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Mock Behavioral Research Student`s


Mock Behavioral Research

Mock Behavioral Research

Between April of1888 and February of 1891, eleven women were the victims of gruesomemurders within The Eastern London district of Whitechapel, givingrise to the name “Whitechapel Murders.” The mystery remained whothe perpetrator of the killings was [ CITATION Rob05 l 1033 ].However, given the tremendous attention that the crimes received,many people wrote letters claiming to the murderers. The name “Jackthe Ripper” emerged from one of the letters, wherein the authorthreatened to clip the next victim’s earlobe, a threat executedonly three days later [ CITATION Rob05 l 1033 ]. The identity of themurder remains a puzzle that continues to generate immense interestand over a hundred theories in proposed answers to it. This paperaims to use the information available from all the cases affiliatedwith Jack the Ripper to identify his behavioral variables andrecurrent patterns to theorize potential life experiences anddevelopmental issues that may have led to his criminality andpsychopathology.

Many experts havestudied The Whitechapel Murders and Jack the Reaper, failing tosingle out a killer but offering deep insights on the same. Theeleven murders occurred separately, so their relationship is onlyinferential [CITATION Bon14 l 1033 ]. However, five of them, knownas the “Canonical Five,&quot bear the biggest similarities withregards to the style that the murderer used. All five of themoccurred between 31st August, and November 9thinvolved deep cuts on the victims’ throats as well asdisembowelment. Notably, only two of them took place on the samenight, the first of which had only a single deep cut on the throat.The difference is attributable to an interruption of the perpetrator,hence its inclusion among the five [ CITATION Web14 l 1033 ]. Thesefive murders are most likely to have been the work of Jack the Ripperand, hence, they form the subject of this paper.

Behavioral variables

The behavioralvariables help identify traits that help construct the possibleprofile of an offender. The primary components herein are thesignature behavior and modus operandi. Jack the Ripper’s crimes hadseveral signature characteristics, which are actions in the crimescene that are needless, yet the offender still does themconsistently, indicating that they are compelled to them by somefactor [ CITATION Rob05 l 1033 ]. In the Canonical five murders, theperpetrator posed the victims in a sexually disparaging position,such as with their legs apart, so as to startle whoever discoveredtheir corpses. More sexual connotation in the work of Jack the Reaperis in the case of Emma Smith, inside whose abdomen a blunt object,such as a stick, was shoved [ CITATION Bon14 l 1033 ]. The killeralso bled out the victims brutally, even after strangling them asthey lay on their backs the position being an indicator of his powerand their vulnerability. After that, he disemboweled them and tookaway some of their internal organs in some cases [ CITATION Bon14 l 1033 ].Clearly, acts were unnecessary for killing the women, yet the killerstill carried them out, a fundamental part of his identity.

Modus operandi isLatin for “mode of operation.” It describes an offender’s wayof execution, encompassing all the things that an offender does tofulfill a certain crime [ CITATION Web14 l 1033 ]. The case of Jackthe Ripper had several consistent markers of the manner in which hepreferred to perpetrate his crimes. For one, the killer specificallytargeted women who worked as prostitutes in London [ CITATION Ric08 l 1033 ].He preferred to carry out all his attacks on them in the earlymorning hours, with all of the Canonical 5 murders having comebetween 1 AM and 6 AM, which is the darkest time of day. This timingwas specifically convenient, as it made it easy for Jack the Ripperto target and kill women working as prostitutes when they were mostactive. Alternatively, his avoidance of daytime murders could bebecause he had a daytime operation that only allowed him free timeduring the night. To kill the women, the predator strangled them asproven by the marks on their necks, which served the purpose ofincapacitating them [ CITATION Bon14 l 1033 ]. He then slashed theirthroats and bled them to death.

Repetitive patterns

A careful look atall the crimes attributable to Jack the Ripper, given that they werecommitted during his active period, reveals some recurrent trendsthat may give further insights into his psychological make-up. All ofthe victims’ bodies bore strangulation markers and they all layfacing the killer’s left-hand side [ CITATION Rob05 l 1033 ]. Thekiller slashed their throats to bleed them out, after which he cutinto their abdomens and disemboweled them, often taking an internalorgan with him, and always leaving them with gaping, jagged cuts. Theinjuries indicated that the killer used a long sharp knife. Besides,the serial murderer carried out all his attacks outdoors, with theexception of Mary Kelly, whom he murdered in her room [ CITATION Rob05 l 1033 ].In all cases, however, he left all the victims where he killed them.All the murders occurred within a square mile of each other. Evidencealso indicates that the victims hiked their skirts before theirdeaths, suggesting that they were preparing for sexual relations.

Possible Causes of Criminality and Psychopathology

The crimes of Jack the Ripper indicate possible satyriasis:uncontrollable sexual urge. The sexual aspect of the crimes isevident in targeting victims, and their posing thereafter. The natureof the crimes, as well, fits what Krafts-Ebing described as sexuallymotivated crimes (Kocsis, 2008). The serial killer also possiblypossessed a compulsive need for control. Kocsis reports that in theinstance of killing their victims, such killers derive a sense ofpower and control, which they find sexually arousing. This need forpower may indicate childhood abuse, which led the killer to cravecontrol, which killing other people allowed him. Alternatively,genetic composition is a possible factor, since Jack the Ripperdemonstrated evidence of antisocial personality disorder [ CITATION Ric08 l 1033 ].The doctor that examined the Ripper’s victims concluded that thekiller was anti-social and showed no remorse for his deeds.Additionally, the killer planned the crimes, given he used a knife inthe crimes and carried it with him afterward. The repetition of thecrimes also supports the fact that he felt no remorse [ CITATION Web14 l 1033 ].Thus, the killer was possibly genetically predisposed to the crimesor motivated by past experiences.


The case of Jackthe Ripper draws attention from all quarters, whether psychiatric oracademic. The killer preyed on prostitutes and killed them gruesomelyin the early morning hours. His modus operandi includedstrangulation, posing the victims in a sexual manner, and the use ofa sharp knife. He had signature markers that included disembowelingthe victims. These aspects combined reveal that the killer had twopotential causes for his deeds. Possibly, he was abused early inlife, hence his need to get power from murder. Alternatively, hecould have had a genetic composition that predisposed him toantisocial personality disorder.


Bonn, S. A. (2014, January 27). Jack the Ripper Identified. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wicked-deeds/201401/jack-the-ripper-identified

Keppel, R. D., Weis, J. A., Brown, K. M., &amp Welch, K. (2005). The Jack the Ripper Murders: A Modus Operandiand Signature Analysis of the 1888–1891 Whitechapel Murders. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 1–21.

Kocsis, R. N. (2008). Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes. Chicago: Humana Press.

Webb, D. (2014). Criminal Profiling Part. Retrieved from Al Abouy Forensics: http://www.all-about-forensic-psychology.com/psychological-profiling.html