Mary Jane Kelly
Born: Mary Jane Kelly in 1863
Height (at death): 5’7”
- Approximately 25 years old; described as being tall and stout with blonde hair, blue eye and a fair complexion
- Went by the names Marie Jeanette Kelly(possible during her time in France), Mary Ann Kelly, Ginger,and Fair Emma
-Involved with Joseph Barnett, riverside laborer and market porter - rocky relationship as the two fought over with each other being drunkards
Wednesday, November 7: Mary Jane buys a half penny candle from McCarthy’s shop. She is later seen in Miller’s Court by Thomas Bowyer, a pensioned soldier whose nickname is “Indian Harry.” He is employed by McCarthy and lives at 37 Dorset Street.
Bowyer states that on Wednesday night he saw a man speaking to Kelly who closely resembled the description of the man Matthew Packer claims to have seen with Elizabeth Stride. His appearance was smart and attention was drawn to him by his very white cuffs and rather long, white collar which came down over the front of his long black coat. He did not carry a bag.
Thursday-Friday, November 8-9: Almost every day after the split, Barnett would visit Mary Jane. On Friday the ninth he stops between 7:30 and 7:45 PM. He says she is in the company of another woman who lives in Miller’s Court. This may have been Lizzie Albrook who lived at 2 Miller’s Court.
Albrook says “About the last thing she said to me was ‘Whatever you do don’t you do wrong and turn out as I did.’ She had often spoken to me in this way and warned me against going on the street as she had done. She told me, too, that she was heartily sick of the life she was leading and wished she had money enough to go back to Ireland where her people lived. I do not believe she would have gone out as she did if she had not been obliged to do so to keep herself from starvation.”
Maria Harvey also says that she was woman that Barnett saw with Mary Jane and that she left at 6:55 PM.
8:00 PM: Barnett leaves and goes back to Buller’s Boarding House where he played whist until 12:30 AM and then went to bed.
8:00 PM: Julia Venturney, who lives at 1 Miller’s Court goes to bed.
There are no confirmed sightings of Mary Jane Kelly between 8:00 PM and 11:45 PM. there is an unconfirmed story that she is drinking with a woman named Elizabeth Foster at the Ten Bells Public House.
11:00 PM: It is said she is in the Britannia drinking with a young man with a dark mustache who appears respectable and well dressed. It is said she is very drunk.
11:45 PM: Mary Ann Cox, a 31 year old widower and prostitute, who lives at 5 Miller’s Court (last house on the left) enters Dorset Street from Commercial Street. Cox is returning home to warm herself as the night had turned cold. She sees Kelly ahead of her, walking with a stout man. The man was aged around 35 or 36 and was about 5’ 5” tall. He was shabbily dressed in a long overcoat and a billycock hat. He had a blotchy face and small side whiskers and a carroty mustache. The man is carrying a pail of beer.
Mrs. Cox follows them into Miller’s Court. they are standing outside Kelly’s room as Mrs. Cox passed and said “Goodnight.” Somewhat incoherently, Kelly replied “Goodnight, I am going to sing.” A few minutes later Mrs. Cox hears Kelly singing “A Violet from Mother’s Grave” (see below). Cox goes out again at midnight and hears Kelly singing the same song.
Somewhere in this time period, Mary Jane takes a meal of fish and potatoes.
12:30 AM: Catherine Pickett, a flower-seller who lives near Kelly, is disturbed by Kelly’s singing. Picket’s husband stops her from going down stairs to complain. “You leave the poor woman alone.” he says.
1:00 AM: It is beginning to rain. Again, Mary Ann Cox returns home to warm herself. At that time Kelly is still singing or has begun to sing again. There was light coming from Kelly’s room. Shortly after one, Cox goes out again.
Elizabeth Prater, the wife of William Prater, a boot finisher who had left her 5 years before, is standing at the entrance to Miller’s Court waiting for a man. Prater lives in room number 20 of 26 Dorset Street. This is directly above Kelly. She stands there about a half hour and then goes into to McCarthy’s to chat. She hears no singing and sees no one go in or out of the court. After a few minutes she goes back to her room, places two chairs in front of her door and goes to sleep without undressing. She is very drunk.
2:00 AM: George Hutchinson, a resident of the Victoria Working Men’s Home on Commercial Street has just returned to the area from Romford. He is walking on Commercial Street and passes a man at the corner of Thrawl Street but pays no attention to him. At Flower and Dean Street he meets Kelly who asks him for money. “Mr. Hutchinson, can you lend me sixpence?” “I can’t,” says Hutchinson, “I spent all my money going down to Romford.” “Good morning,” Kelly replies, “I must go and find some money.” She then walks in the direction of Thrawl Street.
