Serial killers have become as much a part of popular culture as athletes and celebrities in the modern age. However, no killer in history remains as identifiable in today’s culture as Jack the Ripper. His name appears in over one hundred books, films, and television shows despite the fact that the murders he committed and the subsequent investigations remain relatively unclear. Regardless, for over a century scholars and historians alike have attempted to understand and unmask Jack the Ripper. While the identity of this elusive killer remains unknown, the stories that Jack the Ripper inspired have led to the creation of a legend. This mythical version of Jack the Ripper continues to be the real-life example of a gothic monster created in the nineteenth century, as his story brought the social anxieties and dangerous unknowns surrounding East London together with the population’s morbid curiosity about the dark side of humanity. The consequences of the overwhelming press coverage and the perpetuation of unverifiable and often sensational claims about “Jack’s” identity have had a lasting effect on society’s fascination with serial killers. The persistent disconnect between killers and the “legend” that their name takes on afterward began with the creation of the gothic genre and its impact on perceptions of Jack the Ripper in poverty-stricken East London.
"Deconstructing “Jack”: How Jack the Ripper Became More Fiction Than Fact,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 11
, Article 4.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol11/iss1/4