Jack the Ripper: A Social Construct

Victorian England was a marked by extreme social anxieties; seen by stark contrasts in class makeup, as well as gender tensions. Infamous serial killer known by the the ambiguous name "Jack the Ripper" personified these fears through his vicious murders of prostitutes in the poverty-stricken Whitechapel district in London. While his homicides provided a point source for the overarching fears of the time, he did so by remaining faceless to this day.

"Dear Boss" Goes Public

After the double homicides, the Central News Agency decides to go public with the letter- cementing the legacy of Jack the Ripper in history.

Venereal Diseases and Sexual Ignorance

On this date in 1875, stats on venereal diseases were first published in the British Medical Journal- which were unknown to the public until this point.

Criminal Law Amendment Act

The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 allowed for law officials to have more interference in the lives of sex workers. For example, it raised the age of consent from 13 to 16, and also gave police power to prosecute street prostitutes and brothels.

Contagious Diseases Acts

In 1864, British Parliament passed a series of acts which stripped many poor, working class women of their rights. In 1886, these acts were repealed.

Emma Smith Murder

Emma Smith was a Whitechapel prostitute who was raped and killed by a local gang in early 1888.

Mary Anne Nichols Murder

Mary Anne Nichols is commonly known as Jack the Ripper's first victim.

Martha Turner Murder

Martha Turner, also known as Martha Tabram, is debated to have been the Ripper's first murder, however it will never be known whether this is the case.

"Leather Apron"

On this date, the Star Newspaper published an article on a figure known by the elusive name of "Leather Apron", who was apparently extorting money from Whitechapel prostitutes.

Annie Chapman Murder

Jack the Ripper's second official victim was found mutilated in the early hours.

"Dear Boss" Letter

This was the first of the letters Jack the Ripper sent to the Central News Agency, and was also where his infamous name was coined.

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