Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

 Search:


Most Recent Posts:
Witnesses: Robert Paul Time Issues - by Elamarna 13 minutes ago.
Witnesses: Robert Paul Time Issues - by harry 1 hour and 17 minutes ago.
Non-Fiction: Patricia Cornwell - Walter Sickert - BOOK 2 - by PaulB 2 hours ago.
Non-Fiction: Patricia Cornwell - Walter Sickert - BOOK 2 - by GUT 2 hours ago.
Non-Fiction: Patricia Cornwell - Walter Sickert - BOOK 2 - by PaulB 2 hours ago.
Witnesses: Robert Paul Time Issues - by Fisherman 3 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Non-Fiction: Patricia Cornwell - Walter Sickert - BOOK 2 - (24 posts)
Witnesses: Robert Paul Time Issues - (17 posts)
General Discussion: The Double Event - (5 posts)
A6 Murders: A6 Rebooted - (3 posts)
Martha Tabram: Now Showing: Union Jack - (3 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.
   More Ripper Blogs »

Unmasking Jack the Ripper
"Perhaps the best Jack the Ripper documentary produced in recent years." North American and European DVD formats both available.
Buy now!

An Analysis of The Star´s Coverage of the Whitechapel Murders
By Alexander Chisholm

The following is a running analysis of the The Star's coverage of the Whitechapel murders and other news items between August and November of 1888.


The Star for 7 August 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 7 Aug. 7.41 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16.59 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Despite later reference to the murder of Martha Tabram, as part of the series of Whitechapel murders, on the 7 Aug. this particular 'Whitechapel Horror' could almost have passed unnoticed in the Star, receiving only 0.125 of one column, or 0.75% of total news coverage.

Numerous other stories of various import easily outmatched this murder as far as the column inches devoted to them is concerned.

Among the largest items was a report on a London Train Wreck which, with 1.75 columns, accounted for 10.54% of total news coverage.

Parnellism and Crime, and the beating of the 'Flying Scotchman' both of which occupied 0.75 of one column each, accounted for 4.52% of total news coverage each.

The report on a 'Dull Bank Holiday' took-up 0.25 of one column, or 1.5% of total news coverage. 'Strike Riots in France' occupied 0.2 of one column, or 1.2% of total news coverage.


The Star for 31 August 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 31 Aug. 7.82 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16.18 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

The 31 August seems to have been a day crying out for a major news item, yet, despite this day's significance in the origin of the series, Whitechapel murder could not fulfil that role.

The largest single item was a report on Sugar Bounties, with 0.75 of one column, or 4.63% of total news coverage.

The next largest items, each with 0.66 of one column, or 4.07% of total News coverage, were individual reports on "Baby Farming," Irish Affairs, and the viability of Small Farms.

Next with 0.58 of one column each, or 3.58% of total news coverage, came reports on Warren's strained relationship with the police and public, and coverage of the Dock Fire.

Then least among the largest items on this day came Whitechapel murder with 0.5 of one column, or 3.09% of total news coverage.


The Star for 1 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 1 Sept. 7.08 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16.92 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

On a day when numerous smaller items of news predominated in the Star, 1.07 columns, or 6.32% of total news coverage was devoted to Whitechapel murder.

This marginally exceeded the amount of coverage given over to the next largest single items, which were the Trades Union Congress, and Labour Associations. Although these two items could perhaps be considered as relating to the same news topic, which would make them the largest single item covered, separately they each constituted 1 column, or 5.91% of total news coverage.

Criticism of Sir Charles Warren's administration of the Metropolitan Police - which was as yet not in any way connected with perceived failures in the Whitechapel murder investigation - received 0.66 of one column, or 3.90% of total news coverage.


The Star for 3 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 2 Sept. 9.57 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 14.43 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

On a day of relatively short reports, Whitechapel was the largest single item, with 1.4 columns, or 9.7% of total news coverage.

Various Irish affairs constituted the next largest item, with 1.08 columns, or 7.48% of total news coverage.

The Trades Union Congress accounted for 1.03 columns, or 7.13% of total news coverage.

Separate reports on Bradford Technical College, and "More 'Times' Slanders" were given 1 column, or 6.93% of total news coverage each.


