Whitechapel Murder Character Profile Activity


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The late nineteenth century press loved the ‘Ripper’ murders. They sold newspapers. It was the nature of the murders that captured the public’s attention in 1888, but the one question that remained unanswered was what kind of a person committed this type of mutilation.

In order to try and understand the ‘man’ behind the killings you have to examine evidence and make deductions. One major piece of evidence that many people believe to be real is the ‘Dear Boss’ letter sent by the ‘Ripper’ to the Central News Agency on 25th September 1888. Your task today will be to read the letter and then make some deductions about the type of person who wrote it.

The useful thing about primary sources is that they allow historians to learn key details about past events. The ‘Dear Boss’ letter is useful because it provides facts about the murders, gives clues about the education of the ‘murderer’ and even if it was a hoax it can help you to understand why the police had difficulty in arresting a suspect with this type of reoccurring problem.

Facts PDF Worksheet:

    • Aimed at Students studying at UK Year GCSE or equivalent
    • Free to download
    • Use as you wish in the classroom or home environment
    • Structured study guide and challenging tasks.