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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Mary Jane Kelly

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  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:11 PM
Mary_Jane_Kelly Mary_Jane_Kelly is offline
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Default Millers court... A brothel?!

Was Millers court a brothel?

Nearly every resident was a prostitute, Mary Kelly was known to let other girls stay/work with her and the other prostitutes living in the court might have let girls stay with them too. From the reports and resident interviews at the time it looks like prostitutes were still in abundance here for some years after. Seems like a lot of prostitutes residing/working from the same location. Is this a coincidence or was it a known place of prostitution?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:35 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary_Jane_Kelly View Post
Was Millers court a brothel?

Nearly every resident was a prostitute, Mary Kelly was known to let other girls stay/work with her and the other prostitutes living in the court might have let girls stay with them too. From the reports and resident interviews at the time it looks like prostitutes were still in abundance here for some years after. Seems like a lot of prostitutes residing/working from the same location. Is this a coincidence or was it a known place of prostitution?
Both.

The evidence seems to be Mary wasn't on the game while Joe was with her. (didn't need to be).

But for the destitute female options for both earning some money and places to live were pretty limited.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:55 PM
Mary_Jane_Kelly Mary_Jane_Kelly is offline
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Originally Posted by GUT View Post
Both.

The evidence seems to be Mary wasn't on the game while Joe was with her. (didn't need to be).

But for the destitute female options for both earning some money and places to live were pretty limited.
What evidence is that? She was a known to be a prostitute before she was with him, he had lost his job at some point so would have been unable to really support them both and he left her because of other prostitutes staying in the room. He doesn't say whether or not she worked as one while she was with him but considering the evidence its most likely she did.

If all the prostitutes were completely destitute then they would be homeless or living night to night in doss houses if they had made enough money. Mary (and the other girls) in millers court might have been low class but they were renting their own rooms and seem to be doing ok compared to alot.

If millers court was a known place for prostitutes it would seem a strange place for the ripper to go find a victim and remain there while he mutilated her for a few hours (with the possibility of someone coming to visit her). Prostitutes would have been coming and going with their clients and men would be possibly hanging around, considering Mary's room was right at the entrance to the court, would be a risk to him unlike killing someone alone in a secluded area.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:39 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Here's one example

Evening News 12 Nov
Elizabeth Foster, who lives in a lodging house in Dorset street, and whose whereabouts were difficult to ascertain, made the following statement to a Press Association reporter:

"I have known Mary Jane Kelly for the last eighteen months, and we were always good friends. She used to tell me she came from Limerick. She was as nice a woman as one could find, and although she was an unfortunate, I don't think she went on the streets whilst she lived with Barnet. On Wednesday night I was in her lodgings with her, and the next evening I met her in the Ten Bells public house near Spitalfields Church. We were drinking together, and she went out about five minutes past seven o'clock. I never saw her after that."
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:52 PM
Columbo Columbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary_Jane_Kelly View Post
Was Millers court a brothel?

Nearly every resident was a prostitute, Mary Kelly was known to let other girls stay/work with her and the other prostitutes living in the court might have let girls stay with them too. From the reports and resident interviews at the time it looks like prostitutes were still in abundance here for some years after. Seems like a lot of prostitutes residing/working from the same location. Is this a coincidence or was it a known place of prostitution?
Hi Mary,

If you can read Rumbelows "The Complete Jack the Ripper". He makes a very compelling case for Miller's Court being a brothel and possibly the landlord being the pimp. The whole book is a great read.

Columbo
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:08 PM
Mary_Jane_Kelly Mary_Jane_Kelly is offline
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Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
Here's one example

Evening News 12 Nov
Elizabeth Foster, who lives in a lodging house in Dorset street, and whose whereabouts were difficult to ascertain, made the following statement to a Press Association reporter:

"I have known Mary Jane Kelly for the last eighteen months, and we were always good friends. She used to tell me she came from Limerick. She was as nice a woman as one could find, and although she was an unfortunate, I don't think she went on the streets whilst she lived with Barnet. On Wednesday night I was in her lodgings with her, and the next evening I met her in the Ten Bells public house near Spitalfields Church. We were drinking together, and she went out about five minutes past seven o'clock. I never saw her after that."
He had lost his job, through theft, so its clear he wasnt able to support them both and there is no evidence that he was supporting them both anyway. She was a known prostitute who was even sharing her room with other prostitutes and that was the reason he left her, this is fact. Whether or not she didnt walk the streets for a short period whilst she was with Barnett is neither here or there.

