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  • Help On Some Details

    Hello, I have been lurking on the forum for the last couple of months and have now had my membership confirmed so am diving in with my first post here.

    While I've read through many threads it's - of course - been impossible to read every post so please forgive me if I'm asking something that has already been discussed or, worse, terribly obvious to everyone else but me.

    OK, so I've had a distant fascination with the JTR case for years - especially being intrigued by Mary Kelly's murder - but hadn't really delved into it with any great depth. I've had my own theory about the circumstances of Mary's demise for a while (it's only quite recently that I've actually been able to really study the photo of her on the bed at Miller's Court as before I could only really stomach a brief glimpse before looking away if it ever appeared on a documentary or in a book I've flicked through) but reading some more concerted reading has raised some questions I hadn't previously considered.


    The door lock.

    Is it known what kind of door lock it was? Did it need a key to lock/open on both sides or just from the outside? Was it able to open without a key from the inside? Did it automatically lock upon closing the door?

    I ask this as I've read about Mary or others putting their hand through the broken window around the corner and reaching to the lock to open the door toget into the room. But looking at the photograph of 13 Miller's Court it seems a fair distance for an arm to reach through and unlock the latch, especially at that angle and pressed against a sharp broken glass. If the lock required a key to unlock it from the inside then that would surely cause further kurfuffle.

    If it was common knowledge that putting a hand through the window was a way to open the door, why did Bowyer, McCarthy or the police apparently not attempt to do this inbetween the discovery of the body and the breaking down of the door (unless I've missed this particular detail)?


    The partition door.

    Is it known if the door between Mary's room and the rest of the house facing Dorset Street was able to be opened on either side?


    Time of death.

    The other canonical victims were found almost immediately or relatively soon after they were killed, but Mary was concluded to have been in situ for some time before her body was discovered. I've looked but so far have not seen any reference to a higher the usual presence of flies either about the body, the inner organs left on the table, the bed or the room in general. Flies would normally start to gather around a body within hours of death and leave larvae on the remains. Are there any reports of flies in and around the room or larvae being found on Mary's remains? If she was killed between 3-4am and discovered around 10:45am that's plenty of time for flies and other insects to gather in the room and around Mary's remains and leave their larvae. As they do this within a certain time frame this could give a more accurate estimate for Mary's time of death.


    Any thoughts on these?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Curious Cat View Post
    Hello, I have been lurking on the forum for the last couple of months and have now had my membership confirmed so am diving in with my first post here.
    Welcome.

    The door lock.

    Is it known what kind of door lock it was? Did it need a key to lock/open on both sides or just from the outside? Was it able to open without a key from the inside? Did it automatically lock upon closing the door?
    It was reported in the press as a spring lock. What we do not know is how many different types of spring lock were available.
    The example we have debated only opened by key from the outside, there being no key slot on the inside. A spring lock would automatically lock the door (spring-loaded) when closed if the retaining catch was not engaged.

    I ask this as I've read about Mary or others putting their hand through the broken window around the corner and reaching to the lock to open the door toget into the room.
    It was Barnett who said "we reached through the window to lift the catch" - or words to that effect. This likely only meant he did this not Mary.

    But looking at the photograph of 13 Miller's Court it seems a fair distance for an arm to reach through and unlock the latch,....
    Bob Hinton built a scaled mock-up of the window and door, and confirmed for himself it would have been possible.
    I created a scale model in 3D on AutoCAD and confirmed the same.

    If it was common knowledge that putting a hand through the window was a way to open the door, why did Bowyer, McCarthy or the police apparently not attempt to do this inbetween the discovery of the body and the breaking down of the door (unless I've missed this particular detail)?
    It wasn't common knowledge, the window had only been broken recently, so Barnett & Kelly were the only one's who knew what to do to get in.


    The partition door.

    Is it known if the door between Mary's room and the rest of the house facing Dorset Street was able to be opened on either side?
    It is not known


    Time of death.

    ..... I've looked but so far have not seen any reference to a higher the usual presence of flies either about the body, ......... If she was killed between 3-4am and discovered around 10:45am that's plenty of time for flies and other insects to gather in the room and around Mary's remains and leave their larvae. As they do this within a certain time frame this could give a more accurate estimate for Mary's time of death.
    That would call for forensic investigation, not available in the late 19th century. It's years since I lived in England but normally there are no flies here in Canada in November, and my latitude is further south than London.
    Regards, Jon S.

