During the mid 19th century the city of London swelled in population due to the influx of migrants, often settling in East London. The parish of Whitechapel took refugees from many parts of Europe, adding to the already overcrowded conditions caused by the Industrial Revoution. Lack of adequate housing and employment opportunities saw a rise not only in crimes such as theft and prostitution but robbery and violence alomg with it. Despite the presence of the Metropolitan police force, they were able to do little to quell the rise in prostitution and brothels. Public perceptions of the lower classes combined with racism towards immigrants created an unsafe environment in the streets of Whitechapel.

Between the years of 1888 to 1891 eleven separate murders were investigated by the Metropolitan police and were collectively known as the Whitechapel murders.




Due to the failure of the Metropolitan police to solve these murders and mounting criticism by the public, your group have been selected to hold a Royal Commission into the Whitechapel murders. The members of your group will include, Forensic specialists, Criminologists, Historian amd Metropolitan police officer. Your job will be to present the findings to the public based on your critical use of evidence. Remember what ever conclusions you reach must be supported by evidence.




1. In groups of 3 or 4, adopt one of the roles and allocate the following research questions to gather the necessary evidence .

2. Describe the environment of White Chapel and the conditions commonly experienced at night. Find a street map of Whitechapel

3. Outline the events surrounding the discovery of the bodies and mark on your map the location of the bodies. Is the location significant?

4. Describe the injuries and cause of death.

5. Investigate the background of the victims. What did they have in common and were there any variations

6. From the forensic evidence, describe the weapon used.

7. Develop a profile for the Ripper

8. Describe the newspaper coverage at the time.

9. Describe the letters received by Scotland yard and their content.How did they help or hinder the case?

10. Evaluate the main theories currently believed to identify the Ripper.

11. Analyse the evidence and discuss your findings, supported by the evidence.

You may present your findings in any creative format of your choice