Jack the Ripper • The name given to a serial killer in nineteenth century London, 1888. • He is believed to have killed 5 or 6 women, all prostitutes. • He brutally mutilated 4 of the 5. • The killer was never identified. • Led to great uproar and fear in London at the time.
Why so fascinating? We’re going to look at a number of aspects having to do with Jack the Ripper and the White Chapel Murders. • The time & context of the murders • The gruesome nature of the murders themselves • The investigative process used • The list of suspects • The media hype
Time & Context London, East End, 1888
What we shall learn today: • What London was like in the nineteenth century. • How pollutionwas a factor in the killings. • How employmentwas a factor in the killings • How the social conditions led to the murders.
London in 1888 • London in 1888 was a divided city. • Just like today, the West End was the wealthiest area, and the East End was much poorer. • Jack the Ripper operated in the East End, for a variety of reasons. In this PowerPoint we will examine a number of these reasons.
Reason Number One: Pollution • London was an industrial city and as such suffered from pollution. • The smoke and stinking gas fumes choked the streets so badly that at times it was not even possible to see your own hand in front of your face, this was known as smog (smoke and fog = smog!) • These smogs were called “Pea Soupers” because of their greenish colour.
The houses in areas such as Whitechapel were always near the railways which were polluting the air! The Terraced Housing used coal to heat the houses and this meant soot would leave the chimney with the smoke. This would rise up in to the atmosphere and then land back down.
Reason Number Two: Employment • In the poorer areas of the city such as Whitechapel the housing was poor. • There was no sanitation and sewage ran openly through the overcrowded, maze-like streets. • There was little work available for women, and no help for those women who were unemployed other than the workhouse. • Many were forced to become prostitutes to survive.
Prostitution in those days was dependent upon the circumstances of the women. Some worked in brothels – houses where prostitutes were employed. The other type of prostitute was more common. These were women forced to go on the streets to make ends meet. All the victims that Jack killed were these type of prostitutes.
Reason Number Three: Social • For many such women, their only escape from their terrible lives was drink, and they quickly became helpless alcoholics. • The Whitechapel area had a large amount of Pubs and Inns to profit from the poverty and depression of the people.
Application Questions • How did the conditions in the East End help Jack the Ripper? (Use as many examples as you can.) • Which was the mainproblem that led to Jack being able to commit his crimes. (Try to explain your answer) • Which in your opinion was more important to Jack, the environmental conditions or the social conditions in the east end of London? (Explain your answer.)