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Notes : Kelly Inquest November 12, 1888 (Dave O'Flaherty)

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  • Notes : Kelly Inquest November 12, 1888 (Dave O'Flaherty)

    Many thanks to Ripperologist David O'Flaherty for sharing notes from the Kelly Inquest, November 12, 1888
    *********************************
    __________________





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    The anniversary of the Mary Kelly inquest is November 12th. Some flashes of a stolen life, which always demands respect, especially in this case. This woman in particular paid a terrible price for it, unwillingly. I also feel that in what I do, which is try to understand how inquests worked, it's important at some point to look past the death. So a small glimpse into the coroner's approach to a couple of the witnesses, thanks to the inclusion of police statements into this record and handwriting.
    -Dave O'Flaherty-


    The first page of the police statements as given to Dr. Macdonald by Inspector Abberline. These statements formed the basis for the coroner's questions at inquest. Given some slight additions in Macdonald's hand, I think he must have had them before him as he questioned the witnesses. Macdonald has moved this particular witness, Thomas Bowyer, discoverer of the body, to the second position (marked "2" upper left hand corner). Almost all the witnesses' police statements are marked this way, and correspond to their appearances in newspaper coverage.




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    • #3
      Macdonald shuffles Joseph Barnett into first place, marking his statement as "1". Typically the function of the first witness at inquest was a person who could identify the body and who knew something of the history of the deceased. In Mary Kelly's case, this was Barnett, the man with whom she had recently lived and then parted from. Some of Kelly's background has been difficult to verify, and sometimes I've wondered if Barnett only thought he knew her. However, a few years back, Neal & Jennifer Shelden managed to clear up the identities of some of the people Barnett mentioned (following on some work done by Nicholas Connell and Stewart Evans).



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      • #4
        Macdonald's dated this statement again although it's the same day. I think his date at the top is the day of his receipt, same day, which represents a snappy line of communication from H Division to the coroner. Macdonald would visit the crime scene the next day on the 10th. As would Wynne Baxter, the coroner for the South East district. Baxter at that time anticipated an eventual removal of the body to his district, which if it had happened, would've obligated him to hold his own inquest. I wonder if he received his own copy of these police statements.


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        • #5
          At left, the first and at right, the last of Barnett's deposition, given at inquest on 12 November 1888. Bowyer followed as the second witness. The depositions are in the hand of the deputy coroner, Alfred Hodgkinson. It's the only example of Hodgkinson taking down testimony at an inquest that Macdonald held. I suspect that Macdonald wanted to devote himself to questioning the witnesses without having to write too much down. At the time this was written, Barnett was fresh from having viewed Kelly's body, which can be described as having been desecrated. The record doesn't preserve emotion, but Barnett was described in the press as being somewhat intimidated and nervous (I'm sure also distraught) as he spoke).


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          • #6
            The third page of Barnett's testimony, covering the backside of the folder, picked up again on the first loose sheet of paper shown a couple of images previous. Macdonald spent a good deal on time with Barnett, though I've seen a few more extensive examples, and in his handwriting on top of it.


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            • #7
              I?m able to read it know, How!

              Thank you.

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              • #8
                Gary:

                I had to leave them in the original size because when I converted Dave's attachments, they went right back to being blurred.

                Hope they are of interest....
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                • #9
                  They are, How.

                  I particularly appreciate the inclusion of the note on the ‘Rookery’ stationery.

                  Cowcross Street, Clerkenwell - Knacker central!

                  I’ve walked past the Rookery and looked in the window on several occasions - like a guttersnipe outside a sweet shop.

                  I must give it a try sometime.

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                  • #10
                    https://www.rookeryhotel.com/

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                    • #11
                      Many thanks Dave and How

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                      • #12
                        My pleasure, Debs.
                        XXXX
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                        • #13
                          Wicker Man had posted this on the original thread :



                          All the pages of the Kelly inquest were published by John Smithkey, in his...
                          https://www.amazon.ca/Jack-Ripper-In.../dp/0966241916
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                            I?m able to read it know, How!

                            Thank you.
                            And thanks to Dave!

                            (+ double kudos if he stayed at the Rookery!!!)

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