The Star for 5 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 5 Sept. 9.07 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 14.93 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Again on this day the Star contained a multitude of minor reports, the largest of which, relating to Gladstone, occupied 1.23 columns, or 8.23% of total news coverage.

The Trade Union Congress and Labour Affairs claimed 1.1 columns, or 7.36% of total news coverage.

0.75 of one column, or 5.02% of total news coverage was given over to Whitechapel murder. The same amount of space was devoted to a report of "Mr. Isaac Holden's Home."

Reports on Warren and his Feud with Monro occupied 0.58 of one column, or 3.88% of total news coverage.


The Star for 6 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 6 Sept. 7.16 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16.84 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

On a day of relatively short stories, Ireland again claimed the lion's share, with 1.33 columns, or 7.89% of total news coverage.

The Trades Union Congress occupied 1.08 columns, or 6.41% of total news coverage.

A review of Books & Bookmen took up 1 column, or 5.93% of total news coverage.

A French Rail Accident occupied 0.83 of one column, or 4.94% of total news coverage.

Whitechapel murder claimed 0.5 of one column, or 2.96% of total news coverage.

0.2 of one column, or 1.18% of total news coverage, was given over to editorial comment on evident Desensitisation to real-life horror.


The Star for 7 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 7 Sept. 8 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

By far the largest single item covered on this day was the Trades Union Congress, with some 1.75 columns amounting to 10.93% of total news coverage.

Although just one week after the Nicholl's murder there was nothing directly relating to Whitechapel murders or the on-going investigation. The only item even remotely relating to Whitechapel was a letter from a "Working Man" relating his experience of "Crime in Whitechapel." This amounted to 0.16 of one column, or 1% of total news coverage.

This was easily surpassed by various other items including and account of comet sightings and a firework display at the Crystal Palace, which, with 0.25 of one column, amounted to some 1.56% of total news coverage on the 7 Sept. 1888.


The Star for 10 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 10 Sept. 7.83 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16.17 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Whitechapel broadly - including reports on the likes of police/press relationships - was the largest news item covered, with 4.49 columns, or 27.76% of total news coverage.

Parnell, Balfour and Ireland, the next largest item covered, amounted to 1.55 columns, or 9.58% of total news coverage on 10 September 1888.


The Star for 13 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 13 Sept. 8.58 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 15.42 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Irish affairs again constituted the largest single item covered, with some 2.33 columns, or 15.11% of total news coverage.

Editorial comment, correspondence, and latest particulars on Whitechapel amounted to 1 column, or 6.48% of total news coverage. This exactly corresponds with the amount of space devoted to latest book reviews on 13 September.


The Star for 14 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 14 Sept. 8 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Again, on a day of relatively short news items, Whitechapel commanded the lion's share, with 1.58 columns, or 9.87% of total news coverage.

Among the next largest items was a report on Irish Evictions which, with 1 full column, amounted to 6.25% of total news coverage.

0.75 of one column, or 4.68% of total news coverage was given over to Falling Advertising Revenue of the Times.

East End Jews & the Day of Atonement accounted for 0.7 of one column, or 4.37% of total news coverage.


The Star for 17 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 17 Sept. 8 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 16 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

By far the largest single item covered on this day was Parnellism, with some 3.66 columns amounting to 22.87% of total news coverage.

The total coverage having anything whatsoever to do with Whitechapel was 0.7 of a column or 4.5% of total news coverage. Of this, however, some 0.45 of a column consisted of correspondence on high rents in East-end, and the dangers of robbers and 'roughs' in Whitechapel. This left 0.25 of a column, or 1.56% of total news coverage, directly relating to Whitechapel murders.

Among other items covered, some 0.75 of one column, or 4.68% of total news coverage, was taken up by a report of the painter, Mortimer Menpes' life and vision, and 0.33 of a column, 2.06% of total news coverage, was devoted to a frivolous account of the joys of Margate.

Indeed, on this day, a report on "How the Sultan of Turkey is Fed," also meriting 0.25 of a column, 1.56% of news coverage, seems to have been deemed as newsworthy as Whitechapel murders.


The Star for 24 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 24 Sept. 8.16 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 15.84 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

George Bernard Shaw's social commentary, "Blood Money to Whitechapel," and related editorial comment, accounted for 1.66 columns, or 10.47% of total news coverage. A report on "Warrenism in the Provinces" merited 0.12 of one column, or 0.75% of total news coverage. Whereas reports specifically relating to Whitechapel murder investigations constituted 0.2 of one column, or 1.26% of total news coverage. Taken together, these roughly related topics accounted for 12.48% of total news coverage.

