5. Mary Jane Kelly

Mary Kelly was the final canonical victim of Jack the Ripper, and most likely the last victim, period, of the Whitechapel monster.  Because of this (as well as others reasons) she is by far the most discussed, analysed and hotly debated among all the Ripper victims.  Some believe Kelly was the Ripper’s target all along – and the reason the murders stopped – and some believe she wasn’t a Ripper victim at all.  There’s been so much written, speculated and made-up in regards to Kelly (some of it, pertaining to her background, might have even been concocted by Kelly herself) that she’s become an almost mythic figure; the ‘star’ Ripper victim, if you will, and the most romanticised.

Aside from being the last victim, she was also the youngest Ripper victim (she was twenty-five when she was murdered), and by all accounts, an attractive woman.  She was the only victim killed indoors, the most horribly mutilated, and the only Ripper victim to be photographed in situ.  It’s no wonder, then, that Kelly has been the focus of so much attention.

So, who was Mary Kelly?  Was she the Ripper’s last victim?  Was she a Ripper victim at all?

Not much is known about Mary Jane Kelly (who sometimes went by the name Marie Jeanette Kelly).  What little is known comes from second-hand information from her friends and lovers.  She was born in Limerick, Ireland, around 1863.  Around 1879, at the age of sixteen, she married a man by the name of Davies (first name unknown), but he died in an explosion a few years later.  Afterwards Kelly moved to Cardiff, Wales, and worked as a prostitute, and then, in 1884, moved to London.  Apparently she worked at a high-class brothel in the West End shortly after arriving in London, but, possibly due to her drinking habits, was made unwelcome, and she drifted to the slums of the East End, where, like the other Ripper victims and thousands of others just like them, she lived an itinerant lifestyle.  Finally, on the morning of November the 9th, she was found murdered in her modest dwellings in 13 Miller’s Court.

So, that’s essentially it in terms of Mary’s life (to read a more detailed account of her life go here).  But what about her death?

At around 10:45 on the morning of the 9th, Thomas Bowyer, a rent collector for the owner of the Miller’s Court building, John McCarthy, went to Mary’s residence to collect her overdue rent.  He knocked, but there was no answer.  He walked around to the broken side window, pushed aside the curtain, and peered into the small room.  There, on the bed, he saw the monstrously mutilated body of Mary Kelly.  He rushed back to McCarthy, the police were called, and a few hours later, the door (which was locked) was broken open and the full horror of what lay inside that tiny dwelling was realised.  Here is Dr. Thomas Bond’s report regarding Mary Kelly:

“The body was lying naked in the middle of the bed the shoulders flat, but the axis of the body inclined to the left side of the bed. The head was turned on the left cheek. The left arm was close to the body with the forearm flexed at a right angle and lying across the abdomen, the right arm was slightly abducted from the body and rested on the mattress, the elbow bent and the forearm supine with the fingers clenched. The legs were wide apart, the left thigh at right angles to the trunk and the right forming an obtuse angle with the pubes.

The whole of the surface of the abdomen and thighs was removed and the abdominal cavity emptied of its viscera. The breasts were cut off, the arms mutilated by several jagged wounds and the face hacked beyond recognition of the features. The tissues of the neck were severed all round down to the bone.

The viscera were found in various parts viz; the uterus and kidneys with one breast under the head, the other breast by the right foot, the liver between the feet, the intestines by the right side and the spleen by the left side of the body. The flaps removed from the abdomen and thighs were on a table.

The bed clothing at the right corner was saturated with blood, and on the floor beneath was a pool of blood covering about 2 feet square. The wall by the right side of the bed and in a line with the neck was marked by blood which had struck it in a number of separate splashes.

The face was gashed in all directions the nose, cheeks, eyebrows and ears being partly removed. The lips were blanched and cut by several oblique incisions running obliquely down to the chin. There were also numerous cuts extending irregularly across all the features.

The neck was cut through the skin and other tissues right down to the vertebrae the 5th and 6th being deeply notched. The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis. The air passage was cut through at the lower part of the larynx through the cricoid cartilage.

Both breasts were removed by more or less circular incisions, the muscle down to the ribs being attached to the breasts. The intercostals between the 4 5 and 6 ribs were cut through and the contents of the thorax visible through the openings.

The skin and tissues of the abdomen from the costal arch to the pubes were removed in three large flaps. The right thigh was denuded in front to the bone, the flap of skin, including the external organs of generation and part of the right buttock. The left thigh was stripped of skin, fascia and muscles as far as the knee.

The left calf showed a long gash through skin and tissues to the deep muscles and reaching past the knee to 5 ins above the ankle. Both arms and forearms had extensive and jagged wounds.

The right thumb showed a small superficial incision about 1 inch long, with extravasation of blood in the skin and there were several abrasions on the back of the hand moreover showing the same condition.

On opening the thorax it was found that the right lung was minimally adherent by old firm adhesions. The lower part of the lung was broken and torn away. The left lung was intact; it was adherent at the apex and there were a few adhesions over the side. In the substances of the lung were several nodules of consolidation.

The Pericardium was open below and the heart absent. In the abdominal cavity was some partly digested food of fish and potatoes and similar food was found in the remains of the stomach attached to the intestines.”

And the inquest testimony of Dr. George Bagster Philips, who was also present at the scene:

“The mutilated remains of a female were lying two thirds over towards the edge of the bedstead, nearest to the door of entry. She had only her under linen garment on her, and from my subsequent examination I am sure the body had been removed subsequent to the injury which caused her death from that side of the bedstead which was nearest to the wooden partition, the large quantity of blood under the bedstead, the saturated condition of the paliasse, pillow, sheet, at that top corner nearest to the partition leads me to the conclusion that the severance of the right carotid artery which was the immediate cause of her death was inflicted while the deceased was lying at the right side of the bedstead and her head and neck in the top right-hand corner.”

Mary Kelly was positively identified later that day by her ex-lover, Joseph Barnett (by her ears and eyes, as the rest of her face was too badly mutilated).

So, here we have a fifth woman brutally murdered within the space of less than three months.  While all the doctors and police at the time seemed satisfied that Kelly was killed by the same hand that had killed at least three of the four previous victims (some of the experts disagreed over the inclusion of either Stride or Eddowes, although most agreed on Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes), there still remains some doubt in the minds of some Ripperologists.  Do I believe Mary Kelly was killed by Jack the Ripper?  Most certainly, yes.  Still, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this doubt over Mary Kelly’s candidacy as a Ripper victim exists.

*Mary was younger and more attractive than any of the others

I simply don’t believe that age was a factor in the choice of victims.  Unlike Ted Bundy, who specifically went after a certain look in his victims, Jack the Ripper chose penniless prostitutes because they were easy targets.  The only connecting factor between any of the victims was that they were prostitutes and were in need of money.  These weren’t women working at high-end brothels, or even low-end brothels; they were street walkers, beaten down by life and drink.  That’s the kind of victims the Ripper was after, and Kelly just happened to be younger than the other four.  Furthermore, according to the East London Observer, (talking about Polly Nichols): “He [the husband] stated that she was nearly 44 years of age, but it must be owned that she looked nearly ten years younger, as indeed the police first described the body”.  Nichols was forty-three at the time of her death, but apparently looked to be in her mid-thirties.  I’m sure the Ripper didn’t ask the women their age before he murdered them, and so it’s very likely that, going by appearance, the Ripper thought Nichols was considerably younger than her real age, and therefore his next victim, forty-seven-year-old Annie Chapman, who, by all accounts, did look her age, must’ve appeared a fair bit older.  So it doesn’t seem that the Ripper was specifically targeting women in their mid-to-late 40s; most just happened to fall in that age bracket.

