For more than 125 years, the true identity of the Ripper has remained concealed. Though new theories have emerged and stuck, others have been forgotten, and all that is left to do now is ponder on the ‘what-ifs’.
What if the Ripper had been caught; how would it have changed society today? Both valid questions, yet because of the alias we have grown accustomed to, we couldn’t possibly say. What we do know though is how the Ripper might have been caught if he was around today, which we will discuss below.
It’s fair to say that the concept of crime scene investigation has evolved massively over the years and expanded in so many ways, from tech to interpretation and knowledge. Now, there are new methods and tools actively being used to investigate a crime scene in detail, as well as judge the whereabouts of the culprit. The investigators themselves are often methodical in their approach and trained to separate fact from guesses, in order to present feasible explanations.
Part of the problem, when it came to finding the Ripper back in the 1800s, was that there was nowhere near as much surveillance as we have now. Covering every street in Whitechapel was a task in itself, and even with the increase in the number of constables on the ground, it was never enough to catch or stop the Ripper.
Today though, it would have been much different. More trained police officers and modern surveillance technology are just two of the reasons the Ripper would have had less chance of slipping away into the night unscathed. In addition, media tools like television and newspapers would spread the word and increase awareness amongst the public.
Today, it is more likely that witnesses will step forward and say their part, thanks to the likes of the witness protection programme and a greatly improved police force. This could have led officers straight to the culprit, if he were around today.
These are just a few reasons the Ripper might have been caught if he was around today. Though we may never know the identity of the Ripper, we still have Jack the Ripper tours to rely on for in-depth knowledge, grisly details and goose-bump-worthy shocks!