The Ripper

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Ripper TV Poster Image
True-crime docu features graphic violence, sexual abuse.

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Kids say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

As with many true crime documentaries, the positive messages are in the determination and ingenuity needed to solve the case.

Positive Role Models

Subjects interviewed are resourceful, insightful, and dedicated.


The Ripper is about a 1970s serial killer, and details of the crimes are discussed throughout the series. This includes forensic descriptions of bludgeoning, stabbing, and sexual abuse. Photos of crime scenes are shown.


The killings in The Ripper have a sexual angle and involve sexual abuse and mutilation, which is discussed. Many of the victims are sex workers, which is also discussed in detail. Some nudity is shown in crime scene photos.


Mild profanity includes "damn" and "hell." There are also forensic descriptions of bodily harm.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking is frequently seen in archival photographs. Drinking alcohol is occasionally mentioned in interviews.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Ripper is a true crime documentary about a series of murders in 1970s Britain. The name alludes to Jack the Ripper, because the killings had some commonalities with his 19th century crimes, but the show is not about him. The series features new interviews with the detectives who worked on the case, the victims' families, and other people who involved with the killings. The show features crime scene photos and graphic descriptions of the violence, which included sexual abuse. Many of the victims were sex workers, which is discussed throughout the series. Over four episodes, the series reconstructs how the murders occurred, how they affected the community at the time, and the hunt for the killer. 

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Teen, 14 years old Written by1shielsm October 25, 2021

The Ripper

The Ripper is good but it does have a lot of sexual references but I think that it is ok for teens 14 and up
Teen, 16 years old Written byilhc January 19, 2021

Decent concise documentary

A concise and well put together documentary. The doc style lent it self well to this story with very good use of archival footage. The people interviewed were r... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE RIPPER is a documentary series about a serial killer who terrorized Northern England in the 1970s. Police quickly made a connection between the various murders of sex workers in economically depressed areas of Britain. The killings seemed to have a lot in common with Jack the Ripper's notorious crime spree in the late-1800s, inspiring fear and paranoia in the communities where they'd taken place. After a five-year investigation, the police finally arrested a suspect. 

Is it any good?

A good true crime documentary does more than just relay facts from the past -- it also reveals something about the present. The series of killings featured in The Ripper may have been fascinating at the time, but the series lacks a point-of-view that makes them feel relevant today. As a result, the series is simply a rote retelling of the investigation, which makes for faily forgettable viewing, though true crime junkies will likely be entertained.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the crime. How did police know the murders were connected? What made them suspect a serial killer? How did they go about finding the murderer?

  • How did the murders affect the communities of the victims? How were they portrayed in the media? Could things have been handled better? How?

  • What did the police discover about the killer? How did the investigation lead them to their conclusions? Were the police able to uncover any motive?

TV details

  • Premiere date: December 16, 2020
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: January 5, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love historical true crime

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