THE RIPPER REPORTS

JACK THE RIPPER & THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS AS REPORTED BY THE VICTORIAN PRESS

The year is 1888 and one of the world's most notorious serial killers is about to throw Victorian London into turmoil.

Using press reports from the time The Ripper Reports reveals the story of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders as events unfolded.

If you already know the Ripper crimes well, you will be astonished by the fallacies and misinformation initially reported as events unfolded, and if you are new to the crimes of Jack the Ripper you can experience the rollercoaster of press reports as the Victorian public would have done at the time.

 

"Touching and gripping and totally fascinating."

LAUNCHED INTO ETERNITY

FROM THE BLOODY CODE TO EXECUTION REFORM IN THE 19TH CENTURY AS REPORTED BY THE VICTORIAN PRESS

From David Thompson Myers who was executed for sodomy in front of a crowd of 6,000, to Philip Cody who tried to kill the executioner in a desperate bid to escape on the scaffold, to Mary Ansell, who poisoned her insane sister with a Victoria Sponge cake to claim her life insurance money - the stories of the condemned give a fascinating insight into Victorian life, death and attitudes to crime.

Newspaper coverage of executions was big business and the public clamoured to read about the actions and words of culprits whose deaths were either celebrated or commiserated depending on public feeling towards their crimes.

The 19th Century was a time of rapid change for the system of capital punishment in Britain. At the start of the century, the ‘Bloody Code’ was in full swing with executions being enjoyed as huge public spectacles.  As a criminal you could be executed for any number of petty crimes, but by 1900 the law had changed significantly. By the turn of the century, the only capital crimes were murder and treason, and executions took place behind the closed walls of prisons.

The press reports from the time give a fascinating insight into the attitudes of the public, both towards different criminals and to capital punishment itself.  Their reaction, which could range from anger and derision towards a detested criminal, to horror and outrage that someone should be executed with whom they had sympathy or believed to be innocent.

The last words of these men, women (and even children) are sometimes moving, sometimes bizarre or unrepentant, or simply maintaining their innocence.

The records of these events are a touching insight into the behaviour and reactions of people who were facing their last moments before their inevitable death.

Before they were launched into eternity.