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Did Mary Jane Kelly Really Exist?

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  • Did Mary Jane Kelly Really Exist?

    While making serious, complex comments about Mary Jane Kelly on another thread, Simon Wood replied with the comment I have posted somewhere here, hopefully at the bottom.

    What if MJK one way or another entered into prostitution as a young girl? What if she was trafficked? That could account for her history that seems to have no researchable truth to it.

    I have wondered a lot about her splitting from what appears to have been organised prostitution ranging from Cardiff to West London to East London. Did they let her go? Did she have bad habits like drinking too much? Or did she get too old? Did she no longer look like or pass as a virgin for instance? If traffickers wanted young girls, 22 or 24 years of age was over the hill to use an American colloquialism.

    If she entered prostitution as a young girl, perhaps her family was bad or sold her into it. Maybe she got dragged into it some other way and was ashamed to embarrass her family. Maybe she was a poor, Welsh village girl who was recruited to Cardiff with promise of wealth. There seemed to be a lot of that going on at the relative times, according to the Welsh papers. (I was never able to find any line from Cardiff to London and beyond nor could I ever connect French or Belgian procurers to Cardiff, Newport or Swansea.)
    Attached Files
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

  • #2
    I think Simon maybe close, but I suspect for the wrong reason's.

    I have a suspicion, not a theory or a belief. But I suspect we might have actually found Mary Kelly, just have not realized it yet.

    Mary Kelly may be the most investigated person in this series of murders, yet she has remained invisible to even the best researchers. Which suggests to me the name used by the victim was not her real name.

    I'd be inclined to speculate that if the victim found in room 13 was not the real Mary Kelly, then the woman who lived under that name may have been the cousin who hailed from Cardiff.

    That is the reason we have not found Mary Kelly, she never died in that room. The Mary Kelly located was still alive in the census records after 1888, which caused everyone to look for someone else. But no-one has looked for the cousin.
    It's just an avenue I think needs to be explored.
    Regards, Jon S.
    "
    The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
    " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
    Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are plenty of instances of identity theft going back well into the Victorian era and beyond, could this have been the case here? The 'real' Mary Kelly may have kept silent out of embarrasment or just unaware that her identity was being used. Identity theft is nothing new, a sailor who was recorded as going down with the Titanic turned up on his doorstep much to the shock of his 'widow'. Apparently someone had stolen his papers to get a job on the Titanic.

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      • #4
        Phillip and Wickerman, those are interesting thoughts.

        I am still partly hung up on the Marie Jeanette issue. (I have a saint's name and am not totally of my exact name.) It could have been the French whorehouse version of Mary Jane but why is Barnett the only one who knew it? Except I think Mrs. Phoenix/Felix put herself out there to cover unsavoury activities in the region of Pennington Street. Do we know if Mrs. Phoenix was an Englishwoman? I suspect she was the acceptable spokesperson for the clan and the business.
        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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        • #5
          I have doubts about MJK even being a Ripper victim. A possible scenario is that Barnett was pimping her and she refused to prostitute herself for him any more. This is the reason I think he made up a lot of her 'history' to distance himself from her. Also Hutchinson's evidence IMHO is just to good to be true, has anyone looked into any connection between Hutchinson and Barnett?

          Comment


          • #6
            Mary Kelly

            Like Jack himself, I believe it will always prove elusive to positively identify Ms. Kelly - and not to discount the opinions of others - but I feel that is more to blame on spotty record keeping, the hectic life swirling around the East End, and no one really caring about unfortunates.
            I have always felt that the Kelly killing was unique. Is she Jackís Work? Iím not certain either way. Is Joseph, or Daniel her killer? I feel Joseph is the stronger candidate, but Daniel shouldnít be excluded. I think he had strong reason to kill Kelly also - for several reasons. Iíve had a suspicion of him for years. Heís like my personal Ďpetí theory - I lean towards him even though I think there are far better suspects!
            I donít like to see conspiracies and cover ups unless the evidence for them begins to mount and grow stronger.
            Just my two pence.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phillip Walton View Post
              There are plenty of instances of identity theft going back well into the Victorian era and beyond, could this have been the case here? The 'real' Mary Kelly may have kept silent out of embarrasment or just unaware that her identity was being used. Identity theft is nothing new, a sailor who was recorded as going down with the Titanic turned up on his doorstep much to the shock of his 'widow'. Apparently someone had stolen his papers to get a job on the Titanic.
              Without question, if you feel the need to adopt an alternate identity, adopt one you are familiar with. Pretend to be your brother, your friend, neighbor, or even your cousin.
              You know so much about them and their families, where they live, their names, their likes & dislikes. Your deception will just role off the tongue as if it's the truth.
              We know from many examples in this case alone that people in those days adopted false names & false stories about themselves.
              We must be ready to accept this may also be the case with Mary Kelly.
              Regards, Jon S.
              "
              The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
              " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
              Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