*Mary was killed indoors, whereas the others were killed outside

This has a fairly obvious explanation – the reason Mary was the only one killed indoors was because she was the only one of the victims to actually have her own place.  The other four victims all lived at doss houses (when they had the money) and so couldn’t take their Johns to a more private place.  They were forced to ply their trade out on the streets.  Mary, on the other hand, did have her own place (as small and dingy as it was), thus took her clients there to have sex.  I’m sure that if Annie Chapman or Polly Nichols had their own dwellings, they would’ve most certainly been found murdered there.  And it’s easy to see why Kelly would’ve taken her clients to her room to conduct business (as we know she did on at least a few occasions the night of her murder); there was the comfort of a bed, a fire to help keep warm, and privacy, so as to avoid the troublesome coppers.  The victims were simply found in areas they frequently used for sex – Mary was no different.

*Mary was considerably more mutilated than any of the other victims

Again, there’s an easy and obvious answer to this – it’s because she was killed indoors.  It’s not much of a stretch to think that a killer such as the Ripper, who obviously took great delight in mutilating the victims, would indulge in his every fantasy if given the luxuries of time and privacy.  Chapman was more mutilated than Nichols, and yet nobody disputes that they were killed by the same person.  Likewise, Eddowes sustained more mutilations than Chapman, and again, most concede they were both killed by the same hand.  Even if you don’t subscribe to the theory that the Ripper was growing more bloodthirsty, needing to commit increasing acts of violence in order to quench his blood-lust (although there does seem to be a pattern of increased violence), then consider this: the Ripper was a man who, despite the considerable risks of getting caught, violently mutilated three other women in the streets.  Anyone could’ve come by at any moment, and yet the Ripper took such risks just so he could achieve his mission: to viciously tear apart his victims.  He didn’t need to stay and mutilate their bodies for any practical purposes; he did so because he was driven to commit such atrocities.  With the case of Kelly, the Ripper simply took advantage of his good fortune, a private room in an out-of-the-way court, a place where he could take his time and not be in danger of getting caught.  Really, I’m surprised Kelly wasn’t more mutilated than she was.  Take a look at how badly the Ripper mutilated Eddowes, and the Ripper achieved that in a dark corner, in a public area, and in around five minutes.  Now think about Miller’s Court, a small room out of view from the public eye, and consider the killer had one, maybe two hours at his disposal – is it any wonder Mary Kelly was as badly mutilated as she was?

*Mary’s face was heavily mutilated, and her door was locked

These two issues are extremely contentious, and provide the basis for the theory that she was killed by someone familiar to her, someone familiar with her dwellings: i.e., her ex-lover, Joseph Barnett.

Let’s first talk about the lock issue (as the Joe Barnett issue is long and involved).  The way I’ve come to understand the lock on Mary Kelly’s door is that it was a spring-lock, one that you could either leave ‘open’ (or on the latch) thus negating the need for a key to open the door (although leaving the door unlocked would mean anyone could simply enter the room); or ‘closed’ and thus, when you shut the door, the lock engages and you’d then need a key to open the door from the outside.  However, the lock could easily be pulled back from the inside, and so if you did lose the key, then you could open the door by reaching through the window and ‘opening’ the lock.  Kelly had lost the door key some time ago, and presumably had kept the door ‘open’ whenever she left her dwellings (there was nothing of value to steal in her room, and so logically, without a key, she wouldn’t have had a problem with keeping the room unlocked).  However, due to an alcohol-fuelled argument with Barnett a few weeks prior to her death, the window closest to the front had been broken, thus allowing access from outside the room to the lock inside, and so if the door was locked (whether intentionally or by accident) then Kelly could simply reach through the hole in the window and pull back the lock, thus gaining entrance into her house without need for a key.

So, contrary to popular belief, the door wasn’t locked in the traditional sense – that is, by use of a key.  The killer needn’t have had a key in order to lock the door (as it’s been thought to have happened, thus implicating the man most likely to have the missing key – Barnett); he simply had to pull the door shut (with the lock in the ‘closed’ position) and the door would automatically be fastened and unable to be opened unless either by a key – or by reaching through the broken window and pulling back the lock.

Okay, let’s now move on to Barnett.  There are two schools of thought regarding Kelly’s ex-lover.  One is that he was Jack the Ripper and killed the women in an effort to stop Kelly from prostituting herself (and, once that mission had failed, he killed Kelly in a fit of anger and disappointment).  The second idea is that he wasn’t the Ripper, but that he did kill Kelly in a fit of rage and jealously – thus excluding Kelly from the list of Ripper victims.

Let’s take at look at the first idea.  I for one think it absurd to conclude that a man would kill and then horribly mutilate women simply for the purpose of stopping his lover from continuing as a prostitute (as far as I’m aware, no one’s ever done such a thing before).  For starters, Barnett knew Kelly was a whore – it’s how they met.  So it’s not like he wasn’t aware of her profession.  And even he if did decide to go out and risk going to prison (or death by hanging) to kill whores, why go to such extremes as to mutilate the bodies – even taking body parts away?  Surely merely stabbing the women to death, or strangling them, or beating their heads against a wall, would do the job?  Why would a man who was killing for purely pragmatic reasons stay after the women were dead to ritualistically cut and mutilate them?  At the greater risk of getting caught?  It doesn’t make any sense.  No, whoever killed those women was a serial killer; someone who delighted in the act of bodily mutilation, and who, even at the risk of being captured, stayed with the victims after death to perform the mutilations and even take away internal organs.

I also don’t believe, as some authors have suggested, that Barnett was an actual serial killer; that is, a person who needs to kill repeatedly and enjoys the act of murder – there’s nothing about his history or personality that would suggest this (for a more detailed examination of Barnett’s candidacy for being Jack the Ripper, go here to read my thoughts)

So, what about the idea of Barnett killing only Mary Kelly, in a fit of rage and jealously?  On the surface, this is a more plausible theory.  More often than not murders are perpetrated by people known to the victims; often spouses or lovers.  Barnett had been Mary’s lover up until a few weeks before her death.  And, as some people often point out, Kelly’s face had been heavily mutilated, which is often present when a person kills someone who is known to them.  However, there’s no evidence to suggest Barnett did kill Kelly, and a lot of evidence to suggest that the Ripper was responsible.

First of all, Barnett had no history of violence, nor any criminal history.  And he lived for a long time after Kelly’s murder, with a wife, and there were no known instances of violence towards his wife.  A man who could murder his lover in a fit of anger would most surely show some signs of that violence, either in his past or after the fact.  By all reports, Barnett cared a great deal for Mary, bringing her money whenever he had some to spare, and visiting her shortly before her death to let her know he had no money to give her, even though they had separated – not the kind of demeanour I’d expect from a man who, only a few hours later, would go on to brutally murder her.  Also, Barnett was the one who came forward to the police after hearing about a murder in Dorset Street – the police didn’t come looking for him.  And then he was interviewed by the police (which included famed inspector Frederick Abberline) for hours, his clothes investigated for signs of blood, and he was cleared and subsequently released, the police satisfied of his innocence.  It can be concluded that the police had no suspicions of Barnett because there have been no reports uncovered to show that the police were interested in Barnett as a suspect in the murder of Mary Kelly, or that his lodgings were watched in the weeks afterwards.