She meets the man Hutchinson had passed earlier. The man puts his hand on Kelly’s shoulder and says something at which Kelly and the man laugh. Hutchinson hears Kelly say “All right.” and the man say “You will be all right for what I have told you.” The man then puts his right hand on Kelly’s shoulder and they begin to walk towards Dorset Street. Hutchinson notices that the man has a small parcel in his left hand.
While standing under a street light on outside the Queen’s Head Public House Hutchinson gets a good look at the man with Mary Jane Kelly. He has a pale complexion, a slight moustache turned up at the corners (changed to dark complexion and heavy moustache in the press reports), dark hair, dark eyes, and bushy eyebrows. He is, according to Hutchinson, of “Jewish appearance.” The man is wearing a soft felt hat pulled down over his eyes, a long dark coat trimmed in astrakhan, a white collar with a black necktie fixed with a horseshoe pin. He wears dark spats over light button over boots. A massive gold chain is in his waistcoat with a large seal with a red stone hanging from it. He carries kid gloves in his right hand and a small package in his left. He is 5’ 6” or 5’ 7” tall and about 35 or 36 years old.
Kelly and the man cross Commercial Street and turn down Dorset Street. Hutchinson follows them. Kelly and the man stop outside Miller’s Court and talk for about 3 minutes. Kelly is heard to say “All right, my dear. Come along. You will be comfortable.” The man puts his arm around Kelly who kisses him. “I’ve lost my handkerchief.” she says. At this he hands her a red handkerchief. The couple then heads down Miller’s Court. Hutchinson waits until the clock strikes 3:00 AM. leaving as the clock strikes the hour.
3:00 AM: Mrs. Cox returns home yet again. It is raining hard. There is no sound or light coming from Kelly’s room. Cox does not go back out but does not go to sleep. Throughout the night she occasionally hears men going in and out of the court. She told the inquest “I heard someone go out at a quarter to six. I do not know what house he went out of (as) I heard no door shut.”
4:00 AM: Elizabeth Prater is awakened by her pet kitten “Diddles” walking on her neck. She hears a faint cry of “Oh, murder!” but, as the cry of murder is common in the district, she pays no attention to it. Sarah Lewis, who is staying with friends in Miller’s Court, also hears the cry.
8:30 AM: Caroline Maxwell, a witness at the inquest and acquaintance of Kelly’s, claims to have seen the deceased at around 8:30 AM, several hours after the time given by Phillips as time of death. She described her clothing and appearance in depth, and adamantly stated that she was not mistaken about the date, although she admitted she did not know Kelly very well.
10:00 AM: Maurice Lewis, a tailor who resided in Dorset Street, told newspapers he had seen Kelly and Barnett in the Horn of Plenty public house on the night of the murder, but more importantly, that he saw her about 10:00 AM the next day. Like Maxwell, this time is several hours from the time of death, and because of this discrepancy, he was not called to the inquest and virtually ignored by police.
10:45 AM: John McCarthy, owner of “McCarthy’s Rents,” as Miller’s Court was known, sends Thomas Bowyer to collect past due rent money from Mary Kelly. After Bowyer receives no response from knocking (and because the door was locked) he pushes aside the curtain and peers inside, seeing the body. He informs McCarthy, who, after seeing the mutilated remains of Kelly for himself, ran to Commercial Street Police Station, where he spoke with Inspector Walter Beck, who returned to the Court with McCarthy.
Several hours later, after waiting fruitlessly for the arrival of the bloodhounds “Barnaby” and “Burgho,” McCarthy smashes in the door with an axe handle under orders from Superintendent Thomas Arnold.
When police enter the room they find Mary Jane Kelly’s clothes neatly folded on a chair and she is wearing a chemise. Her boots are in front of the fireplace.
Body was laying naked int he middle of the bed, the shoulders flat but the axis of the body inclined to the left side of the bed. Head was turned on the left cheek. Left arm was close to the body with the forearm flexed at a right angle and lying across the abdomen.
Right arm was slightly abducted from the body and rested ont he mattress. Elbow bent and fingers clenched. Legs were wide apart, the left thigh at right angle to the trunk and the right forming an obtuse angle with the pubes.
The whole of the surface of the abdomen and thighs were removed and the abdominal cavity emptied of its viscera. The breast were cut off, the arms mutilated by serveral jagged wounds and the face hacked beyond recognition of the features (A/N: It was believed she was identified by her eyes or her hair). The tissues of the neck were severed all round down to the bone.
The viscera were found in various parts: the uterus and kidneys with one breast under the head , the other breast by the right foot, the liver between the feet, the intestines by the right side and the spleen by the left side of the body. Flaps removed from the abdomen and thighs were on a table.(A/N: The placement of the organs and flesh were thought to be ritual)
The pericardium was open below and the heart absent.
The blood was produced by the severance of the carotid artery, which was the cause of death. The injury was inflicted while the deceased was lying at the right side of the bedstead.”