This is my first time posting - or coming here at all, actually. Saw the program earlier tonight on Jack the Ripper in America and it sucked me in finally. It's not been a case that really got up in me, though I'd delved from time to time. I did tune in for Patricia Cornwell's investigation but I just couldn't quite get my head around it, and have been one of the ones who never put much stock in any of the letters. Just my own interest and personal education in forensics wouldn't allow me to see these slaughter style murders being trivialized by someone seeking this sort of attention, baiting cops and such. I couldn't see it, especially since everything about this killer's MO was so under the radar, in the cloak of secrecy...so to come out and send a letter about it wasn't jiving.
ANYway, I'd never heard of James Kelly til this program and Ed Norris did a spectacular job of presenting a compelling case against Kelly and I hope there's a sequel or that someone with the ability can dig further into this suspect.
I share the question, silly or not, of whether or not he was related to Marie Kelly...but as the posts above suggested, it seems the investigation went only toward the wife's family...I think the woman would know if she had an additional child and then how would this one end up with the name outside of marriage?
It was my curiosity that Marie/Mary could've been James' sister, or one he'd recently learned about even (speculation). The murder transcript link posted elsewhere had James Kelly's year of birth as 1860, so he'd have been 28 as Jack the Ripper.
It is also highly interesting to me that the first 4 victims were all in their 40s and Marie was 20something. (FBI page had her listed as 20, while photos in this site's archive read 25, so who knows but definitely 20s).
Why the sudden change in victimology with this one? Why the age drop? As Freudian as it is (which makes me cringe going here, but still), the first 4 - IF - JK was the ripper, that is - if the first 4 were 40s, they're reasonably old enough to have been his mother's age, and she'd apparently not been too upstanding herself. Then the last one, his dead wife's age (at the time).
Regardless of who the killer actually was, there's something up with this age drop and change in victimology - which could also allow for some of the other victims to be reconsidered both ways.
I see the assumption is that his MO was all about throat slashing de facto, so several victims were ruled out because their throats weren't cut open but I feel that's the wrong perspective: his focus was on the neck/throat period - and this is the area the killer used predominantly to incapacitate them all before the more brutal stuff he would do. His focus wasn't the mutilation or disemboweling - it was in the initial rendering itself and centered on the neck/throat...which should include stabbing, slashing, strangulation, cutting, etc.
James Kelly stabbed his wife in the neck when she rejected him and threatened to end the whole relationship with him. He apparently experienced what most anyone would experience when being rejected - he panic and helplessness, which would send him the message of his lack of value and worth, same as anybody. He crossed the line and it was irrational, unorganized and definitely "blitz." He was, according to that awesome link someone posted on the other thread - jealous and paranoid his wife had been cheating on him, and that was why she was coming in late. His key word for her was calling her a whore.
Now take this focus of rejection, abandonment, whoring, neck/throat, and the ages and it could (Freudian as it feels to go here) be behind the victimology itself if he's the ripper.
Why are these women on the streets (whoring) when they have multiple children at home depending on them, why do this when there might be other options - for the age group of his mother....and then seeing this younger one doing it - maybe she did remind him of his wife, who knows...or maybe he didn't realize initially she was a prostitute and after being locked up awhile and doing without, he took a legit interest in Marie only to discover she was also a whore - at the worst possible time...and he lost it.
Then too, they could've each rejected him in some actual or perceived way.
I definitely agree that James Kelly is the strongest of all of the suspects (least those listed on wiki!) and definitely shot to the top of the list for me.
Last of all, is it known if there were tunnel systems or sewers running under this area in question - I'd think anyone running down the road at any hour covered in blood would be noticed by somebody somewhere. Could a possible escape route have been a nearby drop into the sewers/tunnels and get away sight unseen?
Thanks for letting me get this out of my system