Then there are Mary Kelly’s injuries.  She was systematically ripped apart; ritualistically carved, sliced and mutilated.  There were no obvious signs of aggressive violence perpetrated against Kelly (I know that’s a strange thing for me to say, considering the extent of her injuries; but allow me to explain).  With a case of domestic violence, or any kind of violence that is fuelled purely by anger or jealousy, there are almost always signs of that anger directed towards the victim.  It stands to reason.  A person is angry, for whatever reason, at another person, and so they’re naturally going to impart that anger when inflicting injuries.  For instance, if there’s a knife nearby, then you’d expect to see multiple stab wounds; some kind of heavy object handy, a lot of bruising and perhaps fractured and/or broken bones.  No weapon close by, perhaps strangulation.  But definitely some evidence of that anger.  With Mary Kelly, there was none.  She wasn’t stabbed fifty times in the neck or abdomen.  She wasn’t beaten to a bloody pulp.  No, her neck was deeply cut, and then her body ripped open and her organs removed.  If Barnett did kill Mary as a result of his rage over her still practicing prostitution (or for whatever reason), then where’s the evidence of the argument that led to her death (there were no signs of a struggle present)?  Where’s the evidence of his rage towards her?  I can’t see a man getting violent and abusive, pulling out a knife…and then slitting her throat to the bone and then systematically slicing away at her body.

What was inflicted upon Mary Kelly was clearly done by someone with both a pathological hatred of women, as well as a deviant sexual fascination.  Mary Kelly’s breasts weren’t stabbed fifty times; they were sliced away from the chest in a perverse, almost clinical act.  Her thighs and abdomen were carved away.  Her internal organs were cut from their positions and then placed at various points on the bed.  This wasn’t the work of an angry, jealous man; this was the work of someone who enjoyed cutting up bodies.

Some people have argued that Barnett, after killing Kelly, realised what he had done and staged the scene to make it look like the Ripper had killed her, thus shifting the blame away from himself.  This may be appropriate for a pulp horror novel, but in real life?  Just stop for a moment and think about what it would take for someone to do that to another human being.  Killing another person even with something as impersonal as a gun is not something everyone can do.  It takes a lot to stand there and pull the trigger.  It’s harder still if you kill someone with your hands or with a knife.  It’s not just the physical act of committing the murder, but the aftermath, the shock and fear and repulsion.  Now times those feelings by a thousand when dealing with post mortem mutilation.  I get a touch queasy when cutting up a raw piece of steak; I couldn’t even begin to imagine cutting up a human being like what Mary Kelly’s killer did.  So we’re to assume then that, after killing Mary in a fit of anger, rather than feeling remorseful and sick over having killed the woman he loved (he had to have cared about her, or he wouldn’t have harboured such strong emotions to kill her), his thoughts went straight to not wanting to be caught, and making it look like a Ripper murder?  As easy as that?  Even if he did think such a thing, thinking it and actually carrying out such a heinous deed are two very different beasts.  Again, I ask you to ponder the scene: a man, who up until that point hasn’t displayed any known acts of violence, and who had just murdered his lover, spends the next hour or so methodically carving up said lover: cutting her throat as to almost sever the head; stripping away her thighs and abdomen; slicing away her breasts; and cutting out her uterus, kidneys, liver, intestines, spleen and heart, and placing these objects by her feet and under her head, and the strips of flesh on the table.  Could a man such as Barnett really do such a thing?  I don’t believe so.  Any person who could do that to another human being, particularly someone he cared about, is someone with deep mental problems and is most likely a psychopath in their own right.  And if that was the case, then why didn’t Barnett kill before or after Mary Kelly?

No, I’m sorry, I just can’t see any scenario that involves Barnett killing Kelly and then mutilating her to make it look like a Ripper murder.  Not only is it illogical, but all evidence points to her killer being a mentally disturbed serial killer.

But what of her facial mutilations?  Does this indicate the killer knew Kelly?  I don’t believe so.  Remember, Eddowes’s face was also badly mutilated, along with her torso.  I simply think the Ripper was taking his internalised hatred of women out on their faces, along with their bodies, either as a new development in his signature because he had discovered it also gave him pleasure, or because, in order to commit the particularly horrible mutilations on Eddowes and Kelly, he needed to depersonalise them.  With cases of domestic murder where the face is mutilated, it’s often the area most heavily mutilated.  In Kelly’s case (as with Eddowes), the face was equally as massacred as the body.  He simply attacked the whole being, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the killer was known to the victim.

So, what were the signs that Mary Kelly was killed by the murderer known as Jack the Ripper?

Well, for starters, like the other four, she was a poor prostitute killed in the early hours, in the Whitechapel district.  So, same victimology.  Robbery didn’t appear to be a motive, and her lovers and ex-lovers were investigated and cleared.  The killer murdered Kelly in an out-of-the-way spot (in this case her dwellings), and the actual cause of death appeared to be severance of the carotid artery – just like the other four victims.  So, same M.O. – even though, it should be mentioned, there were some minor variances with Kelly in this regard.  Namely, that death occurred as a result of the right carotid artery being cut, rather than the left, as was the case with the previous four victims.  This was most probably due to the fact that the right side of Kelly’s bed was resting against a wooden partition (if you were standing beside the bed facing the partition), so the killer had no room to position himself at his preferred side, the right, having instead to come at her from her left side while inflicting the fatal blow (the other times he was able to be positioned at his victims’ right side, cutting their throat with his right hand, from left to right).  The other minor variance was that there were some small nicks on Kelly’s hands and arms, possibly indicating some advanced warning of attack and an effort on her part to deflect the knife (that, or maybe the killer simply cut her fingers and arms during the extensive mutilations).  In the other cases, there was no evidence of defensive wounds.  There’s no way of knowing what took place in that tiny hovel in the early hours of that terrible morning, but Kelly was found almost completely naked (she was wearing only a chemise), her clothes folded neatly on a nearby chair, and the right side sheets were drenched with blood and the wooden partition also splashed with blood (those splashes of blood on the partition were most likely caused by arterial spray, and so along with the sheets on that side being blood-drenched, suggest the throat-wound was the first wound inflicted on Kelly).  Coupled with the cries of “murder” that several residents of the court heard (at around 4 o’clock, which may or may not have been Kelly), it’s possible then that Kelly, while lying on the bed, perhaps ready to conduct business, had advanced warning of the attack.  Still, neither of these minor variances means her killer wasn’t the same one who murdered the previous four women.  There were slight variances with all the murders, but the basic M.O. of the Ripper was still present with Kelly.  And again, the heavy mutilations, concentrating on the victim’s torso and private areas, are consistent with the Ripper’s signature (also, like with Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes, it appears that the killer made an attempt to sever the head from the body).  The position the body was left in is also reminiscent of the previous murders.  Just like the others (apart from Stride, who was found on her left side, legs drawn up), Kelly was found on her back, legs parted.  Compare the in situ sketch of Eddowes lying dead in Mitre Square with that of the famous photograph of Kelly on the bed: the two are eerily similar, right down to the way the heads are turned to the left.  Really, you could see Kelly as an extension of the Eddowes murder – similar injuries, similar position in death; just more severe mutilations.

I think it’s clear that Kelly was murdered by the same killer as the other victims: same victimology, same M.O. and same signature.  As I mentioned, the doctors (and police) at the time had no qualms about including Kelly as another Ripper victim.  Doctor Bond, who directly examined Kelly, and who examined the other four cases and submitted a report on the Ripper murders to Sir. Robert Anderson, was of the opinion that the five canonical victims were all killed by the same hand, and that the mutilations (inflicted upon Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly) were “Of the same character”.

Taking a fascinating side-step for a moment (and yet still related to Mary Kelly’s murder), Doctor Thomas Bond wrote what is now generally considered to be the first-ever offender profile, with the aforementioned report he wrote for Anderson.  He wrote:

I beg to report that I have read the notes of the 4 Whitechapel Murders viz:-

1. Buck’s Row.

2. Hanbury Street.

3. Berner’s Street.

4. Mitre Square.

I have also made a Post Mortem Examination of the mutilated remains of a woman found yesterday in a small room in Dorset Street

1. All five murders were no doubt committed by the same hand. In the first four the throats appear to have been cut from left to right. In the last case owing to the extensive mutilation it is impossible to say in what direction the fatal cut was made, but arterial blood was found on the wall in splashes close to where the woman’s head must have been lying.