The next largest topic covered related to Landlordism and Rents, with 0.91 of one column, or 5.74% of total news coverage.

Emperor Frederick's Diary occupied 0.66 of one column, or 4.16% of total news coverage.

Free-speech in Ireland merited 0.33 of one column, or 2.08% of total news coverage on the 24th Sept. 1888.


The Star for 29 September 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 29 Sept. 11.15 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 12.85 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

0.33 of one column, or 2.56% of total news coverage was accounted for by People's Post Box correspondence on the question "Is Christianity A Failure" in which Whitechapel murder is briefly mentioned in passing.

More particularly related to Whitechapel murder are reports on Dr. Savage's views and the "Burke theory." These accounted for 0.36 of one column, or 2.8% of total news coverage.

By far the largest item covered was a report on the Ben Nevis Observatory, with 1.33 columns, or 10.35% of total news coverage.

A report on the Daily Telegraph's correspondent debate on the question "Is Marriage a Failure" merited 0.87 of one column, or 6.7% of total news coverage.

The Labour World occupied 0.83 of one column, or 6.45% of total news coverage.

Balfour, Parnell and Irish Affairs accounted for 0.78 of one column, or 6.07% of total news coverage.

Reports on Bismarck's Diary, and the discovery of A Woman's Arm, each merited 0.66 of one column, or 5.13% of total news coverage.


The Star for 1 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 1 Oct. 8.25 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 15.75 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, on this day Whitechapel murder accounted for a massive 8.57 columns, or 54.41% of total news coverage.

The next largest item, relating to Morley & Chamberlain, could only merit 1.37 columns, or 8.69% of total news coverage.


The Star for 2 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 2 Oct. 11.5 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 12.5 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Again Whitechapel was the largest single item, with 3.72 columns, or 29% of total news coverage.

Irish affairs was the next largest item, with a report on Balfour and Mandeville accounting for 1.2 columns, or 9.6% of total news coverage.


Star 3 Oct consisted of the usual 4 pages each with 6 columns, making a total of 24 columns. Of these, 8 columns were given over to Adverts, 1.5 columns to City News, and 1 column to Sporting matters, leaving 13.5 columns of news related items.

Within the Front page editorialising 0.125 of 1 column concerned Forbes on the motive for Whitechapel murders; 0.125 of 1 column regarding Montagu Williams condemnation of Common Lodging-houses; and under the heading 'Mainly About People' 0.142 of 1 column was devoted to Sir James Risdon Bennett turning 80 years of age.

Page 2 included 0.09 of 1 column relating to a meeting of unemployed at which placards mentioning Whitechapel and the Police were displayed; 1 full column was devoted to the Whitehall Torso; and 1 full column reported latest development in the Whitechapel investigation.

Page 3 continued with 0.5 of one column on Whitechapel; 0.06 of one column reporting a construction accident at the site of the Whitehall Torso find; 0.5 of one column considering the Detective System; and 0.25 of one column relating Montagu Williams' condemnation of Common Lodging-houses.

Page 4, under the heading 'People's Post Box' included 0.125 of one column in which a correspondent responds to George Bernard Shaw's article 'Blood Money to Whitechapel.'

Taken together these articles - all of which can be seen to have some relation, however tangential, to Whitechapel murders - amount to some 3.9 columns, or 28% of total news coverage for that day.

If, however, only the more strictly relevant articles are considered, then some 1.75 columns, or 12.9% of total news coverage was devoted to the Whitechapel murders. This is slightly less than the space devoted to the single largest other subject, Mr. Balfour, who received 2 full columns or 14.8% of total news coverage.

So even on 3 Oct., just three days after the double event, Whitechapel murders on their own could not command the lion's share of column inches in the Star.


The Star for 5 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 5 Oct. 10.58 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.42 columns devoted to items of news.

Within this some 3.91 columns, or 29.13% of total news coverage had some bearing on Whitechapel. 1.91 columns of this, or 14.23% of total news coverage, however, largely concerned commentary on poverty and other social issues highlighted by Whitechapel murders. This left around 2 columns, or 14.90% of total news coverage more directly pertaining to the murders themselves.

