Psychoanalysis and the Whitechapel Murders on Film

  • Clare Smith
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)


The theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung can provide an insight into the reasons why film and television continue to use Jack the Ripper as a subject and why audiences continue to watch them. The reasons for the appeal to audiences lie not only in the content of the story but also the psychological appeal of the audience. At a superficial level it would appear that a film dealing with the Whitechapel murders, which depicts the brutal murder and mutilation of five women who worked in the sex industry, does not have an obvious appeal to viewers. I contend that the appeal can be found in the collective experience of the viewers and their personal relation to the characters.


Female Character Serial Killer Legal Justice Pleasure Principle Folk Tale 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wales: Trinity St. DavidUK

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