2. All the circumstances surrounding the murders lead me to form the opinion that the women must have been lying down when murdered and in every case the throat was first cut.

3. In the four murders of which I have seen the notes only, I cannot form a very definite opinion as to the time that had elapsed between the murder and the discovering of the body.

In one case, that of Berner’s Street, the discovery appears to have been made immediately after the deed – In Buck’s Row, Hanbury Street, and Mitre Square three or four hours only could have elapsed. In the Dorset Street case the body was lying on the bed at the time of my visit, 2 o’clock, quite naked and mutilated as in the annexed report –

Rigor Mortis had set in, but increased during the progress of the examination. From this it is difficult to say with any degree of certainty the exact time that had elapsed since death as the period varies from 6 to 12 hours before rigidity sets in. The body was comparatively cold at 2 o’clock and the remains of a recently taken meal were found in the stomach and scattered about over the intestines. It is, therefore, pretty certain that the woman must have been dead about 12 hours and the partly digested food would indicate: that death took place about 3 or 4 hours after the food was taken, so one or two o’clock in the morning would be the probable time of the murder.

4. In all the cases there appears to be no evidence of struggling and the attacks were probably so sudden and made in such a position that the women could neither resist nor cry out. In the Dorset Street case the corner of the sheet to the right of the woman’s head was much cut and saturated with blood, indicating that the face may have been covered with the sheet at the time of the attack.

5. In the four first cases the murderer must have attacked from the right side of the victim. In the Dorset Street case, he must have attacked from in front or from the left, as there would be no room for him between the wall and the part of the bed on which the woman was lying.

Again, the blood had flowed down on the right side of the woman and spurted on to the wall.

6. The murderer would not necessarily be splashed or deluged with blood, but his hands and arms must have been covered and parts of his clothing must certainly have been smeared with blood.

7. The mutilations in each case excepting the Berner’s Street one were all of the same character and shewed clearly that in all the murders, the object was mutilation.

8. In each case the mutilation was inflicted by a person who had no scientific nor anatomical knowledge. In my opinion he does not even possess the technical knowledge of a butcher or horse slaughterer or any person accustomed to cut up dead animals.

9. The instrument must have been a strong knife at least six inches long, very sharp, pointed at the top and about an inch in width. It may have been a clasp knife, a butcher’s knife or a surgeon’s knife. I think it was no doubt a straight knife.

10. The murderer must have been a man of physical strength and of great coolness and daring. There is no evidence that he had an accomplice. He must in my opinion be a man subject to periodical attacks of Homicidal and erotic mania. The character of the mutilations indicate that the man may be in a condition sexually, that may be called satyriasis. It is of course possible that the Homicidal impulse may have developed from a revengeful or brooding condition of the mind, or that Religious Mania may have been the original disease, but I do not think either hypothesis is likely. The murderer in external appearance is quite likely to be a quiet inoffensive looking man probably middleaged and neatly and respectably dressed. I think he must be in the habit of wearing a cloak or overcoat or he could hardly have escaped notice in the streets if the blood on his hands or clothes were visible.

11. Assuming the murderer to be such a person as I have just described he would probably be solitary and eccentric in his habits, also he is most likely to be a man without regular occupation, but with some small income or pension. He is possibly living among respectable persons who have some knowledge of his character and habits and who may have grounds for suspicion that he is not quite right in his mind at times. Such persons would probably be unwilling to communicate suspicions to the Police for fear of trouble or notoriety, whereas if there were a prospect of reward it might overcome their scruples.

A remarkable bit of insight that predates modern criminal profiling by almost a hundred years.  In his report, Bond laid out basically everything that I (and I’m sure a lot of other researchers) believe about the canonical five and the Ripper himself.

So, in summation, I believe that Mary Kelly was murdered by the same man who murdered at least four other women.  The fact is, there was a lust-murderer stalking the streets of Whitechapel killing and then butchering lowly prostitutes in dark, out-of-the-way places.  So to say that Kelly, a lowly prostitute who was killed and then butchered in an out-of-the-way place, in an incredibly similar manner as the previous four victims, wasn’t a victim of Jack the Ripper is, to me, unfounded and goes against all known and available evidence.  I’m inclined to agree with the doctors and police of the day – Mary Jane Kelly was the victim of Jack the Ripper (whoever that was).

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Published on November 8, 2010 at 11:51 am  Comments (21)  

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  1. Since you\’re from Australia, might you comment on this genealogical thread started by OZ. It concerns a Mary Jane Kelly candidate. If she had kids when she lived in England or Wales, you\’d think she\’d have descendants in Australia or Canada, wouldn\’t you?

    http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=2576.new#new

  2. Heres an MJk from Yoliverpool.

    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-41892.html

    • Thanks, Randy, I’ll go over and have a look.

  3. ” In each case the mutilation was inflicted by a person who had no scientific nor anatomical knowledge. In my opinion he does not even possess the technical knowledge of a butcher or horse slaughterer or any person accustomed to cut up dead animals.”

    Wonder why Bond said that ? I think the attacks showed remarkable knowledge of anatomy. You ask the ordinary person where their kidneys, spleen or liver are and you will be surprised how many people get them wrong. I think it takes some skill to remove any organ and in some cases JtR only had minutes to do it, and in very poor light !

    • Hello Amanda,

      Yes, that’s about the only part of Bond’s report I don’t agree with. I do think the Ripper had some anatomical knowledge, such as a butcher or slaughterer might possess. I don’t think he had to have any great skill or knowledge, however. Yes he cut out organs, but there’s no way to know whether he was after the kidney or uterus specifically, or whether he simply reached in, felt around, and then sliced whatever was at hand.

      Best,
      Brett.

  4. Hello Brett,

    Let me just congratulate you on such a great site.

    Anyway, I found this very interesting article and id like to share some of it with you and see what you think. Alot of it I kind of sit back and agree with.

    Sorry i couldnt just send a link, i copied and pasted it on my notepad a while back to read in my own time and cannot remember the site i obtained it from.

    Thanks to this publication i was reading it caused alot of doubt in my mind as to a certern testimony of 1 of her leading witnesses. I would love your opinions on it.

    Basically George Hutchinsons testimony…alot if it doesnt really make sense but here is some of the article…

    At about 10:45 a.m. on the morning of the 9th of November 1888, Thomas Bowyer knocked on the door of a one-roomed-hovel in Millers Court, Spitalfields. Bowyer was an ex-Indian Army pensioner, who worked as an odd-job man for John McCarthy, the landlord of Millers Court. On this particular morning, he had called at No. 13 for the rent. Receiving no answer to his knock, the pensioner peered through a broken window. On the bed, lay the butchered remains of the 25 year old prostitute known as Mary Jane Kelly.

    At about 6 p.m. on the 12th of November 1888, three days after this murder and after the close of the inquest into her death, a labourer by the name of George Hutchinson entered the precincts of Commercial Street Police Station and there made a statement concerning the last, previously unknown movements of the deceased and of a man who had picked her up. A man who became the focal point in the hunt for ‘Jack the Ripper’. Yet the statement of George Hutchinson, cannot be relied upon. For a detailed study of this document and the topography it covers, reveals that it was almost certainly fabricated and we must review his testimony.

