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  • Finding Mary Kelly

    In one of the rippercast-episodes about Mary Jane Kelly, Chris Scott concluded that the possibility Mary Jane Kelly was an assumed name is "almost a damn certainty".
    Scott being one of the foremost researchers into the last of the Canonical Five, I can't think of anyone more authoritative than him to make such a statement. Indeed: it almost goes without saying that the use of nom de plumes by unfortunates plying their trade is the rule rather than the exception. The mere fact that Mary was apparently known under several different names might be regarded as an unequivocal indicator that she was no different. What appears fairly certain is an unmistakable reluctance on the part of her contemporaries to swear by the name Mary Jane Kelly.
    Maria Harvey, for example, “knew the deceased as Mary Jane Kelly” while Julia Venturney said: “I knew the deceased for some time as Kelly; Mary Ann Cox said that “she was called Mary Jane”, a sentiment echoed by Mrs. Phoenix who stated: “At the time she gave her name as Mary Jane Kelly.”
    It could be just me, but these statements do not sound like acquaintances fully convinced the deceased name was actually Mary Jane Kelly, and they would be in a position to know. The glaring exception to the rule, of course, is Joseph Barnett, who seemed quite adament that 'Kelly' was her maiden name, 'Marie' and 'Jeanette' being her Christian ones.
    I can't help feeling that Barnett was a bit na´ve, and I also think Mary was quite aware of his naivety, which perhaps was the reason why she entrusted to Julia Vanturney that she (Mary) “(...) could not bear the man (Joe) that she was living with, although he was very good to her."

    But now what? How does one go about searching for Kelly if indeed the name will not help us along? Do we just take the story Joe Barnett told the inquest and reconstruct her on the basis of the alleged facts of her life? Or do we employ a more generalized approach, by which we take the alleged details as relayed by Barnett and put them into some kind of supercomputer?

  • #2
    Hi If anyone had a motive for killing Mary Kelly Joseph Barnett did.What if he heard that Mary had said she could not bear him, and implied she was using him . Would this have sent him over the top ,? i am not suggesting that he was the Ripper, but by his own \admission he mentioned he used to read the papers referring to the murders to Mary , giving him an insight to the gore of the previous murders . perfect for an attempt to copy cat. Also that would also make him the prime candidate for the alleged Grave spitting incident at Leytonstone Cemetery at the service of Mary Kelly,.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post
      Hi If anyone had a motive for killing Mary Kelly Joseph Barnett did.What if he heard that Mary had said she could not bear him, and implied she was using him . Would this have sent him over the top ,? i am not suggesting that he was the Ripper, but by his own \admission he mentioned he used to read the papers referring to the murders to Mary , giving him an insight to the gore of the previous murders . perfect for an attempt to copy cat. Also that would also make him the prime candidate for the alleged Grave spitting incident at Leytonstone Cemetery at the service of Mary Kelly,.
      The ‘grave spit’ is a tale with no basis of evidence. It was a tale told by a woman who said her mother told her the tale which she then shared with Daniel Farson in 1959. I very much doubt it happened as it was told, if it even happened at all, or even if it was Barnett.

      In answer to Juriann’s question, I strongly believe she used an assumed name. I think she partook in some form of identity theft / embellishment. The motive as to why we will most likely never know.
      Last edited by erobitha; 07-31-2021, 01:47 PM.
      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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      • #4
        Even if the grave spitting incident were true and it was Barnett we have no way of determining his intent. It might have been disrespect but it also could have been some superstition with a positive intent behind it. We simply don't know.

        c.d.

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        • #5
          Hi
          The grave spitting is oral hearsay , however its not the kind of thing a mother tells her daughter , if it were a pack of lies, Only two men were present at the actual service eight left Whitechapel Six women and two men., one of those men was Barnett . Spitting out of some kind of respect is highly unlikely. The obvious is the most likely Disrespect. Regards Richard.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post
            Hi If anyone had a motive for killing Mary Kelly Joseph Barnett did.What if he heard that Mary had said she could not bear him, and implied she was using him . Would this have sent him over the top ,? i am not suggesting that he was the Ripper, but by his own \admission he mentioned he used to read the papers referring to the murders to Mary , giving him an insight to the gore of the previous murders . perfect for an attempt to copy cat. Also that would also make him the prime candidate for the alleged Grave spitting incident at Leytonstone Cemetery at the service of Mary Kelly,.
            The alleged grave-spitting incident appears to be an apocryphal invention, and I hope you forgive me for saying the rest of your argument seems tenuous at best. Even if Barnett harboured ill-feeling towards Kelly after his recent departure from Miller's Court (which is by no means impossible), the amount of violence used to slaughter Mary Kelly in my opinion excludes Barnett as a possible perpetrator. The extend of the mutilations would not only be an unlikely possibility for a first-time crime of passion, but a wholly negligible one. Unless of course you would speculate towards a possible ripper candidacy for Barnett, but that would be even more unlikely, wouldn't you agree?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jurriaan Maessen View Post

