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With A Little Help From His Friends

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  • With A Little Help From His Friends

    Old idea, different day.....

    The theme of whether the Ripper would have ever been caught in 1888 with the assistance of late 20th Century technology is an old one, for sure.

    So, lets ponder it again.

    If the technology existed, many feel the killer would have been caught in 1888. In addition to forensic skills which only now exist, the media, some feel, would have contributed to the apprehension of the Ripper...with ease.

    However....the media in 2015 really couldn't have exceeded the coverage the crimes garnered in 1888.....not to forget the 'Whitechapel tom-toms'....the word of mouth, neighbor to neighbor news which existed more in 1888 than in today's times and where the distancing individuals living in the same neck of the woods maintain from each other exists to a far greater extent now as opposed to then.

    If the Ripper was more meticulous than people give him credit for, would CCTV, a staple in the UK, actually be the tool he'd be caught by ?

    Let us say that the 40 days between the Eddowes Murder and Kelly's Murder are the parameters....from September 30 until November 9th, 1888...with CCTV in Mitre Square and the other sites....or whatever tools you'd like to use in this experiment.

    You decide....there's a poll for the question attached.
    12
    Yes, He'd be caught with 21st century tools
    41.67%
    5
    No, he'd never be caught
    0.00%
    0
    Undecided at Present
    33.33%
    4
    Other ( Elaborate On The Thread)
    25.00%
    3
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  • #2
    How, I voted Other because I think he'd have been caught if he did these murders on foot and leaving the victims in the streets. However, if he switched to a car or went indoors, then I'm not so sure. Anyway, a lot would depend on whether the police already had a DNA sample from a previous offence.

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    • #3
      I was just about to vote that too, Bob....but I think the Ripper was a little more hip than he's given credit for...hip, as in smarter.

      Factor in average appearance...working men were like penguins...all dressing alike for the most part...particularly the hats.
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      Howard@jtrforums.com

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      • #4
        Bob:
        Not feeling too well today, I apologize if it seemed I was dismissing your opinion....you may well be right and you didn't say anything about the man's intelligence ,I did.

        Being ambulatory might have been an advantage however. Having a vehicle means license plates, tire marks, etc....a possible disadvantage.
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        Howard@jtrforums.com

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        • #5
          He would not have used a car as central London is covered by CCTV that uses number plate recognition technology. The most likely scenario today would be making initial contact via the internet and then selecting a place where there is less likelihood of there being CCTV. Today central London is not the place to commit such murders, a more suitable place would be in the suburbs preferably where there are derelict buildings where he would not be disturbed.

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          • #6
            I'm undecided on this. Certainly today Jack wouldn't have the advantage of many dimly lit streets and unlit alleyways and CCTV footage has caught many offenders. Then there are the forensics that police in 1888 never dreamed of.

            On the other hand, not every location is covered by CCTV is it, and he could well take women to those areas by foot? He would wear gloves and take extreme precautions I don't think Jack was super-intelligent but I do think he was cunning and very aware of his surroundings.

            I also agree that modern day Jack's greatest danger of being caught would come from any previous police record. If they had had his DNA on file and any was found at the murder scenes, then he would have been finished.

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            • #7
              I`m undecided.
              In all honesty, in my opinion, we have to considered the fact that even with modern technology, it is only as useful if those using it are competant and knowledgable enough and know how to apply it to reach definite conclusions.
              In other words, are the authorities of today more competant than their counterparts of the Victorian era?
              Modern technology has not prevented miscarriages of justice, and has been used in convictions (or attempts at convictions) based on planted evidence.
              Having said that, on the reverse side of the coin, technological innovations such as fingerprinting could have been vital if available at the time of the Ripper murders.

              Stevi
              Some people see things as they are and ask: "Why?"
              I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?" - Kennedy

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              • #8
                Would fingerprints of themselves be of any use in the Ripper case, though, Stevi B?
                The women were not particularly clean, the locales where the victims were found were dirty.
                The only place I can think of where taking fingerprints would be of some use would have been Mary Kelly's room, but as Kelly undoubtedly took several clients home with her that night (we only know of Blotchy Face and Hutchinson's man), all sorts of fingerprints would appear, even without the numerous visitors from nearby.

                Jack really left no clues.

                If he did write the Goulston St graffito it's doubtful that any prints could have been taken from the surrounding surface.

                He may have left a clear bloodied fingerprint on Eddowes apron, though nothing of that sort is mentioned, and even if he did , everything was dependent upon Jack having a previous record with his prints on file.

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                • #9
                  I'm a little bit on the fence with this one too but i'm going to take a punt and say that he would have been caught, but not with any great degree of certainty.

                  The suggestion has been made that Jack may have got away in a carriage or similar but that seems extremely unlikely, to the point of almost being a non-starter. The great advantage that the police of 2015 would have, aside from DNA (I agree that fingerprints would be almost useless in such a scenario) is prior experience - the knowledge of what they should expect from such a killer and the ability to use the tools at their disposal to then narrow down their field of suspects.

                  However, it is still a difficult one because the vast majority of murders end up being committed by somebody who is known to the victim, whereas to the best of our knowledge Jack killed at random. CCTV footage would only be useful if it was in a city area, as opposed to a suburban area, and even then there's been plenty of times when CCTV footage still hasn't been able to solve a case.

                  So it would be a tough one, but yes, thanks to experience and technology above all else Jack would probably be caught - but that's an 'only just' vote.

                  Cheers,
                  Adam.

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