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Did Mary Jane Kelly Really Exist?

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  • #91
    Anna, I'm just wondering if she was a placeur.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
      Actually, I'm just wondering how MJK got back. I think she spent two weeks there? (Barnett) Unless MJK had deformities or whatever, one would have expected the ponces to have taken her passport from her to keep her trapped.
      Would she have needed a passport?

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      • #93
        I don't know. I've searched such passport applications as are available on FMP and there's no one who stands out.

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        • #94
          She seems definitely to have been involved with the Morgensterns but no idea in what capacity.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
            Anna, I'm just wondering if she was a placeur.
            Anything is possible. And then we can wonder about her death, did she cross someone in the underworld? However I think the killer of MJK must have been psychotic. A woman could be killed and her body left as a warning to others without all the details of that particular murder.
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • #96
              Well she wasn't setting up a rival organization or peaching on them to the police. Why would they do that to her and risk placing their heads in the Ripper's noose?

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                So much of Mary's story does not quite add up. She went to France with a "gentleman", came back in a couple weeks when she did not like her stay in Paris AND she had a "box of costly dresses."

                Experiences of other girls show them being trafficked, sold, passports confiscated, they get stuck wherever they are and they are not enriched.

                So, was Mary trafficked or did a "gentleman" take her to Paris as a private escort?
                In the circular I mentioned earlier the stories tell of trafficked women having their ordinary clothing locked in a cupboard and them being forced to wear a particular costume that couldn't have been worn outside to stop them running away but there were stories of young girls being rescued by men who took pity on them.

                I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
                None of that really adds up.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                  In the circular I mentioned earlier the stories tell of trafficked women having their ordinary clothing locked in a cupboard and them being forced to wear a particular costume that couldn't have been worn outside to stop them running away but there were stories of young girls being rescued by men who took pity on them.

                  I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
                  None of that really adds up.
                  I always bought the idea that Mary travelled with a "gentleman" and she was his escort. I pictured him buying her nice clothes to go out in Paris. I think at the end Mary had a black velvet outfit if the reports of her black velvet jacket are accurate. If so she had a black velvet skirt, bodice and jacket.

                  But then we seem to be getting deeper and deeper into organized prostitution and possibly trafficking to the continent. So I wonder if the West End "French lady" was connected to operations in the East End, Limehouse, Pennington Street, etc.? Maybe the dresses ultimately belonged to the organisation and would be put to use in some other branch of the operation.

                  It has oft been suggested that Mrs. Buki/Bockie... went with Mary because Mary owed rent and the dresses were payment. But considering Mrs. B.'s connexions to the Morgensterns, perhaps she was retrieving something they owned or claimed. But if so, why did Mary allegedly go with her? Was the French lady part of a bigger group? Or did Mary claim her dresses and did Mrs. B. go along perhaps to speak French and make sure Mary got what was her due?

                  If those dresses were made for Mary, a lot of effort went into outfitting her. All those "drapers" in the censuses were in the business of making clothing, usually women's. Draping is quite a science.

                  Ultimately Mary seemed to have more freedom than the many other tales we read of girls who were trafficked. So there is the possibility that she did have a gentleman patron who showed her special favor. Maybe Mary's return home put her in bad relations with the West End brothel, thus she ended up in the East End.

                  I have wondered if the "gentleman", if he existed as such, may have made peculiar sexual demands and if that was the part and purpose to which she objected? Like maybe the man, once he got to Paris, turned out to be a sadomasochist or something?
                  The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                  • #99
                    How really needs to add a For What It's Worth section for points that would be barely worth pondering.

                    So, for-what-it's-worth, there is or was a Mary Street in Roath. There is or was also a Janet Street in East Moors, wherever that is. I have an idea they were not necessarily close or even in the same town. Property was for sale on Mary Street, and a young accused thief lived at 53 Janet Street, East Moors in the next article down in an 1880s Welsh paper.

                    Apparently Janet Street was in Roath. Number 1 Janet Street was in Roath. I wonder how close it was to Mary Street? Janet Street was in the news a lot. Not a good address.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                      How really needs to add a For What It's Worth section for points that would be barely worth pondering.

                      So, for-what-it's-worth, there is or was a Mary Street in Roath. There is or was also a Janet Street in East Moors, wherever that is. I have an idea they were not necessarily close or even in the same town. Property was for sale on Mary Street, and a young accused thief lived at 53 Janet Street, East Moors in the next article down in an 1880s Welsh paper.