              The alleged grave-spitting incident appears to be an apocryphal invention, and I hope you forgive me for saying the rest of your argument seems tenuous at best. Even if Barnett harboured ill-feeling towards Kelly after his recent departure from Miller's Court (which is by no means impossible), the amount of violence used to slaughter Mary Kelly in my opinion excludes Barnett as a possible perpetrator. The extend of the mutilations would not only be an unlikely possibility for a first-time crime of passion, but a wholly negligible one. Unless of course you would speculate towards a possible ripper candidacy for Barnett, but that would be even more unlikely, wouldn't you agree?
              Hi
              If a person commits a murder in a fit of diminished responsibility , and is concerned that they may be caught, The way to disguise that could be to, imitate the local butcher of prostitutes , especially if the person you have killed was an unfortunate . I am not suggesting that Barnett was Jack the Ripper, just a possible for Kelly .
              Regards Richard,

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post

                Hi
                If a person commits a murder in a fit of diminished responsibility , and is concerned that they may be caught, The way to disguise that could be to, imitate the local butcher of prostitutes , especially if the person you have killed was an unfortunate . I am not suggesting that Barnett was Jack the Ripper, just a possible for Kelly .
                Regards Richard,
                I don't think someone could do that and stay sane. It is for this reason that I think the idea that, the murder of MJK was some kind of 'pinnacle' following which the murderer went totally insane, holds water.
                Best Regards,

                Tristan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post

                  Hi
                  If a person commits a murder in a fit of diminished responsibility , and is concerned that they may be caught, The way to disguise that could be to, imitate the local butcher of prostitutes , especially if the person you have killed was an unfortunate . I am not suggesting that Barnett was Jack the Ripper, just a possible for Kelly .
                  Regards Richard,
                  Except that strategy could only work if the police were completely certain they knew who the Ripper was. Since they didn't anyone (including Barnett) could be a suspect.

                  c.d.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Losmandris View Post

                    I don't think someone could do that and stay sane. It is for this reason that I think the idea that, the murder of MJK was some kind of 'pinnacle' following which the murderer went totally insane, holds water.
                    You seem to be repeating a common belief - that finale in Millers Court must have sent him insane, etc.

                    So, how did he get away?
                    I'm no psychologist, but I'm intrigued why anyone would think this. I know Macnaghten used this line, it may have been a popular phrase in the 19th century, but was it used for dramatic effect, or is there some science behind it?

                    If the killers brain didn't give way while he was indulged in the mutilations, or the next day, or a week later, possibly a month - when & why?

                    Or, maybe his next would have been even worse?

                    Who draws the line, and why, what is the justification for that comment?
                    Regards, Jon S.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                      You seem to be repeating a common belief - that finale in Millers Court must have sent him insane, etc.

                      So, how did he get away?
                      I'm no psychologist, but I'm intrigued why anyone would think this. I know Macnaghten used this line, it may have been a popular phrase in the 19th century, but was it used for dramatic effect, or is there some science behind it?

                      If the killers brain didn't give way while he was indulged in the mutilations, or the next day, or a week later, possibly a month - when & why?

                      Or, maybe his next would have been even worse?

                      Who draws the line, and why, what is the justification for that comment?
                      Victorian knowledge of psychiatry was in its infancy. Freud is often cited as the founding father of psychoanalysis.

                      Our understanding now is obviously far greater. Back then even suicide was regarded as a bout of insanity - severe depression was not understood. I think you could even be charged with attempted suicide if you failed.

                      What many detectives are describing is something like episodes of psychosis. There has undoubtedly been violence and murder by those suffering bouts of psychosis. It’s easy to assume the sheer brutal nature of the ripper murders could only be done by such an individual. As we know, a perfectly ‘sane’ psychopathic serial killer can do these things. Especially under an intoxicant like alcohol or drugs.

                      Barnett from the little we know of him would not present as someone that was suffering from any obvious conditions. Due to his echolalia, he may have had some high functioning autism traits or even possibly Tourette’s. There is an outside chance it is symptom of schizophrenia, but many other symptoms would also present for that.
                      Last edited by erobitha; 08-03-2021, 06:31 AM.
                      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                        You seem to be repeating a common belief - that finale in Millers Court must have sent him insane, etc.