    Statement of George Hutchinson:

    “About 2:00 a.m. on the 9th I was coming by Thrawl Street, Commercial Street and just before I got to Flower and Dean Street I met the murdered woman Kelly and she said to me: “Hutchinson, will you lend me sixpence?” I said: “I can’t. I have spent all my money going down to Romford”. She said: “Good morning, I must go and find some money. She went away to Thrawl Street. A man coming in the opposite direction to Kelly (I.e. from Aldgate) tapped her on the shoulder and said something to her. They both burst out laughing. I heard her say: “All right” to him and the man said: “You will be alright for what I have told you”. He then placed his right hand around her shoulder. He also had a kind of small parcel in his left hand with a kind of strap around it. I stood against the lamp of the Queen’s Head Public House and watched him. They both came past me and the man hung his head down with his hat over his eyes. I stooped down and looked him in the face. He looked at me stern. They both went into Dorset Street. I followed them. They both stood on the corner of the court for about three minutes. He said something to her. She said: “All right, my dear. Come along. You will be comfortable”. He then placed his arm on her shoulder and she gave him a kiss. She said she had lost her handkerchief. He then pulled out his handkerchief, a red one, and gave it to her. They both went up the court together. I went to the court to see if I could see them, but I could not. I stood there for about three quarters of an hour to see if they came out. They did not, so I went away.”

    Description of the man:

    ‘Age about thirty four or thirty five; height five feet six inches; complexion pale; dark eyes and eyelashes; slight moustache curled up at each end and hair dark; very surly looking; dress – long dark coat; collar and cuffs trimmed with astrakhan and a dark jacket underneath; light waistcoat; dark trousers; dark felt hat turned down in the middle; button boots and gaiters with white buttons: wore a very thick gold chain with linen collar; black tie with horseshoe pin; respectable appearance; walked very sharp; Jewish appearance.’

    Hutchinson’s eye witness account, was of immediate importance to the police. Furthermore, his recall of events taking place in Commercial Street that night, included a most remarkable detailed description of Kelly’s client. Curiously however, he never furnished a physical description of Mary Kelly. And it appears astonishing that the police seemingly never asked for one, for the butchered remains found on her bed in Millers Court, resembled more a slaughterhouse carcass than a woman. But now as a result of this labourer’s statement, the police were concentrating their efforts in looking for a man of Jewish appearance. News of this filtered through the grapevine of the East End and the newspapers, which must have been greeted with relief by a certain stout man with a red moustache, who was the original suspect sought in connection with Mary Kelly’s murder. But, now thanks to Hutchinson’s testimony, he was no longer a hunted man.

    Yet the labourer’s statement, reveals some disturbing anomalies for Hutchinson. Despite all his certainty as to that nights events, which he so ably described, he was curiously unsure as to his own whereabouts on the night in question.

    Hutchinson stated that he met Mary Kelly on the corner of Flower and Dean Street and that after a few words, she left him to walk down Commercial Street. A man coming in the opposite direction, stopped her and spoke to her. Hutchinson related: “…he then placed his hand around her shoulders. He also had a kind of parcel in his left hand with a kind of strap around it. I stood against the lamp of the Queen’s Head and watched him.”
    According to his account, Hutchinson was outside the ‘Queen’s Head at the corner of Flower and Dean Street’. But astonishingly, there was no public house by any name at this location. Instead, as a contemporary map reveals, there was only the bleak rise of a tenement block, to be found there.
    As to the ‘Queen’s Head’: this public house, rather than being located at the corner intersection of Flower and Dean Street, was actually located at the corner intersection of Commercial Street and Fashion Street. And to have reached it, Hutchinson would have to have turned his back on the couple he said he was observing, to walk further up Commercial Street. A distance, according to an Ordnance Survey Map, of one hundred and twenty yards.

    Therefore, Hutchinson’s contention that he watched a man engage Kelly near Thrawl Street, while he was outside the ‘Queen’s Head’ and that he was able to overhear their conversation, is totally discredited. How could he, by night’s dark cover plus at such a distance, have possibly observed such an innocuous detail as a strap around a small parcel?

    In addition to Hutchinson’s uncertainty regarding his position in Commercial Street, we find a most curious break in his narrative. We have worked out that to reach the ‘Queen’s Head’, he would have walked away from the couple he said he was watching. With every step he took, the distance between him and Thrawl Street increased. Yet this episode, this unavoidable walk, is missing or has been erased from his statement. Why? Clearly for a man who could remember or recall the colour of a man’s eyes and eyelashes by night, it is a perplexing omission.

    In light of these curious anomalies, I decided it would be worthwhile to examine Hutchinson’s original statement, (which is lodged at the Public Records Office). In doing so I came across a startling fact and one of paramount importance completely absent from the many books published on Jack the Ripper, which have included the statement of this labourer.
    For the long-held acceptance that Kelly and her client passed him at the ‘Queen’s Head’, is totally at odds with his original statement that he was standing outside another public house, one called the ‘Ten Bells’. And this particular public house we find, was sited at the corner of Church Street and Commercial Street, opposite Spitalfields Market.
    And this glaring discrepancy in Hutchinson’s testimony, we find was discovered only after his statement, labouriously taken down in longhand had been completed. However it was altered by a simple expediency: The wording of the ‘Ten Bells’ was struck through and substituted by that of the ‘Queen’s Head’.

    By such an act, the construction of Hutchinson’s account became more readily acceptable. Yet even this alteration cannot explain or dispel his flawed testimony. Consequently, we are forced to consider that George Hutchinson’s account was a fabrication.

    The edifice, indeed the very foundations of Hutchinson’s story, rested solely on his points of observation, his locations in Commercial Street. Remove anyone of these key-ins and the whole structure of events he claimed to have witnessed, collapses like a house of cards. And collapse it did, as the police must have discovered.

    But why then did the police, in view of this man’s obvious unreliability as a witness, decide to accept his story? To find a possible answer to this question, we must probe a particular social condition, prevailing at the time and understand the enormous pressure the police were under to apprehend the Whitechapel murderer.

    When Hutchinson directly identified the suspect in Mary Kelly’s murder as a Jew, he struck a deep well lying beneath the fabric of the East End community. One containing the dark waters of anti-Semitism. And it was one that may have heavily influenced acceptance of his flawed testimony.

    Support for such speculation, is not hard to find in the newspaper accounts of the times. In any event, Hutchinson’s contention that Mary Kelly’s last companion was a Jewish man, focuses out the manner in which he brought this fact to the attention of the police:

    “ I stood against the lamp of the ‘Queen’s Head’ Public House and watched him. They both came past me and the man hung down his head, with his hat over his eyes. I stooped down and looked him in the face…”. By this act, Hutchinson directly identified the murder suspect. By any standard, (if accepted as true), it was a rude and aggressive act. Not only toward Kelly’s client, but also to Mary herself. What business was it of Hutchinson’s, if Kelly picked up a man? After all, picking up men was the keystone of her trade.

    Huitchinson was later to claim that he had known Mary for some three years, and had on occasion given her a shilling or two. But, why should he give her money? He was certainly not her boyfriend. For the past eighteen months, Mary Kelly had been living with a fish porter named Joseph Barnett. If Hutchinson and Mary knew each other, if they were friends, then they certainly never had much to say to one another in that capacity, when they met at Flower and Dean Street. Nor even on Fashion Street, when on her way home and she allegedly passed him again. There were no words exchanged. No nods, no smiles or greetings. There was only an odd silence. Even Kelly’s companion made no remark, concerning Hutchinson’s rude behaviour towards him. In silence the couple moved on, until they arrived at the passage way to Millers Court. Here they stopped, apparently chatted and played with a handkerchief, before going into Mary’s nearby room. Yet there is no covert action here, found on the part of Kelly’s client. Indeed for a man who seemingly tried to hide his face when he passed Hutchinson, he now behaves quite openly, even while Hutchinson hovers nearby. Strange behaviour, from a man contemplating murder!