              Comment


              • #8
                Swanson's opinion

                Hi all,

                I'm looking at this possibility in my forthcoming book on Swanson.

                He had himself investigated such a case in the early 1880s. In this instance, the girl, 23-year-old Hannah Brannan, was aware of the reason for her travelling abroad and had applied for a passport at the Foreign Office, Whitehall, with a medical certificate provided by a Dr. Well of Wandsworth Road.

                In his personal memoranda Swanson recorded:

                "I ascertained that this girl was about to be sent across to Holland for purposes of prostitution and she knew perfectly well that it was so, but was determined to go, lived by the representation of a designing woman who earned her livelihood by procuring good looking English girls for the Dutch brothels.

                The system was carried on as follows:- having gulled her victim into the idea of an idle life of lust & pleasure, [the procurer] then searches the register at Somerset House, getting the certificate of register of birth of another girl over 21, whose name the victim adopts. Some inferior surgeon known to her then medically examines the victim, and gives her an application certificate for the passport in the forged name. On production of this at Foreign Office, the necessary passport is frauded, and then the victim is taken over to Holland by this woman. The fee paid by the Dutch brothel keeper to the procuress is £13 13s.

                In the case of Hannah Brannan I prevented her going by advising Foreign Office to keep the passport until I had thoroughly enquired into the matter, the result being as stated. It is no offence against our English law, or in other words, there is no English law to meet the necessity."

                Adam

                It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

                Aristotle

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                • #9
                  That's interesting, Adam, given that MJK was involved with the Dutch Morgensterns who moved back and forth between London, Holland and Antwerp, Belgium being another major trafficking centre.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                    That's interesting, Adam, given that MJK was involved with the Dutch Morgensterns who moved back and forth between London, Holland and Antwerp, Belgium being another major trafficking centre.


                    Exactly, Debs. If does make you think...

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

                    Aristotle

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for that, Adam !
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                      • #12
                        I wonder if "Well" is an on-the-level name for a doc? Still I suppose it's better than "Dr Kilmore."

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                        • #13
                          I look forward to your book, Adam. Your comment caused me to make this Point to Ponder. I never really thought before of what you said there and it was kind of a shocking idea I kept thinking about. Your comment below is very interesting.

                          A big thing to me, concerning MJK, is that Barnett had a name for her father but not her mother. Barnett had a mother yet living and it seems that in conversation a young woman would have mentioned her mother by name, even if she had died. IMO this is a big reason to question the rest of the story.

                          Now here is a thought for Sam Flynn to sort out. MJK seems to have spoken fluent Welsh which is a Brythonic Celtic language. Cornish fits in this category as does a Celtic language spoken in Brittany, France. Would she have been a desirable commodity in that part of France? I doubt this means anything in the MJK story but I'll mention it here just in case.
                          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Although Breton, Cornish and Welsh indeed share a common ancestry, they're separated by more than a millennium of linguistic evolution. Some similarities can occasionally be seen when written down, but even then the pronunciation is sufficiently different to render mutual intelligibility difficult, if not impossible, at a practical level.

                            For example, with a phrase as common as "What is your name?", the written similarities are very apparent if you know what to look for:

                            "Beth yw dy enw?" (Welsh)
                            "Pyth yw dha hanow?" (Cornish)
                            "Petra eo da anv?" (Breton)

                            ...but they sound very different. I should add that these examples are about as good as it gets; most of the time, the similarities so thin on the ground that it would require a good knowledge of linguistics to discern them. Kelly's Welsh (if in fact she spoke it) would have been of less use to her in Brittany than Chaucer's Middle English would be if he were to travel in time to modern-day England.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen"
                            (F. Nietzsche)

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                            • #15
                              Adam, I take it that Swanson makes no further mention of "Dr Well"? I wondered if the police kept an eye on other suspicious passport applications to see if his name came up again.

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