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The ALLEGED photograph of Mary Jane Kelly

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  • Looks a lot like one of my Irish Cousin's ! Who also has a very mediterranean appearance due to all the Spanish Galleon shipwrecks off the west coast of Ireland ..

    I also find a slight similarity , Jawline, Hair, Shape & size, Overall Fashion and appearance to the Walter Sickert Painting of an alleged Mary Kelly called ( Blackmail ) or ( Mrs Barrett ) . Just a thought .

    Cheers

    Moonbegger

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    • A Fascinating Thread, and Photo of a Lady

      Hi all,

      I am sorry that I missed out on this thread from last year - if it is Mary Jane Kelly's photo (and I still feel it might be) it would be a great find.

      The problem is provenance. When Chris got the photo he was under pressure from the donator not to pursue deeper inquiries about it's provenance. Understandable - even though Mary was a murder victim her profession was a prostitute, and the existing proven photos hardly show poor Mary at her best. Most families would try to recall their lost sister or daughter or aunt at her best - not reduced to a slaughtered piece of meat (sorry that is the only description that fits poor Mary after the Ripper was through with her).

      Back in the late 1980s I was looking into doing a study of Percy Lefroy Mapleton, who murdered a Mr. Frederick Isaac Gold on a train to Brighton in June 1881. I looked up what I could find about Percy at the 42nd Street Library in Manhattan, and found the Mapleton family actually did a book of geneology that mentioned Percy, and called him the "black sheep" of the family. But they mentioned there were photos of Percy, only they did not include any in the geneology book. I wrote to the author trying to see if he would send me a xerox of any of the photos. He never did.

      Of course Percy was a murderer, not a victim, but I suppose the spirit of ill-ease that the Mapleton's felt discussing that matter was similar to how the Kellys felt about Mary.

      The depth of discussion, relating to descriptions of Mary, the way her features looked in comparison to the photo, the clothing of the period (was it "Belle Epoque France" - 1880-1914; Victorian (1885-1888? or 1889-1901?); Edwardian (1901-1910?) or 20th Century First Georgian (1910-1914? - with a glimpse at Molly Brown), and comparisons with Bridget were quite interesting. That they could not get anywhere due to considerations of what a poor Irish girl would wear in 1884-85, where was the photo studio, and how come such an expensive item like a photo studio portrait was owned by a girl who would shortly become a prostitute seemed to not be discussed.

      To me a typical lover of photos (in that early Kodak boxed camera age) would be Dr. Neill Cream. There are at least two photos (frequently published) of Cream taken by a photographer he liked in London named Armistead. Cream could afford those pictures. Could Mary Kelly or her family?

      I was impressed at the comparison with Adelaide Bartlett. Interesting that like Kelly there was a French connection in Bartlett's background: she was the illegitimate daughter of a well-to-do (possibly noble) individual, who had her given a good education and helped her in her marriage to the unfortunate Edwin Bartlett. After her trial and acquittal in 1886 she dropped from sight. Did she become the prostitute known as Mary Kelly? I don't think so. Julian Symons, in his novel "Sweet Adelaide" said she ended up in Connecticut in the 1930s. Maybe, but the same description sounds like Florence Maybrick, who died in Connecticut in 1941. By the way, a look at drawings of Mrs. Maybrick (and her photos) shows another party who lived in the 1880s and wore the styles of that age. But like Adelaide (and unlike Mary) Florence wore upper class fashions.

      In fact, as I was looking at the face of the supposed Mary Kelly, I thought of another victim of a decade later: Minnie Williams, the second of the two victims of Ted Durrant in his murders in that church in San Francisco in
      1895. Something in the expressions in both photos of Mary and Minnie - like they never expected the nightmares that were in their futures.

      I may add there has occurred a strange notion regarding the "Mary Kelly" photo and identification. While I hope more information comes out about it, I recalled that in 1935 and 1943 the British police used a special type of forensic trick with photographs to identify remains. The first case was the Ruxton Case, where Dr. Buck Ruxton killed his wife and a servant (Mary Rogerson) and carefully went over the bodies removing all identification traces wherever he could. The second was the Hary Dobkin case where Dobkin buried his wife in the ruins of a church, where they were discovered months later. In both cases photos of the remains of the heads and skeletons that were found were put onto the photos of the victims taken when they were alive. The skull and skeleton photos matched perfectly and helped convict the killers.

      We have two photos of Mary when she was destroyed. Is it possible to blow up the section of the head remains on one or both of these photos, and put it onto (somehow - here I have to admit I can't be sure) the photo spposedly of the living Mary? If it can be done, and there is a match, we can assume that it is her photo.

      Jeff

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Chris Scott View Post
        I am glad to end all the cloak and dagger shenanigans that I hate. After very persistent but gentle pressure from myself the lady who originally sent this image has agreed to it being openly posted for comment and opinion.
        The alleged information I was sent claims that Kelly was one of six children - 4 brothers (originally 5 but one died young) and 2 daughters. The only names of her siblings I was given was that her sister was named Bridget and her oldest brother was named Henry John Joseph. Her parents were named Bridget Kelly and John Joseph Kelly. At an unspecified date after Mary Jane's murder the whole family moved to the USA and, as far as I am aware, remained there.
        The only info specific to the image I am posting below is that it was allegedly taken in 1885.
        Let me emphasise (and the person who sent this to me is well aware of this) I am by no means convinced that this is an image of the Mary Kelly who died at Millers Court. One of the main stumbling blocks for me is the (in my opinion) lack of resemblance between this alleged image of mary and that of her sister Bridget from the family group photo.
        To be as even handed as I can I am posting this same post on Casebook and JTR Forums at the same time.
        Also let me emphasise that no financial transaction has taken place - no money has been asked for or offered for this image.
        Chris
        Hi, Chris, how am I placed for permissions to include the alleged photo of Kelly in my new book, Jack the Ripper's New Testament? Many thanks, Nigel Graddon

        Comment


        • Hi Nigel,

          Sadly, Chris Scott died a while back.

          Regards,

          Simon

          Comment


          • Hi, Simon, I'm very sorry to hear that, thanks for letting me know, regards, Nigel

            Comment


            • Hi Simon, in tribute to your superb "Enigmas of Miller's Court" analysis I would like to summarise, please, your principal conclusions together with my own insights in my book's chapter on Mary Kelly. Will this be OK with you, please? I will of course include you with grateful thanks in the Acknowledgements section (Adventures Unlimited Press will publish it in Spring-Summer 2019, it's a factual work and I will be happy to give you a copy). Many thanks, Nigel

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