    Consider for a moment, another aspect of Hutchinson’s alleged suspect: Here we have a lone, well dressed man, who in the early hours of a cold November morning, was approaching two of the most notorious rookeries in Spitalfields, Flower and Dean Street and Dorset Street. Moreover, his coat is wide open, displaying a thick gold watch chain. A golden invitation indeed to any out-of-pocket villain, who may have been lurking in the shadows. Only a foolish man, one bereft of common sense, would I suggest to have behaved in such a way. And as such, it does not equate with the image of a cunning, street-wise killer. Besides a cold chill, the weather was overcast, with continuous drizzle, reasons enough for any man to keep his coat well-buttoned up.

    According to Hutchinson, he and the murderer looked at each other intently. Their faces were only inches apart. And that encounter was just about as close and personal as you can get. Yet in spite of this, the most hunted man in England seemingly threw away his anomity, as carelessly as a child throws away a sweet wrapper. Or so Hutchinson would have us believe.

    Hutchinson’s account, although seemingly simple on the surface, suggests something hidden. We study the picture on the canvas, but is there another underneath? For his story as such, appears more suited to a mid-day encounter, rather than one taking place at 2 a.m. May we speculate then, that Hutchinson’s testimony was perhaps no more than the recalled memory of an event that took place a day or days before Mary’s untimely death? Viewed in the light of day, Hutchinson’s account has a more credible ring about it. Picture Hutchinson standing outside the ‘Ten Bells’ one morning, when Mary comes by desperate for money and asks Hutchinson for a loan. But the labourer is broke, so Mary then walks off down the street. A well dressed man approaches, (fat pickings for a prostitute down on her luck.) But in the crowded street, Mary never notices him, until he taps her on the shoulder, (these facts are very clear, in Hutchinson’s account). Their purpose agreed the couple proceed to Dorset Street, where they stopped and chatted. The flirtatious incident regarding the red handkerchief, was more in keeping with a fine day, I suggest, than the dismal weather that prevailed the night of her murder. Bearing in mind that the dry refuge of her room that night, was only yards away. The suspicion that Hutchinson’s story was fabricated, adds another mystery surrounding the death of Mary Kelly, for what did he have to gain from it?

    Certainly one other person benefited from Hutchinson’s appearance at the Commercial Street police station – the man with the red moustache, or the man the police originally sought in connection with Kelly’s murder. The moment Hutchinson signed his statement, this individual was cleared of any complicity in her death.

    In an attempt to clear the fog of confusion, we must consider the possible motivation regarding Hutchinson’s false testimony. Of course it is not unknown for persons emotionally or mentally unstable, to confess to or offer information in regard to criminal acts that they have not been involved in. Those of low self-esteem, with a desire to gain some recognition or a brief moment of glory in an otherwise drab life, predominate in that order are individuals who hamper police inquiries. Yet whatever role Hutchinson played, he was certainly not overawed or intimidated, it appeared, either by the police or the press.

    Considering that this man was placed in the spotlight and electric atmosphere, following the Ripper’s latest atrocity, he comes across as a cool and collected individual. However, in view of Hutchinson’s testimony, we are drawn to it’s most significant effect. The abandoned search for the man with the red moustache. If ever a man needed a saviour, he did and he found one in George Hutchinson. The labourer therefore, we are forced to consider, may have been a friend of the rarest kind or one paid to provide an ‘alibi’.

    Probably one of the more curious revelations emerging from this, concerns his self-appointed vigil outside the entrance to Millers Court. That peculiar three quarter hour wait that he claimed to have engaged in, (if his story was a plot to divert suspicion away from the real murderer), deserves some explaination!

    Why was it found necessary to include this period of suspecded time? Had not George Hutchinson already delivered the goods? But the nagging suspicion that something lay behind it’s inclusion cannot be easily brushed aside. The motive of idle curiosity may, on a fine day, be acceptable. But in the dark and miserable early hours of a cold morning, seems out of place. Picture if you will Hutchinson with his hands plunged deep into his pockets to ward off the chill of the night air, huddled against the wall of a building, waiting to see whether the Jewish man would appear from the room that he entered with Mary Kelly.

    According to Hutchinson, his suspicions had been aroused by seeing a well-dressed man in that part of East London, as photographs of the time will verify. Among them, right on Hutchinson’s doorstep in Commercial Street, is a photograph of the detectives of Commercial Street Police Station and well-turned out men they are indeed.

    Hutchinson tells many things, but who is there to tell us anything about him? We need some evidence, some verification as to the events he claimed took place that night. Of the two parties he stated that he saw, One is dead and the other was never found. Therfore his witness statement hangs in the air, precariously balanced and uncorroborated. Unless of course, we can find some independent corroboration or support for his story. But was there not a fourth player, who crossed the stage that night?

    Admittedly, Sarah Lewis only had a walk-on part, but her testimony throws a revealing light on Hutchinson’s account of his vigil in Dorset Street. At about 2:30 a.m., this woman passed along Dorsett Street to visit a friend in Millers Court. She saw a man opposite the Court. In evidence she said: “He was stout, not very tall and wore a wide-awake hat.” Now what was Hutchinson to say about this woman who passed him at this time? Surprisingly, we find that the ‘watchman’ had nothing whatsoever to say about her. Hutchinson in his meticulous account for the early hour of the 9th of November, completely failed to mention her.

    Yet he could hardly have missed her, because she walked straight by him to enter the court he was watching so intently. For a man who could recall the smallest detail, such as the colour of a man’s eyelashes by night, it is an inexplicable omission. Unless of course, Hutchinson was never in Dorset Street.

    Some commentators on this mystery, have assumed that the man seen by Sarah Lewis must have been George Hutchinson. That assumption must not be taken for granted. For a report in my own local paper, revealed that Hutchinson was ‘a man of military appearance’. This description we find does not equate with that given by Sarah Lewis. Indeed her description fits that of another man who was in Dorset Street but a few hours earlier. The man who accompanied Kelly to her room before midnight and the original suspect in her murder: ‘The stout man with the red moustache’. Might not we consider then that the man Sarah Lewis saw, rather than being Hutchinson, was actually the murderer himself?

    To find a speculative explanation we must go back to midnight, or just before the time when Mary entered her room with the stout man. Mrs. Cox, a neighbour of Mary Kelly who said “goodnight” to her as she entered her rented room, told the Inquest: “She was so drunk she could hardly answer me”. Now alcohol we know is a great percusor to sleep. Kelly I suspect, after survising her client and following his departure , would in the normal course of events consider her inebriated condition, have ventured out again on a miserable night when the pickings on the streets would have been surely slim.

    In the aftermath of Mary Kelly’s death, her killer now suddenly realized that there were two witnesses to his pressence in Dorset Street: Mrs. Cox and Sarah Lewis, and he desperately needed an aliby….Enter Hutchinson! Yes that three-quarter hour period, that curious sentinel claimed by Hutchinson, still requires some explanation. It is reasonable to assume that the Ripper, after his butchery, left Mary’s room at about 2:00a.m., (it is medically stated that she died between 1:00a.m. and 2:00a.m.), then returned to his own abode, only to discover he had left some incriminating item behind? Consequently he was compelled to return to Millers Court to retrieve it.

    Taking up a position from acoss the street, he waited to see if the coast was clear before entering Mary’s room. It was about this time that Sarah Lewis passed by and entered the court herself. When all was quiet, the murderer crept back into the room that contained the evidence that might have incriminated him, before fleeing once more into his own residence. Hutchinson’s evidence diverted suspicion away, not only from the killer’s midnight outing with Mary Kelly but also his presence in Dorset Street. A friend indeed for a man in need!

    A minor puzzle in Kelly’s room surfaced with the discovery of some old chared clothing that was found in her fireplace. These it has been suggested were burnt to give the Ripper extra light as he attended to his ghastly work, but for a killer so well versed in the art of dispatching and disembowelling his victims in near darkness, it hardly appears a necessary requisite. The purpose of burning such clothing I suggest, may have equally served another purpose: that of plunging the room into darkness. For by extinguishing the fire that was already burning in the grate, the murderer would have obliterated any tell-tale flickers of light thrown against the room’s only window. By this act, he would have delayed the discovery of her body.

