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  • Regarding Joseph Barnett

    Hello everyone, my first post here since visiting this site for ages!
    I have recently bought the book "Uncovering Jack The Ripper's London" (Excelent read by the way), and it says that Barnett actually identified the body of Mary Kelly by the ears and eyes.
    A couple of questions have srpung to mind, perhaps someone can help me out.
    1 Did Barnett really identify the body of Mary Kelly?
    2 If so, did he do so at the morgue or at the crime scene?
    3 Wether a suspect or not, i do feel that Barnett at one point must have really loved Kelly, so the experience of looking at a butchered body that was once your lover must have been incredibly shocking for him. Any documentation of how he felt at the time and how he got on later in life?
    4 Was he perhaps forced by the police to identify the body?

    Thank you,
    Chris from Holland.
    Every man looking for salvation by himself... Like a coal drawn from the fire...

  • #2
    Welcome Chris,

    I know I'm not really answering your questions but I've always been a bit suspicious of the ears and eyes business. That doesn't really make any sense to me unless the guy had an ear fetish. Wasn't there a more definitive way to identify her, being her supposed lover, a scare, a tattoo, a birthmark, a mole, a crooked tooth or something of the sort?
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

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    • #3
      I would agree, an identification by ears and eyes alone doesn't make much sense. But it seems to be mentioned in more books about JtR, someone told me... It's just that the thought of it shocks me.
      Every man looking for salvation by himself... Like a coal drawn from the fire...

      Comment


      • #4
        Height, Weight, Hair Color.

        c.d.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome, Chris.

          It hardly seems like there was enough to identify without sorting through heaps of flesh. Maybe they didn't want to put him through that. Ears can have moles or little identifiable quirks though. Maybe hers did? Her hair was also said to be distinctive.
          Last edited by Celesta; 09-14-2009, 05:26 PM.
          "What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"" From Pyramids by Sir Terry Pratchett, a British National Treasure.

          __________________________________

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          • #6
            Why is Barnett so sure?

            Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen...

            Barnett seems to have had no difficulty in identifying the body, despite being only able to recognise the eyes and ears. From the Daily Telegraph, 13th November 1888:
            Barnett:
            I have seen the body, and I identify it by the ear and eyes, which are all that I can recognise; but I am positive it is the same woman I knew.
            It seems almost implausible that Barnett could recognise her from such little evidence. What is so distinctive about her eyes and ears that makes him "positive" that he has identified her correctly? How do we know that this isn't someone else, murdered in the house of Mary Jeanette Kelly?

            Although I am no proponent of either the "It's all a conspiracy" theory or the "They are all totally unconnected; Barnett killed Ms Kelly" theory, surely it seems odd that he could be so sure based on such little evidence?

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            • #7
              Hi all,

              It seems almost implausible that Barnett could recognise her from such little evidence. What is so distinctive about her eyes and ears that makes him "positive" that he has identified her correctly?
              It does seem implausible unless there was some identifying mark on her eyes/ears. Some people DO have very distinctive features. Tom Cruise, Eddie Izzard, David Bowie and George Clooney for example have very distinctive eyes. And if it had have been Eddowes and not Kelly in Millers Ct then she would have been easily identifiable by her missing earlobe. Maybe it was MJK's earring that he identified, who knows?

              Nontheless, his identification seemed to be good enough for the authorities at that time.

              Nicole
              Last edited by nicole; 09-14-2009, 06:25 PM.
              ---------------------------------------------------
              "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow."
              - Ted Bundy

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Jarvo,

                If it was someone else killed in Mary's bed, who could it have been? A friend of hers perhaps? If so, wouldn't inquiries have been made to the police by her family and friends. Wouldn't the police have asked where she was known to have stayed and a connection eventually made to Mary? Wouldn't that have aroused police suspicions that maybe it wasn't actually Mary in that bed.

                And what of Mary, where would she have gone with no money, no suitcase or clothes?

