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Jack the Ripper in America

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  • Jack the Ripper in America

    I was posting under Carrie Brown but this is probably a better place. There was a special called "Jack the Ripper in America" on Discovery tonight. They made a very good case that Kelly is the ripper. Did any of you case followers happen to see this special? If so, what do you think?

  • #2
    I already made a thread for this under the "Ripper Media" section, but it's cool. Yeah I did think it was interesting to say the least and that they chose a suspect that is not really thrown into the spotlight like TUmblety, Chapman, and Druitt are.
    I won't make any deals. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,de-briefed, or numbered!


    • #3
      I found it very very interesting. much more compelling than the show last week on Tumblety and much more plausible than Patricia Cornwell's Walter Sickert is JtR book that I'm now reading (I'm about halfway through, and so far, it's almost laughable that this woman would have the gall to say 'case closed').

      to sum up the show......

      Kelly killed his wife and was committed to an asylum because of insanity.

      escapes from the asylum just before the Whitechapel murders begin.

      just after the Whitechapel murders, he disappears to America.

      40 years later, he reappears and re-admits himself to the asylum. in his interviews, he states that he worked as an upholsterer in London and has "been on the warpath" ever since he left the asylum. says that he went to New York City and even gives the name of the boat that took him to NYC and the alias "John Miller" that he used. the detective verified that a boat by that name did indeed go from London to NYC in late 1890. 4 months after arriving in America, 2 JtR style killings/disembowelings take place in NYC and beforehand, the NY press gets a "Ripper letter" announcing his presence.

      back in the asylum, he names the American cities that he has been to in his 40 years of freedom and the detective is able to find unsolved murders, some of them very much JtR style murders in all of those cities.

      I'm not going to go so far as to say "I think it's him", but it was very interesting. would be interesting to know if the "Ripper letter" to the NYC press still exists and if so, how the handwriting matches to any of the London letter and to any Kelly writings.


      • #4
        Jack in America

        I thought it was interesting too and he certainly is compelling as a murderer ... but I had read in the casebook that there's no proof that he was in London in November of 1888.

        ALso, what's up with the composite drawing? Those who testified that they saw various men with the London victims all gave different descriptions with some elements in common. So where did this drawing come from?


        • #5
          If anything, it should put Kelly into the spotlight again and encourage Ripperologists to look at him a bit more closely. I wonder if that NYPD cop will write a book about his investigation.
          I won't make any deals. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed,de-briefed, or numbered!


          • #6
            More on the Show

            The program made extensive use of James Kelly's Broadmoor file which has allegedly been locked away since 1927/9. In it, he recounts his voyage to America (under the name James Miller) in Oct 1890, including ship name, which the investigator confirmed in UK maritime records, adding some validity to the Carrie Brown case (and another unknown at about the same time); then he corroborates cities in the document with newspaper files of Ripper style murders with similar organ dismemberment. There is a photo of Kelly as an old man, which was age-enhanced and compared "favorably" with a sketch of the alleged Ripper from witnesses.

            I didn't catch the name of the invetigator/detective, but he apparently has extensive cold case experience. It was much better than the other show on Mary Pearcy and Tupperty, but this is the History Channel which runs 50 shows on Nostradamus, and stupid shows on Loggers......

            This is my first post, so I guess I'm kind of a "probie". )


            • #7
              The time line is remarkable I work in the prison system and il say people are creatures of habit seral killers will reoffend this guy was nuts driven mad we all saw the photos sane men don't do that damage what if in his mind her saw his wife and the hatred of her in those women he killed? He had skill with carving and skinning knives,cutting cloth and leather from wood frames,skin from bone.
              I wish every suspect would be looked at under the scrutiny of Kelly I will bet most can be ruled out from past history or other factors.
              Last edited by Kicket; 11-16-2009, 06:48 AM.