    Comment


    • #3
      https://www.belowstairs.co.uk/acatal...ck%20RL657.jpg

      Insert door handles and it is self explanatory.

      Would need to reach 20 inches through the window to disengage the catch.

      The "partition" door to the house's hallway was nailed shut.

      As to banging the door,Mary Kelly banged the door to get in with Blotchy.
      Simply infers the door tended to stick.
      As the room was lit,Mary probably used the candle so might not have stepped out for long.
      Last edited by DJA; 12-21-2018, 09:37 PM.
      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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      • #4
        The insights about insects and larvae in combination with corpses is a late one. In 1977, a corpse was found on a graveyard in USA, lying on top of a grave where a colonel from the American civil war (as if any war is civil... ) was buried. The investigating police officer, Bill Bass, concluded that death had occurred a couple of months earlier, and that the corpse must have been dumped on the site lately.
        To make a long story short, it turned out that the body was that of the buried colonel - who had died in 1864, 113 years earlier! He had been embalmed and buried in an airtight coffin, a common thing in those days.
        Bill Bass was so deeply affected by this that he started what is today known as "The Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee. The real name for the facility is "The Anthropology Research Facility", and this is where the knowledge about the correlation between body decay and surrounding circumstances was developed as we know it today.

        Oh, and welcome to the boards, Curious Cat! You ARE aware of the correlation between cats and curiosity, I take it?

        Comment


        • #5
          One of the Royal Entomological Society's founders in 1833 was Cardale Babington.

          He,William Gull and WE Gladstone were members of the Royal Society during the Autumn of Terror.
          My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
            The insights about insects and larvae in combination with corpses is a late one.
            Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong - forensic entomology has been systematically researched since the 19th century.

            Comment


            • #7
              Louis Francois Etienne Bergeret in 1855.

              A friend of Copley and Rumford Medalist, Louis Pasteur.
              Last edited by DJA; 12-22-2018, 05:30 AM.
              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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              • #8
                Song Ci publication of 1247 concerning a case in 1235.
                My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                  Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong
                  For once? We're none of us infallible
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                  • #10
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WC6EbRQmJ0

                    My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                      Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong - forensic entomology has been systematically researched since the 19th century.
                      Yes, I know (sorry, couldn´t resist that...) - what I said is that this branch of research as we know it today rests on Bill Bass and his initiative.
                      As such, maybe Curious Cat is more interested in the factualities than in any quibbling? What do you think?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                        For once? We're none of us infallible
                        Makes me think of that story of a man who visited a mental institution and was told by one of the inmates that he was Napoleon.
                        On being asked why he thought so, the inmate said "Because God told me", whereupon a voice was heard from the adjoining room:
                        "No, I did NOT!"

                        Merry Christmas, Gareth!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                          Yes, I know (sorry, couldn´t resist that...) - what I said is that this branch of research as we know it today rests on Bill Bass and his initiative.
                          As such, maybe Curious Cat is more interested in the factualities than in any quibbling? What do you think?
                          Bill Bass was a forensic anthropologist ..... or a fish
                          My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                            It wasn't common knowledge, the window had only been broken recently, so Barnett & Kelly were the only one's who knew what to do to get in.
                            Hi Wickerman. Fair enough, but common knowledge or not, it would have been pretty darned obvious wouldn't it? When a person accidently locks him or herself out, the first thing they do is rattle the knob. The second thing is to check all the windows.

                            With all those coppers assembled in Miller's Court, none of them thought to apply Housebreaking 101?

                            As an alernative explaination, in 1889 we have Inspector Henry Moore stating directly that the door lock was jammed. No one wants to hear it, but it does explain McCarthy's pickaxe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I did an in-depth 3D VR mockup of No13 and was able to put my arm through the broken window and reach the door lock. The videos have been deleted now because I was creating the model you see in the video below.

                              In VR it's possible to recreate anything given enough background details, specs and measurements.
                              Miller's Court in 3D:

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlqo...e=youtu.be&t=1
                              ---------------------------------------------------
                              JtR3D.com JtR 3D Blog
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                              HHAP

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