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Jack The Ripper Did Capitalism Kill The Women?

2615 words - 11 pages

Whitechapel London, also known as the East End, was the scene of at least five gruesome murders in 1988 that were committed by a killer now famously known as Jack the Ripper. These murders took place in the height of transition from feudalism to capitalism and fueled by this, the East End was plagued with gross overcrowding, unemployment, and was a place of severe poverty and prostitution. Marxist theories of alienation and dialectical materialism help to explain how the rise of capitalism formed the case setting and supported The Ripper’s murders of five women.
In the mid-nineteenth century, an influx of Irish and Jewish immigrants hit England and swelled the population, including that of ...view middle of the document...

Her throat had also been cut and she had been disemboweled (Rumbelow 2001). Annie Chapman had also been turned away from a boarding house earlier, and had been seen haggling with a man in the street and was then seen leaving with him less than thirty minutes before she was found (Rumbelow 2001).
In the early hours of 30th September, two more bodies were found and the day became known as the ‘double event’ (Rumbelow 2001). The first body, Elizabeth Stride, was found when the killer had only partially finished his work. He had been hiding in the shadows when a salesman came across the woman, and slipped away unseen before the authorities arrived (Rumbelow 2001). By four hours later the second victim’s body had been found. The second woman, identified as Catherine Eddowes, had been in police lockup for being drunk and incapable only an hour before (Rumbelow 2001). The police later found a bloody piece of her apron and on the wall above it were scrawled the words ‘the Juwes are the mean that will not be blamed for nothing' (Rumbelow 2001).
During the month of October, Jack the Ripper appeared to take a break. It had appeared a schedule had begun to appear, with the murders occurring on weekends and at the beginning and end of the month (Rumbelow 2001), however October did not follow this assumption. Criticism of the police grew as the killer was still not found, and interest and newspaper coverage exploded (Ogan & Alison 2005). Huge numbers of letters where sent into the News Agency and the Whitechapel Vigilance committee, which was a grouping of citizens hoping to do something about the murders (Ogan & Alison 2005). Three of these letters were of concern and were possibly from the killer himself, one of which contained part of a human organ which he claimed to be his victims (Rumbelow 2001).
On the 8th or 9th November 1988 Mary Jane Kelly, another prostitute, became the last official murder committed by Jack the Ripper. She was killed and mutilated in her lodging after soliciting a customer, and was found the next day (Rumbelow 2001). It is generally believed that the murders stopped here because of the killer’s death, imprisonment or simply emigration (Marriot 2010). While there were only five official murders linked to the killer, there were also four additional murders which were detailed in the file of the Whitechapel Murders, and many other attacks that could have been attributed to attempts of the Ripper (Marriot 2010). These however were not counted towards the Culprit’s list as they had some differences in circumstance from the official murders (Marriot 2010).
To this day there is still no proven motive or identity for Jack the Ripper. There have been hundreds of suspects in regards to the Whitechapel murders; however the concentration of the murders on the weekends and within a small area suggests that Jack the Ripper was a local who worked throughout the week (Marriot 2010). It has also been proposed that he was educated...

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