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Point To Ponder : Is It Possible The Press Encouraged The Ripper ?

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  • Point To Ponder : Is It Possible The Press Encouraged The Ripper ?

    Almost 90 years after the Whitechapel Murders, New York City experienced its own reign of terror in the watershed year of 1977 ( for NYC, for certain)....the Summer of Sam.

    David Berkowitz's murder spree made life easy for those trying to come up with headlines....however, at least one professional in the police/mind science field felt the press encouraged him :


    Author and former FBI agent Robert K. Ressler has stated that (Jimmy)Breslin "baited Berkowitz and irresponsibly contributed to the continuation of his murders" by trying to sell sensationalist newspapers. In Ressler's book Whoever Fights Monsters, Ressler condemns Breslin and the media for their involvement in encouraging serial killers by directing their activity with printed conjectures.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Breslin

    What do you think ?
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  • #2
    I thought I had read that Jimmy Breslin was trying to establish contact with Son of Sam. Some creeps do contact writers and I would think the possibility of contacting a famous writer would be a plus. Any contact might help expose a phantom to the light and apprehension.

    Who knows with JtR? There were all those crazy letters sent to the news agency. Did Jack want to make contact? I don't think any of the letters were from Jack, with the possible exception being the Lusk letter. (Have we ever considered that whoever wrote the Lusk letter used grammar and spelling at the level of the GSG? Wanna bet the writer of the Lusk letter would think "Juwes" was a correct spelling?)

    Sometimes it seems like press coverage led to the Double Event. There is also the thought that writers of the time opining about Jack's medical knowledge may have spurred the taking of the kidney.

    However that is, I do not think anything the press did ultimately increased the body count--unless the Double Event was a response to publicity. Since Jack did his worst after killing his victims I don't see how it matters if the press goaded him to be worse than he was.

    Overall intense press coverage probably made it more difficult for Jack to continue.
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

    Comment


    • #3
      Ressler crticising a journalist for writing sensationalist articles when he himself was writing sensationalist books for presumably the same purpose (money).

      Interesting.

      Dont know about the papers encouraging the ripper but they probably encouraged Barnett!

      P

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr. Poster View Post
        Ressler crticising a journalist for writing sensationalist articles when he himself was writing sensationalist books for presumably the same purpose (money).

        Interesting.

        Dont know about the papers encouraging the ripper but they probably encouraged Barnett!

        P
        That last sentence is an interesting point which I will expand upon in a more general sense. There may have been copycat crimes. Jane Beademore must certainly have been the victim of her fiance copy-catting JtR and he read about Jack in the press. JtR. If there was more than one killer responsible for the C-5, he/ they probably would have done whatever he/they planned to do anyway but the phenomenon of JtR was spread by the press.
        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

        Comment


        • #5
          I would say that the press had (and has) a responsibility to report the news, and they also have an interest, of course, in selling as much copy as possible. It isn't up to the press to perform a psychoanalysis on a potential serial killer and water down their material accordingly. If it does turn out that the press coverage was fuel to the fire for the killer, isn't that something which can only be known after the fact?

          These days, you have social media and suddenly everybody is a journalist with an opinion. I'd suggest that is a far more difficult beast to control when it comes to sensationalism and global reach.

          Cheers,
          Adam.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Howard

            I don't think it's any secret that part of the story of the Whitechapel murders is that, if you will, the newspapers of the day in London, and as an extension the press worldwide, were complicit to an extent in the crimes to the extent of spreading the fame of the murders and, frankly, making money of the sensationalism that the murder series caused.

            At RipperCon 2018 in Baltimore on the opening day at the Maryland College Institute of Art (MICA), at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 7, I am going to spend the first session talking about "The Legend of Jack the Ripper" and what I said above will be part of my presentation. Don't miss it.

            Best regards

            Chris
            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
            https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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