The point is millers court was predominately home to prostitutes and if this was a known 'pick up' place it would be quite busy. Mrs. Cox (another prostitute in millers court) said she retired to her room for the night around 3am she didnt go to sleep and heard men going in and out of the court throughout the night. Mary's room is by the entrance to the court and has two big windows, wouldnt someone have seen something? And if you were the ripper would you risk the chance of another prostitute/client coming to visit her?
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:13 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Well someone sure killed her.

Unless you buy the "It was all a set-up" story.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:40 PM
Mary_Jane_Kelly Mary_Jane_Kelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbo View Post
Hi Mary,

If you can read Rumbelows "The Complete Jack the Ripper". He makes a very compelling case for Miller's Court being a brothel and possibly the landlord being the pimp. The whole book is a great read.

Columbo
Hey Columbo,

Sounds like an interesting book id love to have a read, do you know where I might find it?

Yes the more you look at the evidence, the more it seems likely it was either a brothel or a known 'pick up' place. If that is the case it would pose alot of questions. Like are witness statements of the residents of millers court reliable? It would make sense that there might have been some kind of cover-up if it would expose the illicit goings on in millers court and possibly incriminate people. If Mcarthy was more of a pimp than a landlord then he starts to look alot more suspicious, why choose that day to send someone else round to her house to collect overdue rent when he lived round the corner himself? She clearly wasnt hiding from him as a day or two before she had gone to his shop to buy a candle. If Mcarthy was a pimp (or involved somehow) then the story about the man he sent round to collect money from her falls under suspicion also. If millers court was a brothel it would also make sense as to why more people didnt come forward with any information as they would be exposing themselves. The couple of statements that did come out were vague at best and the other residents conveniently not seeing or hearing anything is just weird. It would also explain why none of the men coming and going from the court (or the ones that were seen with Mary that night) didnt come forward with any information, if they were clients they probably didnt want it public (or their wives) knowledge that they had been with prostitutes.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:19 AM
Spider Spider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary_Jane_Kelly View Post
If millers court was a known place for prostitutes it would seem a strange place for the ripper to go find a victim .
Unless it was familiar territory and he knew her/had been there before?
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:54 AM
jason_c jason_c is offline
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Originally Posted by Mary_Jane_Kelly View Post
What evidence is that? She was a known to be a prostitute before she was with him, he had lost his job at some point so would have been unable to really support them both and he left her because of other prostitutes staying in the room. He doesn't say whether or not she worked as one while she was with him but considering the evidence its most likely she did.

If all the prostitutes were completely destitute then they would be homeless or living night to night in doss houses if they had made enough money. Mary (and the other girls) in millers court might have been low class but they were renting their own rooms and seem to be doing ok compared to alot.

If millers court was a known place for prostitutes it would seem a strange place for the ripper to go find a victim and remain there while he mutilated her for a few hours (with the possibility of someone coming to visit her). Prostitutes would have been coming and going with their clients and men would be possibly hanging around, considering Mary's room was right at the entrance to the court, would be a risk to him unlike killing someone alone in a secluded area.

As has been said Miller's Court was probably better described as a place you could pick up prostitutes. It was not a brothel. Im sure there is a legal definition of a brothel and that McCarthy made sure his practices in Miller's Court mostly stayed well away from the legal definition. At least nothing could be proven against him. He received his money was from rent of property, where his residents got their rent money was little concern of his.

I don't think it at all strange that the ripper remained with Kelly mutilating her. Part of the role of a prostitute is to provide seclusion for her and her customer(she'd get little repeat business otherwise). I think her killer was on safe ground expecting not to be interrupted for an hour or so. 4am on a cold Autumn morning must surely be a relatively quiet period for most London prostitutes.

Last edited by jason_c : 01-10-2017 at 01:56 AM.
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