Thursday, October 15, 2009

The FBI's psychological profile of Jack the Ripper

In 1988, John E. Douglas from the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) released a psychological profile of Jack the Ripper in the television production The Secret Identity of Jack the Ripper. The profile revealed that in all likelihood, Jack was single and lived alone, which would allow him to avoid detection a bit more easily (some have also noted that Jack may have had a job which would negate the need to explain any bloody clothing, for instance work in a slaughteryard).

The FBI felt that Jack's (obviously) notable dislike of women was probably due to an absent or dead father and his being raised by a domineering or even abusive mother. Age is a difficult factor and while the FBI stated he was likely between 28 and 36, it is possible that he was a bit older than estimated due to his apparent preference for older victims.

He was likely someone who was accustomed to moving by night, possibly someone with a night job. His job was likely a menial, thankless one. He was of the same social class as his victims, possibly a bit higher; all of which would likely place him firmly in the poorer classes. It was also felt that these were unlikely to have been his first attacks on women, though it is fairly likely that they do represent his first forays into actual murder; his earlier attacks were likely either less violent or merely unreported. He also was probably a quiet individual who could avoid eliciting any serious suspicion.

They also felt that he likely had some sort of physical or mental handicap which caused him anger or frustration.

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