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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Mary Jane Kelly

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2018, 07:28 PM
Curious Cat Curious Cat is offline
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Default Help On Some Details

Hello, I have been lurking on the forum for the last couple of months and have now had my membership confirmed so am diving in with my first post here.

While I've read through many threads it's - of course - been impossible to read every post so please forgive me if I'm asking something that has already been discussed or, worse, terribly obvious to everyone else but me.

OK, so I've had a distant fascination with the JTR case for years - especially being intrigued by Mary Kelly's murder - but hadn't really delved into it with any great depth. I've had my own theory about the circumstances of Mary's demise for a while (it's only quite recently that I've actually been able to really study the photo of her on the bed at Miller's Court as before I could only really stomach a brief glimpse before looking away if it ever appeared on a documentary or in a book I've flicked through) but reading some more concerted reading has raised some questions I hadn't previously considered.


The door lock.

Is it known what kind of door lock it was? Did it need a key to lock/open on both sides or just from the outside? Was it able to open without a key from the inside? Did it automatically lock upon closing the door?

I ask this as I've read about Mary or others putting their hand through the broken window around the corner and reaching to the lock to open the door toget into the room. But looking at the photograph of 13 Miller's Court it seems a fair distance for an arm to reach through and unlock the latch, especially at that angle and pressed against a sharp broken glass. If the lock required a key to unlock it from the inside then that would surely cause further kurfuffle.

If it was common knowledge that putting a hand through the window was a way to open the door, why did Bowyer, McCarthy or the police apparently not attempt to do this inbetween the discovery of the body and the breaking down of the door (unless I've missed this particular detail)?


The partition door.

Is it known if the door between Mary's room and the rest of the house facing Dorset Street was able to be opened on either side?


Time of death.

The other canonical victims were found almost immediately or relatively soon after they were killed, but Mary was concluded to have been in situ for some time before her body was discovered. I've looked but so far have not seen any reference to a higher the usual presence of flies either about the body, the inner organs left on the table, the bed or the room in general. Flies would normally start to gather around a body within hours of death and leave larvae on the remains. Are there any reports of flies in and around the room or larvae being found on Mary's remains? If she was killed between 3-4am and discovered around 10:45am that's plenty of time for flies and other insects to gather in the room and around Mary's remains and leave their larvae. As they do this within a certain time frame this could give a more accurate estimate for Mary's time of death.


Any thoughts on these?
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:41 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Cat View Post
Hello, I have been lurking on the forum for the last couple of months and have now had my membership confirmed so am diving in with my first post here.
Welcome.

Quote:
The door lock.

Is it known what kind of door lock it was? Did it need a key to lock/open on both sides or just from the outside? Was it able to open without a key from the inside? Did it automatically lock upon closing the door?
It was reported in the press as a spring lock. What we do not know is how many different types of spring lock were available.
The example we have debated only opened by key from the outside, there being no key slot on the inside. A spring lock would automatically lock the door (spring-loaded) when closed if the retaining catch was not engaged.

Quote:
I ask this as I've read about Mary or others putting their hand through the broken window around the corner and reaching to the lock to open the door toget into the room.
It was Barnett who said "we reached through the window to lift the catch" - or words to that effect. This likely only meant he did this not Mary.

Quote:
But looking at the photograph of 13 Miller's Court it seems a fair distance for an arm to reach through and unlock the latch,....
Bob Hinton built a scaled mock-up of the window and door, and confirmed for himself it would have been possible.
I created a scale model in 3D on AutoCAD and confirmed the same.

Quote:
If it was common knowledge that putting a hand through the window was a way to open the door, why did Bowyer, McCarthy or the police apparently not attempt to do this inbetween the discovery of the body and the breaking down of the door (unless I've missed this particular detail)?
It wasn't common knowledge, the window had only been broken recently, so Barnett & Kelly were the only one's who knew what to do to get in.


Quote:
The partition door.

Is it known if the door between Mary's room and the rest of the house facing Dorset Street was able to be opened on either side?
It is not known


Quote:
Time of death.

..... I've looked but so far have not seen any reference to a higher the usual presence of flies either about the body, ......... If she was killed between 3-4am and discovered around 10:45am that's plenty of time for flies and other insects to gather in the room and around Mary's remains and leave their larvae. As they do this within a certain time frame this could give a more accurate estimate for Mary's time of death.
That would call for forensic investigation, not available in the late 19th century. It's years since I lived in England but normally there are no flies here in Canada in November, and my latitude is further south than London.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:15 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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https://www.belowstairs.co.uk/acatal...%20RL 657.jpg

Insert door handles and it is self explanatory.

Would need to reach 20 inches through the window to disengage the catch.

The "partition" door to the house's hallway was nailed shut.

As to banging the door,Mary Kelly banged the door to get in with Blotchy.
Simply infers the door tended to stick.
As the room was lit,Mary probably used the candle so might not have stepped out for long.
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Last edited by DJA : 12-21-2018 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:07 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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The insights about insects and larvae in combination with corpses is a late one. In 1977, a corpse was found on a graveyard in USA, lying on top of a grave where a colonel from the American civil war (as if any war is civil... ) was buried. The investigating police officer, Bill Bass, concluded that death had occurred a couple of months earlier, and that the corpse must have been dumped on the site lately.
To make a long story short, it turned out that the body was that of the buried colonel - who had died in 1864, 113 years earlier! He had been embalmed and buried in an airtight coffin, a common thing in those days.
Bill Bass was so deeply affected by this that he started what is today known as "The Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee. The real name for the facility is "The Anthropology Research Facility", and this is where the knowledge about the correlation between body decay and surrounding circumstances was developed as we know it today.

Oh, and welcome to the boards, Curious Cat! You ARE aware of the correlation between cats and curiosity, I take it?
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:35 AM
DJA DJA is offline
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One of the Royal Entomological Society's founders in 1833 was Cardale Babington.

He,William Gull and WE Gladstone were members of the Royal Society during the Autumn of Terror.
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:18 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman View Post
The insights about insects and larvae in combination with corpses is a late one.
Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong - forensic entomology has been systematically researched since the 19th century.
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:28 AM
DJA DJA is offline
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Louis Francois Etienne Bergeret in 1855.

A friend of Copley and Rumford Medalist, Louis Pasteur.
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Last edited by DJA : 12-22-2018 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:43 AM
DJA DJA is offline
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Song Ci publication of 1247 concerning a case in 1235.
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:32 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong
For once? We're none of us infallible
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"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:45 AM
Fisherman Fisherman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
Sorry Fisherman, for once you’re wrong - forensic entomology has been systematically researched since the 19th century.
Yes, I know (sorry, couldn´t resist that...) - what I said is that this branch of research as we know it today rests on Bill Bass and his initiative.
As such, maybe Curious Cat is more interested in the factualities than in any quibbling? What do you think?
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