    Interestingly by this act we observe a significant change in the Modus Operandi: The astonishing, reckless behaviour exhibited by him in his street murders is now edged with a sense of caution. Hardly surprising yet somewhat late in view of the unprecedented manhunt that was in full swing to find him.

    As to the speculative scenario I have laid out to explain in some degree the reasoning or motive behind George Hutchinson’s behaviour, I accept that others may find counter-argument in presenting their own points of view, but no argument can remove the stain of suspicion that will forever blot the statement of George Hutchinson.

    Would love to get more information on who this red mistached man was.

    • Hi Dexter,

      Thanks for posting the article. Yes, Hutchinson is certainly a highly controversial figure, and there’s been no end of debate about his supposed siting of Kelly and ‘Astrakhan Man’. His description of the suspect certainly seems way too detailed to be true, and I wonder why, if he deemed the man suspicious enough to take THAT much notice of his every detail, why not walk until he found the closest police and tell him about his suspicions? Seems unusual behaviour. Hutch not only apparently had amazing eyesight (in the dimly-lit streets of Whitechapel, no less!) but incredible recall when he went to the police days later. There’s just something off about him and his story that ultimately I can’t believe it to be all true. He may have seen Kelly that night (but even that’s up for debate; he mentions walking around all night, but it was a miserable rainy night), and he may have even seen her in the company of a man, but I doubt he had the appearance of ‘Astrakhan Man’ (as was mentioned, you’d have to be a fool with a death wish to walk around Dorset Street with such wealth on display), and I doubt Hutch took that much notice of the man. I tend to think he made him more detailed in the presumption that the cops would believe him more if he could give a detailed description.

      And was Hutch the man seen by Lewis? I used to think so, but now, not so sure. That man could have been just another poor homeless man unable to afford a bed for the night, or a lodger out for some air. Or maybe the Ripper watching Kelly’s room, making sure the coast is clear before beginning his work…

      So much speculation, so little facts.

      Best,
      Brett.

  5. Obviously if this was true he would have killed her just after 1.00 when the singing had apprently stopped and finally left about 2.00, then come back to claim the forgotten item.

    The only small discrecpency I have with this (Even though i thorougly enjoyed the read) are the fact that the stout man entered at 11.45, meaning if this was true he stayed there for an hour and 15 mins before killing her while she sang and apprently cooked/ate ect?

    Im guessing if this scenario is true then the stout man bought her most or all of the drinks to get her intoxicated and allowed her to take him back to hers. It was raining so she was wet and decided to get unchanged into something more comfortable…and revealing. Then he simply waited till she was unconceous, or asleep, then covered her face with a sheet and killed her.

    • I very much doubt blotchy face was Kelly’s killer. Like you said, he was seen in her company at around 11:45, and she was most probably killed at least a few hours later. I think she was killed by the Ripper and either she went out again later and picked up her killer, or the Ripper knew of her situation and creeped in once she was asleep.

      Cheers,
      Brett.

  6. Yeah shame we might not know for sure, but i do know that blotchy face as you call him did fit the description of the man apprently seen by Sarah and as did others if i remember correctly. Also of course the police had him as a potential suspect until that unusual witness statment came in and saved him. Plus as the article mentioned when she was with him…she was pissed as a fart…i cant see her after him going out again in the rain knowing that pickings would be slim. Meaning he was possibly her last client if hutchinsons statment was fabricated. The only reason i have to think the killer came in while she was asleep instead of invited as a clinet would be that he knew he could get in through the window, meaning..she inadvertainly took him there,(blothcy man) or told him…or just announced it at the pub while drunk.

    Also ive had a great idea regarding the clue left,the theory i have here is this..

    The blooded rag that was left by the writing…1st off why was the bloody rag taken in the first place? None of the other victims had their clothing ripped. Was it to clean his knife?? Not needed, he could have wiped it on her clothing before fleeing. To carry trophies? Chapman like edowes also had organs removed yet no cloth was taken. Besides..he discarded the cloth. My theory is that while working on Edowes..hastedly..and in the dark..he may easily have sustained a self-injury. Consequently, the murderer may have cut a strip of cloth from his victim’s clothing to bandage a cut hand. Arriving in Goulston Street, he spied a water trough; removing the apron-bandage, he threw it into the entrance to the flats and quickly washed his hands before moving on.
    And such an injury may, perhaps, explain the Ripper’s six week leave of absence which ended with the murder of Mary Kelly. If this is what happened the question that now arises concerns the severity of such a cut. Did it require medical attention? If so, then a medical record may still exist, somewhere, which bears a name of interest. That is of course if the killer diddnt have medical knoledge.

    Regards.

    Dexter

    • Yes, you’re right, other than Hutchinson’s man, blotchy face is the last known client of Kelly, which does make him a suspect. If he did kill Kelly, then I doubt he’s the Ripper: I can’t see the Ripper waiting at least a couple of hours before killing a victim. Unless he either was spooked by Mrs Cox speaking to Mary/seeing him, and didn’t feel comfortable committing the act until much later, or he, too, was very drunk and waited until he was sober before striking. But, on balance, I can’t see it. I personally don’t see blotchy face being the killer, nor the Ripper: the times don’t add up and with the pail of beer he was holding, he just seems to be a gent out for some fun.

      It does seem likely that Mary did retire for the night after finishing up with blotchy face; she’d had her drink, possibly some money, it was a cold, wet night and by one the pubs were closed. And her clothes were found neatly folded on a chair, boots by the fireplace, which does suggest turning in for the night. Which if this is the case, it means the Ripper got in while Kelly was asleep, and he either knew about gaining access via the window, or Kelly had simply forgotten to lock the door from the inside, and the Ripper walked up, turned the knob, found the door unlocked, and walked in…

      Still, I certainly wouldn’t discount her going out at a later date, and because of the rain, she took off her clothes to do the deed, not wanting to get her sheets wet, and the Ripper waited until she was in her chemise and on the bed before striking (after all, the Victorian clothes were bulky, stiff and numerous on females, and rather than having to deal with them like he did the others, why not wait until she was nearly naked, which would suit him better for what he wanted to do?).

      As for the piece of apron: that’s a perfectly plausible theory. The Ripper definitely seemed especially savage with Eddowes, working hard and fast, and so it’s certainly possible he accidentally cut his hand. If so, then yes, I wonder if he did go to see a doctor about his hand. It would be an interested search to see if such medical records exist, and if so, check for men treated for hand wounds in the time after the double event.

      Of course, the piece of apron also had fecal matter on it, as well as blood, as a section of Eddowes’s rectum had been cut through, so perhaps the Ripper, hands and knife dirty with blood and faeces, thought it best to cut some apron with the idea to better clean his hands and knife once he was safely at a distance from the crime.

      Best,
      Brett.

  7. I still think that personally she turned in for the night after blotchy man. Only because i cant picture her saying to another client…(probably still not sober either) hold on a bit why i fold my clothes neatly…if anything she would have just threw or tossed them to the floor like most, not wasted anytime folding. Her client wouldnt have waited why she folded her clothes either…time is money blah blah

    Also with the rag, i think when he cut from her apron (which isnt that easy to do beleve it or not) and bandaged up…he did it still in the dark and couldnt see exaclty what was on the apron, nor did he care as time was of the essence. He had to bandage up before fleeing otherwise he would have left a trail of blood. If that was the case he wouldnt have been able to see what was on the apron. All he knew was that he had to stop the bleeding. Also if it did have fecal matter on it he would have needed medical attention even more what with infection.

