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A little help: What happened to the boy?

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  • A little help: What happened to the boy?

    I suspect this is not new to many of you, but to me it is a recent find. Who is this six year old boy and where did he go?

    On November 10th the day after the MJK murder the newspapers were awash with a story regarding Mary Kelly's little six year old boy, a sad story where we find a desperate Mary admitting to a friend, she would rather off herself than watch this child starve. [This] Mary lived [and died] on the second floor in Miller's Court, and on that faithful night, her starving boy was either sent off to a neighbor, or worst was instead sent running for sweets with a pocket full of money curiosity of none other then Jack the Ripper himself.

    On November 10th each of the major local papers carried some version of this same story (possibly all from the same erroneous source), come Monday morning (November 12th) it was all gone. Mary was on the first floor, and the poor starving boy was no more.

    On November 10th The Echo; The Star; Times; Pall Mall Gazette; Manchester Guardian; and on the 17th the Illustrated Police News all told the story of Mary's starving son.

    That the newspapers would have grabbed onto some incorrect information early on, and that that bad information would get spread across the spectrum does not surprise me.

    It wasn't until late afternoon that they finally opened Mary's door on the 9th, and the reporters must have been grabbing for any info they could find to meet their November 10th deadlines.

    The printing of the erroneous information truly does not bother me, it's obvious, with each report using almost identical verbiage, they led one another down the same rabbit hole. What does bother me, is that come Monday not a single newspaper* saw fit to retract or correct its erroneous November 10th report. Not one!

    On Monday the boy just disappeared into the Victorian ether, and it seems from this POV he may have been just as unreal as that ether they were always trying to convince themselves was there.

    If just one of the newspapers would have saw fit to announce its mistake and correct itself I could get by this, but for all of them to leave their readers with a murdered mom on their hands and a starving six year old boy twitching in the wind, with no closure, just seems too odd.

    All of them!

    So a few questions:

    1. Is it too paranoid of me to suggest a conspiracy of silence or was it simply that a witness who thought he knew Mary, didn't and gave bad but honest information?

    2. Is it possible that the inconsistent Mary Kelly sightings on the morning of November 9th (by Lewis/and at "Ringers") were sightings of the 'Mary' mentioned on November 10th, the one with the starving child?

    I.e. is it possible the locals were regularly referring to two different girls in the neighborhood as Mary Kelly?

    3. Who was this woman; is she important or has all this been worked out and I'm just behind; what became of the boy?

    Thanks for any insights,


    * By the evening of the 10th The Evening News did correct the floor situation and moved Mary to the first floor, but did not address the boy.
    Last edited by APerno; 08-01-2019, 12:58 AM.

  • #2
    Probably just misinformation that got spread around like chinese whispers. Were the newspapers inclined to redact errors? Did they do so in any of the previous murders? Either way, it certainly adds to the mystique of MJK's murder.


    • #3
      I think it has been suggested in the past that Maria Harvey had a son about the right age. It's also been suggested Maria Harvey was the prostitute who stayed at 13 Millers Court and prompted the argument between Joe Barnett and Mary.

      It's possible people somewhat familiar with the locals would recognise Maria Harvey as the woman who stayed at 13 Millers Court. Maria could even be shortened to 'Mary' by some.

      Maybe, just maybe, the sightings of 'Mary Kelly' in the morning were a case of mistaken identity, with the people actually seeing Maria...