An intriguing point was raised by some-one on the Jack the Ripper tour the other evening. A lady asked the pertinent question “would Jack the Ripper be caught if he were murdering today?”
Obviously this is a difficult question to answer. If he was killing in the same relatively small geographic area then the chances are that he would be caught. The streets are reasonably well lit today so the killer wouldn’t have the advantage of the numerous dark alleyways and passageways that facilitated his escapes from the scenes of his crimes in 1888.
But if the murderer was operating throughout a wider geographic area then the probability is that Jack the Ripper wouldn’t be caught today for the same reason that he wasn’t caught in 1888 – he left no clues behind.
Well actually he did leave one clue behind, a piece of bloodstained apron that was found in a doorway in Goulston Street. The apron had been taken from one of the victims and gives us a hint as to which way the killer was heading after escaping from the scene of his atrocity. We actually visit the doorway in the course of our Jack the Ripper Walk and discuss the significance of this clue.
But, aside from that, the killer left no real clues behind him; he wasn’t known to his victims, so the police couldn’t look amongst those who knew them for the perpetrator of the crimes; and he was able to strike in out of the way places where the police seldom trod.
So is all that the police could do in 1888 was flood the area with police officers and hope that the next time the killer struck there would be a police officer nearby to apprehend him. But that didn’t happen and so Jack the Ripper got away.
Hope that answers the question and, of course, if you have any other questions, please email us and they will be answered on this thread.