    I will definately consider looking for information regarding hospital records. Im just imagining if i do look..and 1 day after the double event find that a record of an already known suspect came in with a hand laceration..possible infection came infor treatment, somewhere local to whitechapel. If it did…then its a very very strong case against who the findings reveals. Id be well excited if i found something like that.

    fingers crossed. Where is the best place to find out that kind of imformation by the way? And with it being patient information..is there any restrictions? Once i know where i have to go..im there 😉

    • Clothes were very much prized in the lower classes, because they hardly owned any. So, they generally took good care of what little they had, keeping them as clean as possible and in good a condition for as long as possible. So, I can see Kelly placing her clothes on the chair while she undressed, probably something she did as common course, and so it was perhaps second nature, whether she was very drunk or not. And I’m sure the client wouldn’t have minded. These were less hurried times, and being inside with a fire was a lot more preferable than outside where it was cold and wet. On the streets, the sex act was usually over with quickly, but if a lady had her own premises? I can see that taking longer, the two drinking, laughing, talking while she undressed (maybe even her teasing him with her undressing?). It looked like she took her time entertaining blotchy face, singing, while he drank his beer. Perhaps this is what happened with the Ripper. If she went out later and picked him up on the streets, if she took him back to Miller’s Court, then I can see him waiting while she undressed, placing her clothes neatly on the chair, before striking.

      Afraid I can’t help you with locating medical information. I’m just a lad from Australia. Since the records would be from a long time ago, not sure about privacy issues, maybe there’s a statute with such things? Also, not sure, but perhaps the London Hospital would be the place to begin, since I’d imagine it would be very difficult finding the names of the local doctors who may have practiced in the area. Still, I’d be very interested to hear your progress if you do ever decide to start researching this angle. It’s certainly a plausible conclusion as to why he took the piece of apron and then dumped it later (once the bleeding had stopped, perhaps, or once he was close to home).

  8. Thankyou for your great replies Brett. Glad i can chew the fat on this subject withsome equally as interested.

    Ok so as for the door being unlocked…how did the killer know it would be unlocked? she must have known him..i cant see the ripper turning up at a random house and just pesuming the door would be open. Either he had already been there and saw the window himself
    or while drunk she told him. (meaning blotchy) or if the killer wasnt blotchy,he simply overheard her announcing how to get in at the pub.

    That would mean that the killer was in the same pub. I do think the killer could have used the pubs to get to know his victims, blended in, buy them drinks ect. As alot of the victims were alcoholics it could have potentially made them even easier targets and easy to woo/befriend shall we say.

    Also with Mary kellys bed pushed against the right of the room leaving little room for the killer to attack her from that side, he would have had to give her her killing blow from the left of the room. chances are she MAY have slightly awoke due to his presence, a creaky floorboard heard ect, otherwise he could have just slit her throat like the others. As she possibly awoke a little he just struck fast and powerfully. All she could get out was…murder possibly. Which was heard apprently by a neighbour.
    The killer now having to most likely strike at her from the left of the room makes it seem more likly(not definite) the killer used his right hand. I found from that angle you can get way more power behind the blow as you also can incorporate your sholder into the swing.
    Plus the blood splashes were againt the right wall not the left indicating the blow came from the direction described.

    What do you think? Just more theories…but theories keep it interesting me thinks.

    regards

    Dexter

    • I admit it’s a bit of a stretch about the Ripper finding the door unlocked. But perhaps the Ripper had been in her company at an earlier time, but for some reason (someone knocking at the door, a loud group passing by) he thought it too risky and left, but remembering Kelly and her situation, decided to suss her out that night. He would have gone to Dorset St in the early hours, watched Miller’s Court (the man seen by Lewis?), seen her go in with a client perhaps, the client leaving after a time, and then waited a while and when Kelly remained in her room, he went over, saw all was dark inside, and assuming she was alone and asleep, tried the door, found it unlocked, and walked in…
      Or, maybe he had never actually been in her company before, but had seen her around, knew of her situation, and again, decided that night to go over to Miller’s Court and check things out.

      And yes, as the right-side of the bed was against the wall, the Ripper would have had to attack her from the left-side, but he may have jumped onto the bed and held her down and came at her more from the front. It seemed, though, that Kelly was towards the right side of the bed when attacked (sleeping? shying away from her attacker?) and then her body dragged more towards the middle by her killer to perform the mutilations. Also, it’s possible a sheet was either held over her face, or Kelly held a sheet over herself, when the Ripper initially struck. All of it, including the screams of murder that may have been Kelly, and the possible defensive wounds, seem to indicate she was most probably aware of the attack moments before her fatal wounds were inflicted. So, probably asleep and woke up upon hearing/sensing someone in her room, or as the attack started, she was able to let out a small, confused, yet fearful cry, hold her hands and arms up, possibly a sheet, in a feeble attempt to ward off the attack, but was overpowered and fatally injured before she could do any more.

      Still, it’s all mere conjecture. So many questions, so many theories, so little facts and evidence.

      Best,
      Brett.

  9. Hi…again Brett, i decided to email Trevor Marriot. He is the 1 who on the doccumentary states his suspect is a German sailor called Feigenbaum. Though i disagree with his theory that the killer was a sailor, was German and went to America i do however think he has the necessary credentials and abilities to find out facts i may not be able to right now. I also asked him if he knew if his suspect had a scar on 1 of his hands.

    This was his reply.

    Hi Dexter,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I would like to explain briefly where I now stand with this investigation and the issues you have highlighted.

    First of all my research tends to show that perhaps the killer did not cut or tear the apron piece and that at some point before her death Eddowes was simply in possession of two old pieces of white apron. One of which she could have deposited herself under the archway
    before her death after leaving the police station.

    You are quite right to question the issues surrounding the killer cutting it for wiping his knife or for taking the organs away in. Personally i do not believe the killer removed the organs from any of the victims at the crime scene. And I dont subscribe to your view.

    I have a new book coming out in kindle form only at the beginning of September in that can be found all my latest research and conclusions on the whole mystery.

    I have no idea if Feigenbaum carried a scar

    I will forward you details in due course.

    Regards
    Trevor Marriott.

    • I have to respectfully disagree with some of Trevor’s conclusions. I know he’s been sporting the idea that the killer didn’t take the organs, that, if memory serves correctly, he thinks they were stolen from the morgue, or on the way to the morgue, something like that. I have never read any evidence to support this theory. Also, the idea that Eddowes used the piece of apron to, er, clean herself up after either going to the bathroom (but how do you explain the evidence of blood) or to aid her in her menstrual flow (then what about the fecal matter?) isn’t a new one, but it’s one I don’t agree with. A piece of the apron was missing; the police were able to match the piece found in Goulston Street to Eddowes’s apron, so she had to have torn/cut the apron she was wearing in order to use it for whatever purposes, not be simply carrying around two old pieces, and I can’t see her tearing up a perfectly good item of clothing because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the lower classes couldn’t afford many clothes, and kept the ones they owned in as good a condition as was possible.

  10. that was his reply anyway…what do you think about what he said about the apron and the organs?

    regards

    Dexter

  11. Personally I am unsure why he thinks that Eddowes would place the bit of Apron under the archway herself…will have to read his book to find out that mystery :p

    • It’s not a new theory; many people have speculated the possibility that Eddowes used the piece of apron to clean herself, either after going to the toilet, to help with menstrual blood flow, or both. The idea was that, with limited access to toilet facilities for street walkers such as Eddowes, they perhaps carried rags on their person in case they needed to relieve themselves on the streets and needed to clean up. I don’t think this has ever been proven; as far as I know, it’s just speculation. But, there’s no denying that the apron had been cut, and I’ve never read any reports stating that Eddowes’s apron was missing a piece prior to her murder, either from a police at the station she was held at that night, nor from her boyfriend. The evidence suggests her killer cut it, and he was the one who discarded it after its purpose was finished – whatever purpose that may have been.


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