Nevertheless, even this reduced figure was still double the amount of space given over to the other single largest news item, which was Irish affairs with some 7.45% of total news coverage.


The Star for 6 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 6 Oct. 9.58 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 14.42 columns devoted to items of news.

Within this, if we take into account a summary of Warren's report on Met policing figures, and an editorial on S.G.O.s letter to the Times on morality and perceptions of unfortunates, some 3.5 columns, or 24.27% of total news coverage was in some way relative to Whitechapel murder. Direct coverage of the murder investigation amounted to some 2.25 columns, or 15.6% of total daily news coverage.

The next largest single items covered were a one column review of Actors and Acting, and one column of correspondence on the question 'Is Christianity a Failure?' Each individually amounting to 6.93% of total news coverage for Oct. 6 1888.


The Star for 9 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 9 Oct. 10.07 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.93 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

On this day some 1.91 columns, or 13.71% of total news coverage was given over to Whitechapel. Within this, however, 1.16 columns (8.33% of N.C.) concentrated on social and moral issues brought to the fore by the murders, as consideration was given to the Bishop of Bedford's proposals of a work refuge for mature East-end women, and a lengthy condemnation, by "Justice & Equality" of women's rights advocacy was published.

Only 0.75 columns, or 5.38% of news coverage, therefore, was given over to reporting of the Whitechapel murder investigation. This was almost half the coverage devoted to the largest single item of other news that day which related to John Morley's views on Liberalism, and which occupied some 1.45 columns, representing 10.40% of total news coverage. Coverage of the Whitehall Torso inquest accounted for 1.33 columns or 9.54% of total news coverage on 9th October 1888.


The 1888 Star consisted of four pages each divided into six columns. On the 15th October 1888, 7 columns throughout the paper were devoted to advertisements of various description, leaving 17 columns devoted to items of news.

Page 3 included 1 column devoted to sporting chat, and 1 column to City financial news, and if we disregard these we are left with 15 columns throughout the paper covering newsworthy events.

Within these the Front page editorial contained 0.25 of one column relating to Sir Charles Warren, Crime Figures and Police Numbers. Page 3 included 0.25 of one column specifically dealing with latest developments in the Whitechapel murder investigation. Page 4 included 0.11 of one column containing correspondence on the Whitechapel murders, and 0.33 of one column relating the case for Vegetarianism, which opened with a mention of the link between Whitechapel murders and Slaughterhouses.

So we have 0.94 of one column in total containing anything even tangentially related to Whitechapel murders, amounting to 6.2% of the total news coverage for 15 Oct. This is less than half the column inches devoted to Irish affairs, which amounted to some 13.3% of the total news coverage that day.

If we take only those items directly related to Whitechapel murders we reduce the figure to 0.36 of one column, amounting to 2.4% of that day's total news coverage. This was easily outmatched by several other news items including the allegedly forged diaries of the Emperor Frederick, which received 0.58 of one column, or 3.8% of total news coverage. Even something so seemingly trivial as the slump in sales of 'The Scotsman' appears to have been deemed more newsworthy than Whitechapel by mid-October, as this received 0.62 of one column amounting to 4.1% of the total news coverage on 15 Oct.


The Star for 19 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 19 Oct. 10.16 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.84 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

The total coverage having anything whatsoever to do with Whitechapel on this day was 0.5 of a column or 3.61% of total news coverage.

This was equal to a report of the virtues of Burlesque, which with 0.5 of one column also accounted for 3.61% of total news coverage.

By far the largest single item covered was again Irish Affairs, with some 2.83 columns, or 20.44% of total news coverage.

The next largest single item covered was a report from Berlin on the Emperor Frederick which, with 1 column, amounted to 7.22% of total news coverage. This was followed by a report on Electoral Registration which, with 0.75 of 1 column accounted for 5.41% of total news coverage.

So, on the 19 Oct., the day the news of the Lusk Kidney broke - an event which has attained considerable significance in Ripperology - the Whitechapel murders occupied a very low position in newsworthiness terms.


The Star for 20 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 20 Oct. 9.99 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 14.01 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

As the front page editorial announced Ireland was the main item covered, totalling 1.58 columns, or 11.27% of total news coverage.

