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Where does Joseph Fleming fit into the equation?

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  • Where does Joseph Fleming fit into the equation?

    We have an equation here for suspects that runs something like this, using an example of another suspect:

    Montague John Druitt + Sir Melville Macnaghten notes = suspicion of being JtR


    James Maybrick + The Diary and the Watch = suspicion of being JtR

    So what makes Joeseph Fleming fit this very simple equation?

    God Bless

    And the questions always linger, no real answer in sight

  • #2

    Hello Raven. Short version.

    According to Barnet, "MJK" was fond of him, but he ill-used her. He was eventually put away in an asylum.



    • #3
      We don't know whether that Fleming was THE fleming and we cannot be sure about anything Kelly told Barnett.


      • #4
        I think we can be reasonably certain, Lechmere.

        The Joseph Fleming of Kelly notoriety was described as having Bethnal Green connections and being in the building trade. Joe from the asylum was a mason's plasterer from Bethnal Green. The only other Joseph Fleming from Bethnal Green who can be traced in census records was a boot finisher, and thus an obviously poorer fit for Kelly's Joe.


        • #5
          All conjecture.
          I bet he didnt exist


          • #6
            That would be one hell of a coincidence, Lechmere.

            Kelly invents Joseph Fleming from Bethnal Green who works in the building trade, little realising that someone fitting that precise description exists in reality!


            • #7
              There are two that fit It fairly well - law of averages.
              The other details we know of your chosen Fleming (that you didn't mention) tend to rule him out - particularly as a suspect.


              • #8
                On the contrary, Lechmere.

                The details "we know of" both establish beyond reasonable doubt that he was Kelly's Fleming AND make him a considerably better suspect than most touted as such. You can do considerably worse in that regard than a man reported to have ill-used the most brutally murdered victim in the series, who lived in the district at the time of the murders (most probably the Victoria Home), and who spent the last 27 years of his life a mental institution.


                • #9
                  If Hutchinson is a liar as some contend, he easily could have made up any or all parts of a story about Fleming in order to deflect blame. It is odd how little tidbits of un substantiated information are glommed onto in order to add credence to a suspect (used loosely in this case), but things such as records showing a 6'7" guy are summarily dismissed as impossible, and the same witnesses who had been had been "discredited" (not my word) earlier, are now to be trusted. It just ain't right...methinks.



                  • #10
                    Barnett - not Hutchinson surely?
                    But the 6 foot 7 inch bit is ceratinly glossed over as is his detention under a false name by the police and his real name subsequently coming out. If he was the genuine Joseph Fleming then the police really did blunder.


                    • #11
                      Yes, you're confusing Hutchinson with Barnett, Mike.

                      Barnett, not Hutchinson, stated at the inquest that Kelly had referred to a previous boyfriend, Joseph Fleming, who was in the building trade, and of whom she was fond. Kelly's neighbour, Julia Venturney, told the police that Kelly was "fond" of another Joe who used to "ill-use" her for cohabiting with Barnett. We can reasonably conclude, therefore, that Kelly mentioned Fleming to both Barnett and Venturney, but for obvious reasons omitted the "ill-use" detail to the former. We can also conclude - equally reasonably - that the Joseph Fleming mentioned at the inquest and in police reports was the same Joseph Fleming who ended up in an asylum, and who died in 1920. See above for details.

                      If we really wish to go over the 6'7" detail again, I'll repeat that taking the entry at face value is considerably worse than questioning its accuracy in this case. Such an extreme of height, coupled with an equally extreme weight for that height (11 stone) indicates an obvious error, especially when his health was recorded as "good". By far the most credible explanation for this anomaly was provided by Debs, who suggested that the entry should have read 67 inches, which equates to a far more plausible, unremarkable 5'7".

                      Lechmere - where is the evidence that Fleming's real name came out when he was under police detention? Even if the police did note the alias in 1892, and did make a mental connection with a name provided at an inquest four years previously, can you honestly envisage much investigative progress taking place?

                      "Give me your whereabouts for a particular night four years ago!"



                      • #12
                        I've always wondered why Fleming didn't come to the attention of the police (at least, it appears so) - particularly as it seems likely that the institutionalised Fleming and Kelly's Fleming were one and the same.

                        Perhaps senior police thought by 1892 that they had their man and had no interest in Fleming. Or perhaps they had an interest in him but thought him safely out of the way in a mental institution and proceeded no further.

                        I have no firm view, merely speculating.


                        • #13
                          I would not be happy to build a suspect theory that depends on insisting an official record is incorrect in a point of fact.
                          We don't know for sure that the police were told about his name swap - but it seems likely that they would have been told and it seems probable that they were checking referrals to mental institutions. It is also fairly clear that the investigation was ongoing in 1892. Again I wouldn't be happy to build a suspect theory that depended on ignoring these likelihoods.


                          • #14
                            I would presume that the police would have looked into the Fleming situation. My guess is that they drew a total blank - like the rest of tge biographical background to her life it is an enigma.
                            I strongly suspect he didn't exist and am pretty sure the tall fellow who lived in the Victoria home was someone else altogether.
                            Joe was a common enough name


                            • #15
                              Hi Lechmere,

                              It's not a case of "ignoring" so much as recognising, correctly, that the above are not remotely problematic for anyone wishing to "build a suspect theory" involving Fleming, which is not really what I'm doing anyway. Since the official record in question cannot reasonably be accepted at face value, it is only inevitable that the entry should be chalked up to error. We know for certain that the document got his age wrong too. I'm still very curious as to how an entirely hypothetical recognition on the part of the 1892 police that James Evans might be Kelly's Joseph Fleming detracts from his suspect status (?).

                              I strongly suspect he didn't exist and am pretty sure the tall fellow who lived in the Victoria home was someone else altogether. Joe was a common enough name
                              But Joseph Fleming of the building trade with connections to Bethnal Green isn't common at all. It's very specific, and it just so happens that this very specific description, provided at the inquest and in police reports, matches up to a very specific individual, who definitely existed. You can call that coincidence if you like, but it strikes me as a very outlandish thing to suggest.
                              Last edited by Ben; 11-16-2012, 03:20 PM.