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  • #16
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    I’d welcome a round table discussion about Alice McKenzie - just to listen to, though, not to participate in. ;-)

    The late Chris Scott had a thing about Alice. In the introduction to his ‘Will the Real Mary Kelly…?’ he commented:

    ‘It must be said that Mary Kelly is not the only possible victim who poses a problem with regard to documentary evidence. In July 1889, Alice McKenzie was found murdered in Castle Alley. She also has proved remarkably elusive when it comes to any provable references in the available records. Contemporary accounts of the case tell us only two things which may have led to some revelation of her background or previous history - that she was allegedly from Peterborough and was also known by the name of Bryant. Both items have thus far led nowhere.’

    Then in 2008 he created a thread on Casebook entitled ‘McKenzie’s aliases’ in which he bemoaned the fact that:

    ‘Alice McKenzie has proved as impervious to research as Mary Kelly. The list of names used by her makes any progress difficult. These include:


    I’m sure Chris would have been first in the queue to volunteer to join the panel on a ‘McKenzie’ discussion.

    Today we know quite a bit about Alice’s origins, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Peterborough press who picked up on John McCormack’s claim that she was a native of their city and, despite persistent denials from her family there (the Pitts), established her origins in the enclosed world of the Minster Precincts. In contrast, the London press, the police and coroner Baxter were satisfied with the portrayal of her as a Spitalfields doss-house unfortunate with a taste for alcohol and tobacco who through her own lifestyle choices had put herself in harm’s way.

    I find the change in tone in the Peterborough papers in the weeks following the first reports of the Castle Alley tragedy quite interesting. Initially, it seems, they followed the London lead and assumed that Alice might have been an inhabitant of Peterborough’s notorious ‘Boongate’ district. They then followed a couple of red herrings, one involving an altogether different Alice McKenzie, and a second involving a McKenzie family who had briefly resided in Peterborough. Eventually, though, they got to the truth (at least partially) and although all three of the city’s papers printed denials of any connection to Alice McKenzie by the Pitts family, they still went ahead and provided an outline of Alice Pitts’ life.

    So thanks are due to the Peterborough press for their persistence, and Ripperologists also deserve a Pat on the back for filling in some of the subsequent gaps. I say ‘some’ because I think there is still quite a bit to be discovered.

    I think would make for an excellent podcast!
    Best wishes,



    • #17
      Brilliant thanks!!
      the work alone in putting-posting all this!! Impressive sir