                The whole it wasn't Mary scenario while possible seems quite improbable. I would expect that Barnett could identify the woman whose bed he had shared.

                c.d.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also keep in mind that that description comes from the newspaper which was probably aiming for sensationalism. They might have taken what Barnett said out of context or failed to print additional things that he had said.

                  c.d.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As for how Barnett coped there is a press report somewhere stating that he returned in the afternoon to the inquest drunk.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello Jason.
                      Some members might suggest that the report was from a gossip sheet called The Wheeling Register, and was sheer nonsence, I would disagree with that, and would agree that it was a possibility, albeit mayby after he had given his evidence.
                      It was reported that after the funeral of kelly, Barnett and mourners frequented the local inn, to console themselves, also in Barnetts own words, him and kelly got evicted from lodgings for 'going on a drink', not to mention after the murder he was tracked down to a pub by the press.
                      So that would suggest that our Joseph was quite fond of a drop....
                      Well nothing wrong with that... as i rip the tab of another can of nectar.
                      Regards Richard.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deckard1 View Post
                        Hello everyone, my first post here since visiting this site for ages!
                        I have recently bought the book "Uncovering Jack The Ripper's London" (Excelent read by the way), and it says that Barnett actually identified the body of Mary Kelly by the ears and eyes.
                        A couple of questions have srpung to mind, perhaps someone can help me out.
                        1 Did Barnett really identify the body of Mary Kelly?
                        2 If so, did he do so at the morgue or at the crime scene?
                        3 Wether a suspect or not, i do feel that Barnett at one point must have really loved Kelly, so the experience of looking at a butchered body that was once your lover must have been incredibly shocking for him. Any documentation of how he felt at the time and how he got on later in life?
                        4 Was he perhaps forced by the police to identify the body?

                        Thank you,
                        Chris from Holland.
                        Hi Deckard,

                        He apparently did make his identification based on Mary Janes 'air or ear and eyes, and I know of at least one report that says he did so from the window.

                        If you examine MJK1 youll note that the position that shot was taken from is a similar angle to one that would be taken from the front window, and her "'air is down her back, to my eye there is no ear visible, and there is definitely not an eye visible....as Sam Flynn once suggested thats due to at least one of the flaps of skin that he carved from her forehead hanging over them. Makes sense.

                        If you examine the picture youll see that there are no eyes visible, yet we "know" that they were there and intact.

                        So if he did Identify the corpse based on what he said he did..and he did so from the window looking at what we see roughly in MJK1....I think its an iffy ID.

                        I do believe it is in fact Mary Jane, but I dont believe what Barnett said he used as his means of identification pans out.

                        Best regards Deckard, all.



                        ps....edited to add......consider that Barnett may have assessed misidentifying her... if he was somehow involved.
                        Last edited by perrymason; 09-15-2009, 02:45 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Hi perrymason, I was scanning these posts wondering if someone would mention that "air" or "ear" business. It's known that Barnett had a speech impediment, and the theory's been put forth before that he was really saying he recognized her hair and eyes and that whoever was writing down his words misunderstood him. With Mary's full head of ginger hair that certainly seems likely.

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                          • #14
                            Hi,
                            Barnett had a habit of repeating the last line of a conversation, when beginning another, a well known speech condition, a great aunt of mine was always doing it.
                            This was not a stutter, however Mjk was reported to have a rather pronounced false tooth in the front of her mouth, and also was reported to have a slight speech impediment.
                            I have a feeling we have not got to the bottom of Joseph Barnett, infact we may have got him all wrong... seeing him as repectable, with steadfast morals.
                            Did he not pick up Mary on Commercial street some 18 months earlier, who was then prostituting?
                            What if HE was the one that had a obsession with accosting women of that class?
                            What if he and Mary had many rows over his behaviour, and she kicked him out when it became to much?
                            What if she had a mild suspicion that he could be the killer?
                            What if he killed her when he discovered that she may suspect , and turn him in?
                            Regards Richard.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by perrymason View Post



                              If you examine MJK1 youll note that the position that shot was taken from is a similar angle to one that would be taken from the front window, and her "'air is down her back, to my eye there is no ear visible, and there is definitely not an eye visible....as Sam Flynn once suggested thats due to at least one of the flaps of skin that he carved from her forehead hanging over them. Makes sense.

                              If you examine the picture youll see that there are no eyes visible, yet we "know" that they were there and intact.


                              Hallo PerryMason,
                              So her eyes aren't visible? Never could realy make out any eye in that picture, even though I do believe that her eyesockets are visible ( well at least the top of the sockets).
                              It just looks like a mess so its quite probably a flap of skin or something over her eyes!
                              Everyone thanx for the responses so far! Bless you.
                              Every man looking for salvation by himself... Like a coal drawn from the fire...

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