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.

1875-03-27 00:00:00

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.

1885-08-07 00:00:00

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.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

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 In 1886, these acts were repealed.

1888-04-03 09:20:24

Emma Smith Murder

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

1888-08-07 00:00:00

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.

1888-08-31 00:00:00

Mary Anne Nichols Murder

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

1888-09-05 00:00:00

"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.

1888-09-08 00:00:00

Annie Chapman Murder

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

1888-09-25 00:00:00

"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.

1888-09-30 01:00:00

Elizabeth Stride Murder

The Ripper's third murder was particularly special because it remains the only slaughter where he was witnessed, and came close to being caught.

1888-09-30 01:45:00

Catherine Eddowes Murder

The Ripper's fourth homicide occurred less than an hour after the last, as he was seemingly un-satiated by the first murder of the night. Because of this, the Eddowes murder is incredibly more brutal and bloody than the last.

1888-10-01 00:00:00

"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.

1888-10-16 00:00:00

"From Hell" Letter

Another letter was sent to the Central News Agency, this time also containing half of a kidney.

1888-11-09 00:00:00

Mary Kelly Murder

Mary Kelly is commonly thought to be The Ripper's final official murder. While there are at least four more murders to enter the Whitechapel file by 1891, none are confirmed to be by the same killer as the previous five.

2008-01-01 04:41:43

Modern Mystery

Jack the Ripper's terror is still alive and a mystery to this day. These murders still spark interest and fear in contemporary lives.

Jack the Ripper: A Social Construct

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