Among other items covered, "Spectator's" account of Actors & Acting at the Shaftsbury Theatre occupied 1 column, or 7.13% of total news coverage.

0.75 of one column, or 5.35% of total news coverage was given over to current and coming attractions at the Lyceum Theatre.

"Architecture & Morals" occupied 0.66 of one column, or 4.71% of total news coverage, and "Hunting in Epping Forest", with 0.33 of one column, constituted 2.35% of total news coverage.

All of which exceeded the column inches given over to anything related to Whitechapel murder, which only amounted to 0.25 of one column, or 1.78% of total news coverage for 20 Oct. 1888.


The Star for 22 October 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 22 Oct. 9.31 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 14.69 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

By far the biggest story covered on this day was the Parnell Commission with 3.82 columns, or 26% of total news coverage.

Among a variety of smaller stories an account of The Early Riser Caller occupied 0.5 of one column, or 3.4% of total news coverage.

Even including the wholly social comment of the Moral of the Murders correspondence, the total Whitechapel related coverage could only command 0.32 of one column, or 2.17% of total news coverage on 22 Oct. 1888.


The Star for 9 November 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 9 Nov. 10.24 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.76 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Despite the breaking news of the latest murder, no single story monopolised the coverage of 9 Nov.

The largest single item was a report on the Parnell Commission with 1.33 columns, or 9.66% of total news coverage.

Reports on Matthews and Sir Charles Warren's Murray Magazine article occupied 0.66 of one column, or 4.79% of total news coverage.

The report on the latest Whitechapel murder accounted for 0.58 of one column, or 4.21% of total news coverage.

Among other stories covered, the impending School Board Elections, and an account of Ancient Civic Pageants, were each given 0.66 of one column, or 4.79% of total news coverage.


The Star for 13 November 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 13 Nov. 10.3 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.7 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Coverage of the Parnell Commission, together with associated Irish affairs accounted for 2.8 columns, or 20.43% of total news coverage.

Reports on Warren, Matthews and London policing occupied 1.5 columns, and together with 0.8 of a column more directly reporting on the Miller's Court tragedy, making 2.3 columns in all, this coverage of Whitechapel murder and related issues accounted for 16.78% of total news coverage.

Among other stories covered, the hanging of Bartlett occupied 0.3 of one column, or 2.18% of total news coverage.


The Star for 14 November 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 13 Nov. 10.5 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 13.5 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

Reports on Warren and Matthews occupied 0.9 of one column, and together with 0.9 of a column more directly reporting on Whitechapel murder, making 1.8 columns in all, coverage of Whitechapel murder and related issues accounted for 13.33% of total news coverage.

Coverage of the Parnell Commission also accounted for 1.8 columns, or 13.33% of total news coverage.

Among other stories covered, 'Torches at Clerkenwell' and the workhouse girl scandal each occupied 0.3 of one column, or 2.22% of total news coverage.


The Star for 17 November 1888 consisted of the usual 4 pages with 6 columns per page, making a total of 24 columns. On the 17 Nov. 8.99 columns were given over to Adverts; City Intelligence; and Sporting Chat; leaving 15.01 columns more particularly devoted to items of news.

By far the largest item of news on this day related to Irish affairs with a full 3 columns, or 19.98% of total news coverage.

Combining all items with even the slightest bearing on Whitechapel amounted to no more than 0.45 of one column, or 2.99% of total news coverage. This, however, included 0.28 of one column given over to separate reports on Police relations with Warren and Warren's relations with Matthews. The remaining 0.175 of one column, or 1.16% of total news coverage, carried a reported attack on a Jack the Ripper wax figure in Liverpool, and a report questioning the existence of Nicholas Wassili, "The Fictional French Ripper."

So just one week after the murder of Mary Jane Kelly, it would seem that the newsworthiness of Whitechapel murders had run its course. It is almost as if there was a reluctance to possibly perpetuate the 'series' by continuing to fuel interest with the life-blood of publicity.


Related pages:
  Alex Chisholm
       Dissertations: Reflections on the Ripperologist Interview 
       Dissertations: Statistical Shortfalls: Loanes 1887 Report in Review 
       Ripper Media: News from Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper in the Daily Teleg... 
  Newspapers
       Press Reports: A Complete List of London Newspapers from April 1889 
       Ripper Media: Killer Among Us: Public Reactions to Serial Murder