                        So, how did he get away?
                        I'm no psychologist, but I'm intrigued why anyone would think this. I know Macnaghten used this line, it may have been a popular phrase in the 19th century, but was it used for dramatic effect, or is there some science behind it?

                        If the killers brain didn't give way while he was indulged in the mutilations, or the next day, or a week later, possibly a month - when & why?

                        Or, maybe his next would have been even worse?

                        Who draws the line, and why, what is the justification for that comment?
                        I am not repeating as gospel Wick, by any means. I think it has some value and there have been a few cases with serial killers who have reached a peak and then stopped. I am thinking the BTK killer here but more notably Ed Kemper who gave himself up after murdering his mother. I think there is certainly a possibility that after MJK the killer either killed himself or was committed.
                        Best Regards,

                        Tristan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Losmandris View Post

                          I am not repeating as gospel Wick, by any means. I think it has some value and there have been a few cases with serial killers who have reached a peak and then stopped. I am thinking the BTK killer here but more notably Ed Kemper who gave himself up after murdering his mother. I think there is certainly a possibility that after MJK the killer either killed himself or was committed.
                          Hi
                          it is also possible that the killer of Kelly, was not the Ripper, just a copycat, and the killer of the other women, either killed himself , or wes committed after Mitre square. If Mary was killed by a jilted lover , he would have no reason to kill again.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jurriaan Maessen View Post
                            In one of the rippercast-episodes about Mary Jane Kelly, Chris Scott concluded that the possibility Mary Jane Kelly was an assumed name is "almost a damn certainty".
                            Scott being one of the foremost researchers into the last of the Canonical Five, I can't think of anyone more authoritative than him to make such a statement. Indeed: it almost goes without saying that the use of nom de plumes by unfortunates plying their trade is the rule rather than the exception. The mere fact that Mary was apparently known under several different names might be regarded as an unequivocal indicator that she was no different. What appears fairly certain is an unmistakable reluctance on the part of her contemporaries to swear by the name Mary Jane Kelly.
                            Maria Harvey, for example, “knew the deceased as Mary Jane Kelly” while Julia Venturney said: “I knew the deceased for some time as Kelly; Mary Ann Cox said that “she was called Mary Jane”, a sentiment echoed by Mrs. Phoenix who stated: “At the time she gave her name as Mary Jane Kelly.”
                            It could be just me, but these statements do not sound like acquaintances fully convinced the deceased name was actually Mary Jane Kelly, and they would be in a position to know. The glaring exception to the rule, of course, is Joseph Barnett, who seemed quite adament that 'Kelly' was her maiden name, 'Marie' and 'Jeanette' being her Christian ones.
                            I can't help feeling that Barnett was a bit na´ve, and I also think Mary was quite aware of his naivety, which perhaps was the reason why she entrusted to Julia Vanturney that she (Mary) “(...) could not bear the man (Joe) that she was living with, although he was very good to her."

                            But now what? How does one go about searching for Kelly if indeed the name will not help us along? Do we just take the story Joe Barnett told the inquest and reconstruct her on the basis of the alleged facts of her life? Or do we employ a more generalized approach, by which we take the alleged details as relayed by Barnett and put them into some kind of supercomputer?
                            I would guess that considering the other canonical victims did, in a sense, use their real names, or as close as possible enough to be positively identified, Mary Kelly would do the same, except they found no family and no one ever came forward as family. But for most of what we know she didn't use a different name that I recall. Barnett calling her Marie Janette I thought was him playing up the Paris trip she said she took and made her sound a little more respectable.

                            It's doubtful Barnett killed her. Not impossible but given the circumstances we know of, I don't see him capable of inflicting that kind of mutilation on her. Maybe I'm naive?

                            Columbo

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Columbo View Post

                              I would guess that considering the other canonical victims did, in a sense, use their real names, or as close as possible enough to be positively identified, Mary Kelly would do the same, except they found no family and no one ever came forward as family. But for most of what we know she didn't use a different name that I recall. Barnett calling her Marie Janette I thought was him playing up the Paris trip she said she took and made her sound a little more respectable.

                              It's doubtful Barnett killed her. Not impossible but given the circumstances we know of, I don't see him capable of inflicting that kind of mutilation on her. Maybe I'm naive?
                              Interestingly, there are reports in various papers that say her family were expected to arrive in London for the funeral, but they don't appear to have attended. Whether they had a change of heart, or this was just paper talk we'll probably never know.

                              Wasn't Barnett playing cribbage in his new lodgings?

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