Jack the Ripper was one of history’s most famous killers. However, even if he wasn’t the first serial murderer to strike a large city like London, it was the first to do so in such a large population area. Unofficial estimates place the number of victims at 5-7, all of them were prostitutes in Whitechapel, East London, who were killed in 1888. No one knows who Jack was since he never got captured. Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly were the primary victims. Jack’s victims were stabbed, disfigured, and often dismembered, with organs missing in many cases.
There are a lot of reasons why Jack the Ripper was never apprehended.
Firstly, the topography of London aided in his escape — London resembled a labyrinth. At the period, London’s topography was disorganized, with many streets and dark alleyways, making it an ideal location for murder. At night, the only source of illumination in dark alleys would be a small bulb that flickers, the air would be dusty, and even if someone spotted the Ripper, they would almost certainly just see a shadow of him.
Additionally, it is believed that the Ripper was a local resident since he usually escaped minutes before police arrived and was never apprehended, indicating that he was familiar with the Whitechapel region.
Second major factor was the lack of technology. During Victorian times, forensic science was very restricted — they lacked DNA fingerprint, blood type combability testing, etc. Murder was usually detected via eyewitness testimonies and stupid luck.
In other words, there was no way to link him to the victim unless he was caught red in the scene. If today, in the current day London, Jack the Ripper came here and did the same, we might be certain that he was arrested within a few weeks or even days. It’s unlikely that they can capture the Ripper without forensic science.
A lot of pressure was put on the cops. Despite their best efforts, they were unprepared to handle a serial murderer investigation.
In the case of the murder, two different police agencies were involved, and they did not work together well. Their chances of catching the Ripper would have been far higher if they had worked together. There was no reward offered for information, and the public was not encouraged to assist the authorities. However, this prevented the spread of even more hoaxes.
The cops were working in the dark since there were no credible suspects at the moment. Police had a difficult time searching for Jack the Ripper because of racial tensions – Jews weren’t particularly popular at the period. It was a disgrace how they handled evidence — one officer wiped away a piece of writing on the wall that was presumably scrawled by Jack the Ripper. To no effect. Evidence indicated Jack the Ripper was a psychotic, therefore lunatics were hunted down from every angle.
More harm than good was done by the media’s participation. Those who couldn’t read were given incorrect information and misled by the media since it was the first time they could earn a lot of money from it. Thousands of letters were sent to the police and media throughout the Ripper’s murder investigation. Many were deemed to be hoaxes, therefore they weren’t taken seriously.
Many people claimed to be the murderer, but just a handful were believed to be true. Even if they sent in a few letters, the media didn’t really care since it was all about the money for them. A hoax had been suspected at first, but after Eddowes’ ears were cut off following the letter, it was revealed that the next victim’s ears would be cut off as a result of this ruse. There was a missing kidney in the “From Hell” letter, and it seemed to be real since the police had not revealed that Eddowes was missing a kidney when the letter was sent. Several false leads and red herrings were generated by the media’s participation (distractions).
There was some responsibility to be placed on British economy since the victims did not want to be prostitutes, therefore if they had not been prostitutes, Jack the Ripper would not have existed. The inhabitants of Whitechapel were very impoverished, so they didn’t care whether there was a prize on the table.
The fact that Jack the Ripper was never apprehended was down to him. There were indications as to what kind of work he was doing at the time. They mistook him for either a doctor or a butcher due to the accuracy with which he removed the organs from the victim’s body. A butcher or doctor wouldn’t be suspected, though, since they don’t match the description of either. Also, no one has ever seen him perform! Jack the Ripper is believed to have acted alone since he acted so swiftly and left little proof behind. His method of killing would have left him covered in blood stains, but there were no evidence left behind, which suggests there were more than two individuals involved in the crime scene. Considering that Jack the Ripper doesn’t think like a regular person, this was a challenge. Jack the Ripper could have had a normal job and perhaps a wife and children if he wanted to. Since the actual killer did not match the stereotype of a Victorian ranting maniac, friends, relatives, and co-workers were never suspicious of him.
We may conclude from all of the evidence that Jack the Ripper was very meticulous and clever. Because forensic science was still in its infancy in Victorian times, I believe the primary reason he was never arrested was because he escaped detection. Without DNA or blood type, I don’t believe Jack the Ripper would have gotten away with it no matter how clever (or insane) he was. There was no good description of the murderer since the assaults occurred at night, and the police were not popular at the period; many people despised them. Jack the Ripper’s escape was a foregone conclusion with all the information available. However, the case is still open with the hopes of uncovering this enigma in the near future.