrous difference tends to be cultural, political, racial, economic, sexual). (Cohen 7) Jack the Ripper applies to this theory because Jack the Ripper caused a culture shock throughout Whitechapal, East London he/she was no ordinary killer this person was sociopathic and was the world’s first serial killer but the condition the bodies were left in is what scared people the most the victims organs and limbs being removed cut up into several pieces. Also the letters Jack the Ripper sent police taunting them telling them about how there was going to be another murder and they couldn’t do anything about it.
Jack the Ripper also goes with monster Thesis V: The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible “from its position at the limits of knowing, the monster stands as a warning against the exploration of its uncertain demesnes. The giants of Patagonia, the dragons of the Orient, and the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park together declare that curiosity is more often punished than rewarded, that one is better off safely contained within one’s own domestic sphere than abroad, away from the watchful eye of the state.” (Cohen 12) The monster Jack the Ripper is at that border of exploration that we are terrified of the victims he mutilated and butchered was on another level of killing that the world had never seen up to that point
Jack the Ripper is the ideal monster he fits multiple criteria of what we define as a monster they fear he put on the small town of Whitecapel, East London was the world’s first real killer. He was never caught or even identified for the murders he committed and even to this day is talked about as one of the world’s most infamous criminals in history the way he taunted the police with letters telling them he was going to murder again and the state of all his victims was a horrifying site. His murders were from August to September and the police never found any evidence of the killers identify or whereabouts. Jack the Ripper was a real life monster unlike the fictional monsters we all know in literature but Jack the Ripper left his mark on the world this the disturbing, psychotic ways of killing and taunting the police. No monster of fiction compares to the real life threat that was Jack the Ripper a killer with five deaths to his name and not being caught or even any lead on who he was just theories and mysteries are all that remain of the terror that was Jack the Ripper.
Monster Culture (Seven Theses) Jeffery Jerome Cohen
“Jack the Ripper” 1988 Film directed by David Wickes
Sugden, Philip the Complete History of Jack the Ripper A&E TV Networks June 7, 2019
Walkowitz, Judith Feminist Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Autumn 1982), pp. 542-574 Feminist Studies, Inc. Jack the Ripper and the Myth of Male Violence