Jack the Ripper was a serial killer whose killings took place in the East End of London over a century ago in 1888. His crimes included the murder and mutilation of at least five women from August 7 to September 10, 1888 (Casebook) . Although the murders were contained to the Whitechapel district of London’s East End, which is a relatively small area of London taking up just above 200 acres of land, the impact of his crimes reached over the entirety of Victorian London. Although heinis, these crimes also had subtle positive effects, such as much needed attention being brought to social reform in the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden sections of England, such as the East  End. Virtually one of the most fundamental parts of Jack the Ripper’s crimes is the worldwide coverage that they generated through both word of mouth and newspapers (History). “It was one of the most dreadful murders anyone could imagine. The man must have been a perfect savage to inflict such a number of wounds on a defenceless woman in such a way.” The London Times – August 10, 1888. The streets of London became covered with journalists inquiring about Jack the Ripper, who unintentionally were struck with the immense poverty of the East End. As they reported back to their audiences on the horrific conditions they experienced, many of these reporters began to call for improved living conditions in the poor slums of Whitechapel (History).Victorian society followed the papers as modern day people follow celebrities. Almost everyday new reports were released about Jack. These new found fears may have been seen as refreshing by Victorian women whose lives at the time seemed boring and obsolete. Victorian women now could socially discuss these crimes. Women everywhere gossiped about the Rippers actions. It was the perfect excuse for women everywhere to talk about sex. The Ripper’s crimes provided an outlet for their repressed and at the time considered immoral thoughts. They suddenly felt more comfortable discussing taboo topics when speaking about them in the name of public safety (WELCOME) . “Derek Brown, 48, was found guilty of the murders of Xiao Mei Guo, 29, a DVD seller, and Bonnie Barrett, 24, a sex worker, whom he picked up in Whitechapel, east London. Both were young mothers.” (Adetunji). In 2008, police in the United Kingdom investigated Brown, who prior to his arrest was a newspaper delivery driver in Lancashire, was trying to copy Jack the Ripper. He had assembled a DIY murder kit, including a steam cleaner  a bow saw, and waterproof sheeting. He had also borrowed the book, Killers: The Most Barbaric Murderers of Our Time, from his local library (Adetunji) .Jack the Ripper’s murders helped to unite a nation. They reminded women of rarely visited emotions, while also entertaining the Victorians. The Ripper’s crimes brought about some much needed social reform in the poverty-stricken sections of England, such as Whitechapel (Casebook). These crimes also served as a never before used outlet for repressed emotions and immoral thoughts, through the form of entertainment. It is clear that many of the changes that took place in London over the next few years came about as a direct the impact of Jack the Ripper’s crimes.


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