              • #8
                I almost turned it because of all the Carrie Brown talk at the beginning but, glad i didn't. Can it really be that much of a coincidence that Kelly was always in the wrong place at the wrong time? Perhaps he was not the true ripper but he started his only killing spree when he got to the states mimicking what the ripper started? We know for sure he was a murderer so it isn't that much of a stretch.


                • #9
                  the age enhancement photo was really interesting, but not necessary because at least one photo of a 25-30 year old Kelly already exists.

                  Think of all the known serial killers. how many of them went on uncaught until they were old men? at the time he turned himself back in, he was well past his "killing prime". and from what I've read, serial killers can't just stop. getting back into an asylum or continuing to try to kill and end up caught and hanged were probably his only options, and he knew this.

                  again, not saying I think he's the murderer. but the timeline and occurances were interesting. I now know which book I'll be reading next.


                  • #10
                    It was OK but they were quite selective in their "evidence". When they didn't even mention Ameer Ben Ali, you have to wonder what else they left out.
                    Last edited by sdreid; 11-16-2009, 07:02 AM.
                    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                    Stan Reid


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                      It was OK but they were quite selective in their "evidence". When they didn't even mention Ameer Ben Ali, you have to wonder what else they left out.
                      I was thinking the same thing... I noticed there was no mention of the general idea that the victims were partially-strangled, and how that would figure into fingering James Kelly. I also wanted to scream when they were on about the Lusk letter and how the killer probably wrote it. (Had I not been sitting in hospital, I would have screamed... As it was I was going, "No! No! Put it down! No!") Still, it was rather interesting overall, and I did enjoy the program.

                      I think the detective was named Ed Norris. I'm certain of the Norris part, because I thought of several bad Chuck Norris jokes.
                      ~ Khanada

                      I laugh in the face of danger. Then I run and hide until it goes away.


                      • #12
                        Hope this comes out on dvd soon it was a good show.


                        • #13
                          I always believed the Ripper didn't stop killing after Mary Jane Kelly. It seems everywhere James Kelly went, there was a Ripper style killing. That jumps out at me. Serial killers like to stay on the move and he did that. The evidence against him is strong, but I need a little more. I'd like some kind of proof that he was in Whitechapel at the time of the killings. In London is too broad for me. Detective Ed deserves a cold beer though. He may have found Jack the Ripper.


                          • #14
                            selective evidence and the Broadmoor files

                            Next Sunday, they're going to solve the Kennedy Assassination! I could give you the names of probably 10 people who were "on the grassy knoll", and 3 rifles (including a British Enfield "found" on the roof) = in order for you to make any kind of a case in THAT mess, you need to be VERY selective about your evidence.

                            If the Broadmoor files were sealed till 2030 (read it here somewhere), how did Ed Norris get access to them?? They completely "missed" the young Kelly photo seen here, and instead choose to "de-age" the old Kelly photo. And, as someone said above, not sure where they got that Ripper sketch, but it seems a "convenient" match (especially those mustaches!) Norris also tries to tie 3 "other" murders, including Wilson and Trabner? (sorry, I disremember that last name exactly)

                            They say there were 3 actual Ripper letters, but only really acknowledge the "from Hell" letter. The NY Ripper letter in his paper cutting bears further scrutiny, but no mention of the fate of the original. The Carrie Brown mortuary photos seems a little "iffy" and muddled.

                            I'm interested now in reading "Prisoner 1167". I really hadn't heard about Kelly at all.


                            • #15
                              well lets remember the time frame almost everyone wore that style mustach it was the IN style for that time and jack's discrption would be like saying today he was 5.9 avrage build mustach wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans now go find me a suspect...almost everone wore long coats and hats.
                              a lost style today,If he had access to the files that noone else did then he has an upper hand in the investagation and investagatiors today are way better then they were back then,more tools better trainning years and years of cases and exp. I tend to belive this guy over anyone from back then just lookat the way they treat a crime scene today vs, back then.I am willing to bet if jack was here today doing the same thing they would catch him.