Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jack the Sociologist

So, for one of my classes I've been reading contemporary reports in the Pall Mall Gazette during the time of the Jack the Ripper murders in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888. People, of course, were speculating on the motives and identity of the killer, and many editorials and letters were written to support this type or that type of person as being the clear culprit.

My favorite, though, was the September 19, 1888 suggestion that the man (it was always assumed that the killer was a male) was a "scientific Sociologist" out to expose the utter poverty and degradation that exists in impoverished London. "We propose in our scientific Sociologist such a supreme devotion to the welfare of the community that he cannot for a moment hesitate in sacrificing a few worthless lives in order to attain his end."

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