The Murders Through The Eyes of The Illustrated Police News.

A bit like the rolling news channels that we take for granted today, The Illustrated Police News was on hand throughout the Whitechapel Murders to bring its readers the latest lurid details on the crimes. The paper prided itself on the quality and accuracy of its depictions and it’s artists were on hand at the scene of virtually all the crimes to either sketch, or remember, the faces of the principal players in each drams.

As a result it is in the pages of these newspapers that we really watch the saga of the Jack the Riper atrocities as it unfolds between August and December in 1888, since the paper reported not just on the murders but on the peripheries as well, such as suspects whom the police, or the mob, had suspected of being responsible for the crimes. There is no doubt that the newspaper’s lurid drawings were, or at least could be, sensationalist, but the illustrations that appeared in its pages afford usindow to look back onto the events and people in that long ago autumn of terror.


Press illutrations showing the finding of the body of Martha Tabram.
The Body of Martha Tabram Found In George Yard

2. The Murder of Mary Nichols

Illustrated Police News articles showing the murder of Mary Nichols.
The Report on the Murder of Mary Nichols

3. The Murder of Annie Chapman

Why the fourth murder? The illustrated Police News was featuring all the Whitechapel Murder and so included the murder of Emma Elizabeth Smith in April 1888.

Illustrations showing the body and the surroundings of the murder of Annie Chapman.
Annie Chapman’s Body Found In Hanbury Street

We’ll continue our look at the murders through the eyes of The Illustrated Police News in our next blog.

Copyright Notice. The images on this page have been sourced from the British Newspaper Archive of the British Library and have been used under their Terms and Conditions. The images remain the copyright of the British Library Board and may not be reproduced without their prior consent.