Even after a mammoth 127 years after the last Jack the Ripper killing, new evidence is coming to light all the time that only renews curiosities and furthers theories. But the two big questions that keep resurfacing, even after all this time, are the same; will we ever discover who Jack the Ripper was? Would he have been caught with modern technology, perhaps?
Jack the Ripper London tours are as popular as ever, and with new books, documentaries, fan theory sites, forums and Ripperologists around every corner; we think it’s time to give the evidence a once over again. First, we will address the use of modern technology, apply it to the 19th century, compare and contrast with crime today, and assess whether Jack the Ripper will be exposed any time soon.
These days, serial killers are rare and those that do surface are quickly caught, via a series of modern policing techniques and the utilisation of technology. Fingerprint databases, blood stain analysis and testing, DNA records, CCTV, criminal profiling and many other methods are used on a daily basis. In addition to this, streets are well lit, CCTV is in place and the police and Scotland Yard are made up of highly experienced individuals with protocols and procedures in place for such an incident.
At the time of the Ripper killings, the police found very little in the way of evidence; no DNA was left behind and just one piece of a blood stained apron was left at one of the killing sites. However, the senior members of the Met Police and Scotland Yard were also very inexperienced, with no real procedure in place, having never dealt with a serial killer before.
As well as a better equipped and experienced police force, 19th century Londoners would have benefitted from the extensive series of CCTV cameras and street lighting. Would Jack the Ripper have been able to carry out his killings in such public places if these obstacles were in his way?
The infamous Jack the Ripper story suggests that the perpetrator was not frenzied or spontaneous; that the killings were planned and orchestrated. This leads us to believe that had such measures been in place, the Ripper would have been more careful to apprehend his victims and perhaps would have changed the location of the murders to somewhere more private.
When you consider that the recent copycat killers; such as Peter Sutcliffe, were caught, through modern police work and a bit of luck, you can, therefore, speculate that Jack might have been caught; had modern procedures and experience been in place at the time.
However, speculation suggests that the Ripper was educated and intelligent enough to persuade his victims that he was safe in a time when prostitutes were often targeted and would have been on their guard. This gives the impression that had the technology and information process been available back then; the Ripper would have been careful to evade them.
With such inconclusive evidence from the time and any new evidence that has come to light merely casting doubt over existing theories, it is hard to say whether Jack the Ripper will ever be exposed. However, we enter 2016 with optimism that new technology will unearth a critical piece of evidence and this mystery will be put to bed, once and for all.
Until then, we have the books, the documentaries and the Jack the Ripper London tours. Choose the best, and book your place on our daily tour to immerse yourself in the details once more. Visit the murder sites, see it through the eyes of the victims; thanks to Ripper vision, and discuss the evidence. Fresh eyes, and all that…