                      Apparently Janet Street was in Roath. Number 1 Janet Street was in Roath. I wonder how close it was to Mary Street? Janet Street was in the news a lot. Not a good address.
                      I agree Anna. This is what it comes to when looking for Welsh Mary Jane Kelly!

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                      • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

                        I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
                        None of that really adds up.

                        Maybe I'm wrong but I took it that Mary left for the East End from the West End, not from France. Any possessions too big to carry would be left in the West End, presumably.

                        Here debating the small details without knowing if the big picture is even true
                        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.

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                        • I look at the box of dresses left in the possession of the French lady in several possible ways.

                          Mary could have gone to France from London with the understanding the box would follow but it did not for whatever reason.

                          The box could have come back from France with Mary and because it was a box, presumably heavy and requiring help to cart it, it was sent to the French lady's establishment until Mary could send for it. And/or if Mary had no definite place to go she could not schlep a box of dresses around the streets.

                          The box was held by the French lady for debt owed by Mary.

                          The box was never sent to France because it contained clothing Mary would not need in France. This could be maid's uniforms if Mary thought she would have that kind if job in France. Or perhaps the dresses were OK for the Cardiff dock area but not good enough for London or France.

                          A part of this I want to understand is why the French lady would possibly be willing to hold then release the box to Mary? It does not sound like Mary worked out in the West End establishment. Brothels were very hard about making and keeping money and did not shy from bilking girls in their employ. I wonder if the trip to France can be taken at face value, that a "gentleman", a male individual, took Mary to France for a private trip or to try her out as an escort or whatever?

                          Is it possible Mary got very drunk or had other negatives so that the "gentleman" said to the French lady, "You don't want this one, show her the door"?

                          I think some basics here are that Mary believed the box and dresses were hers. Did she bring them from Cardiff? Did she feel she had earned them in London? Did the "gentleman" buy them for her in France? Were Mary and Mrs. B. able to retrieve the dresses from the French lady?

                          (We could also ponder possible connections between the West End gay house and Johannes Morgenstern and Mrs. B. in the East but this reasoning has never seemed to get us anywhere specific. I think it is also possible that the Morgensterns knew the box and dresses existed, perhaps that Mary had not fully earned them and perhaps the box was purchased for less than its value and the contents then sold?)
                          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                          • Here’s an article about Detaining A Servant’s Box. It could be held back for spite or any number of reasons.

                            https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4169763/4169767

                            In conjunction with a trip to France, I have to agree that a decoying scenario makes the most sense. I believe in the Verney/Roullier situation, the box was to be detained in London to make it harder for Miss Baskett to run off and make her more dependent.

                            Most women resorted to the police to get their box but Mary didn’t seem to need the cops. Does that mean it was a criminal act involved like a decoying?
                            Attached Files

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                            • I just cant see why we should think there is a mystery about the box of clothes. They were in the West End and Mary was in the East End, and she wanted them back.

                              We don't know if she took the box of clothes with her to France or not. And, if she did, she brought them back to the West End with her and thats where they remained.

                              Mary left for the East End and didn't want the box until she established herself somewhere permanent, or for some other reason.

                              Maybe she left the box behind because she didn't expect to be following that same higher 'career' in the East End, but now she needed money so thought she could sell or pawn them?
                              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


                              • Originally posted by Wicker Man View Post
                                I just cant see why we should think there is a mystery about the box of clothes. They were in the West End and Mary was in the East End, and she wanted them back.

                                We don't know if she took the box of clothes with her to France or not. And, if she did, she brought them back to the West End with her and thats where they remained.

                                Mary left for the East End and didn't want the box until she established herself somewhere permanent, or for some other reason.

                                Maybe she left the box behind because she didn't expect to be following that same higher 'career' in the East End, but now she needed money so thought she could sell or pawn them?
                                What set me off on a more complex line of thought was that the only other reference I had found for "box of dresses" concerned dress lodgers. So, MJK prostitute + box of dresses must = dress lodger. Dress lodgers were kept in debt they seldom earned or possessed the dresses.

                                So if MJK = dress lodger and she was only connected to the West End gay house a few weeks, how could she claim a box of "costly" dresses?

                                As we see in other posts, employers could try to keep a servant's box for many reasons so the French lady must have been a decent sort if she allowed Mary the box, whether it all belonged to Mary or had been earned through the gay house.

                                The simpler explanation makes a lot of sense too. We tend to think of Mary as a destitute prostitute but maybe she had had better days and acquired a box of costly dresses.
                                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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