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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Kelly, James

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2016, 11:16 PM
Barnaby Barnaby is offline
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Default Profession of James Kelly

Pierre's Profession of Jack the Ripper thread got me thinking about one of my favorite suspects.

I seem to recall that Kelly was employed as an upholsterer. Would a knife be a common tool for this type of employment? If so, would the size/blade type etc. be similar to the murder weapon. I am most clueless in the field of upholstery.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:29 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
Pierre's Profession of Jack the Ripper thread got me thinking about one of my favorite suspects.

I seem to recall that Kelly was employed as an upholsterer. Would a knife be a common tool for this type of employment? If so, would the size/blade type etc. be similar to the murder weapon. I am most clueless in the field of upholstery.
A knife would be norm for an upholsterer.

Would ir be the type Jack used?

Depends on what sort you think he used.

Normally it would be short, very sharp and possibly a curved blade.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:37 AM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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The only upholsterers' knives I've seen are about 3" to 4" long in the blade but these are rather wide and are rounded at the ends, not sharp at all. Some professions had knives that would be ideal for Jack. Wasn't Leather apron a slipper maker who used sharp knives in his work?
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:44 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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Have a look here

http://www.wsusol.com/p-4498-tools-a...nife-each.aspx
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:47 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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This is a bootmaker's.

My Paternal Grandfather had some just like it. You could almost shave with the "slanted" edge.

http://www.hobbytools.com.au/bootmakers-knife/
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:29 AM
Mirandola Mirandola is offline
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Default Knives

Kelly is recorded to have threatened his wife with a carving knife some five years before the 'Ripper' sequence began.
I can't imagine why an upholsterer would be carrying a trade knife around the streets in the early hours of the morning; nor, indeed, why that would be the only knife he (or anyone else) could obtain in 1888. Knives could be bought without any legal restriction, and could legally be carried, until the 'Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act' of 1959/61.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:01 AM
Mirandola Mirandola is offline
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Default Continuation of the above

I have little interest in the 'who' of the 'Ripper', but it does seem to me that Kelly fits quite well the model of the 'Disorganized Serial Killer' into which the 'Ripper' slots like a hand in a glove. In addition to the points from the Behavior Analysis Unit of the FBI which I summarized on another thread ('Disorganized Serial Killers' show no coherent ritual elements, do not taunt their investigators and do not write to the authorities) several others speak of Kelly - lower than average intelligence, serious difficulty in maintaining relationships, inability to hold down a regular job ...
Whatever he was doctoring himself with to 'cure' his STD (maybe the contemporary wonder drugs, cocaine and heroin?) could well have spilled his already disturbed psychology over a final step?
Anyway. Definitely a front runner, for those interested in seeking him!
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:41 AM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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I think I've read somewhere, in connection with James Kelly, that supposedly those in the upholstery trade who remove old coverings from furniture are called "rippers" and use a "ripping" knife.
Ignoring the obvious allusion to Jack's "trade name" in a supposed letter, it is entirely possible that an upholster urged serial murderer might use a different knife than his trade one.
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