Jack the Ripper Essay example

779 Words Jun 5th, 2005 4 Pages
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…
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 development of ever more sophisticated techniques to detect increasingly smaller traces of uniquely identifiable material. But those investigating the Whitechapel murders had the benefit of none of these techniques so they did the best that they could. Unfortunately it was not sufficient at the time to lead to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible, but at least the investigators left behind a record of their findings and deliberations.

Speculation inevitably outweighs fact by a

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