Jack the Ripper Museum main entrance (12 Cable St, Whitechapel, London)
Typical Victorian room with exhibits (Jack the Ripper Museum)
IN FAVOR: HISTORICAL INTEREST
Who doesn’t like a bit of fun and excitement? A museum dedicated to a serial killer? Why not? It sounds like fun, but is it? Is it only created to amuse us? Or is there anything else it wants to make us understand? There are billions of questions that we can ask about that topic. A museum dedicated to a famous murderer doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but is it ethical? There are several pros and cons about it.
The main goal a museum such as this has is to honour the victims’ memories so society doesn’t forget them. If their stories weren’t told or seen, then we would forget them quickly, as they’re not an important part of our lives. That’s why their story must be told -and seen-, that way society will be aware of what really happened. Furthermore, they wouldn’t see the murderer as just another character but as the awful person he really was, as someone who killed and destroyed lives just for fun. That way, we could see how it happened and what the consequences were, and we would be aware of the misery he brought with him. And for that, the museum needs to show things as they happened, neither to embellish history nor to make it more macabre. They must show it as it really was, so visitors will be shocked and the message can be correctly told.
On the other hand, it can also become a dangerous idea. If what was supposed to be honorable at first turns to be a mere amusement, then the message it should transmit isn’t. People would not see the museum as a representation of the victims’ story but as something fun to do and from which we wouldn’t learn any lesson. That’s why it has to be shocking and real. Besides, the story can be told from the wrong point of view -like a sexist one- so the museum -instead of honouring the victims’ memory- would blame them for what happened to them, and the lesson it would teach wouldn’t be the right one, and thus the museum should be closed.
We can conclude that having a museum dedicated to a famous murderer isn’t a bad idea. In fact it should be done, as long as its goal is to honour the victims’ memory and make people aware of what happened so they wouldn’t see it as just another story. But it’s necessary that the story it tells is shown as it really happened to be unforgettable. If it’s just made to amuse people, or it’s told from a sexist point of view, then it shouldn’t be done.
Lots of people in Cable Street have criticized the opening of a museum dedicated to women that turned into a horror house. The museum is now dedicated to a serial killer called Jack the Ripper, but the creators said that it is focused on the victim´ perspective. This looks crazy and irresponsible, but is it really like this?
From the beginnings of history, there have been lots of people who committed crimes and brought to the world bad memories, from serial killers to tyrannical rulers who started wars. All of these people are remembered despite the bad things they did, so why can´t a bunch of people make a museum for one of them? It´s part of history and it´s there, we can´t change the past but we can learn about it. The people who really don´t want or like the museum, just have to avoid it or not visit it, it is only a reconstruction of the scenes and it´s very interesting to know how Jack the Ripper killed his victims and how he escaped from the police
From the perspective of the murderer or from the victims it doesn´t matter, the important question is if you like it or not. There are lots of tourists who will visit the museum for curiosity or for fun, whether the East End citizens like it or not, as it provides part of the Victorian era culture.
AGAINST: MORBID APPEAL
Imagine being a mother or a father whose daughter has been brutally murdered by an assassin who killed other women. Imagine if all of a sudden after you finally learned how to live a normal life without her, a museum is opened to glorify the killer of your daughter and publish pictures of her corpse. That would make you revive your daughter’s death, seeing how people spend their money on seeing her dead. This situation is one that many parents could suffer is museums about killers started to open all around the world. We should not permit that because it is disrespectful, it gives these crimes an attention they should not have and it can encourage other people to do the same.
First of all, a museum like this is very disrespectful to the victims because -despite being dead- should still be treated like humans, and to the families that already had enough with losing a member of their family and don´t need a constant reminder that a mentally disturbed person killed their beloved one.
In the second place, even though this is a very intelligent way of teaching the world how the mind of a person that goes that far with another person’s body works, or at least to try to understand it -which I think no one can-, it gives the assassin more power and more attention than the one he should have. He should be in prison and his attack classified, not in a museum where people spend their money.
Another important aspect is that people who suffer from mental disorders similar to the ones assassins can have, could be motivated or encouraged to do something like that. They could see the pictures and admire them instead of being horrified, or they may think that, because of that museum, that murderer is famous and they want the same thing, fame by being the killer of a huge number of people.
To conclude, museums like the one dedicated to Jack the Ripper should not be permitted and should not exist because they degrade the victims and are a celebration of those horrible acts. Neither you nor anyone wants to be that parent whose dead daughter’s pictures are being displayed for everyone to see.
Jack the Ripper is a well-known London character that committed several murders in the Victorian Era. That´s why they have done a museum, which in my opinion should be closed.
First of all, I find it sexist, because it shows women as victims of a man. Portraying these women as an entertainment and not as a problem to solve leave aside the gravity of the situation. Moreover, the museum exposes lots of gory details, which could shock some of the visitors. For instance, there are pictures of the women mutilated by Jack the Ripper.
However, the owners of the museum stated that it´s done to show history, but it´s just a way of attracting tourists and make money.
In light of the above, this museum doesn´t have any historical interest for Londoners. From my point of view, it just has a morbid and economic interest, which keeps showing women as the weak gender.