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 A Ripper Notes Article 
This article originally appeared in Ripper Notes. Ripper Notes is the only American Ripper periodical available on the market, and has quickly grown into one of the more substantial offerings in the genre. For more information, view our Ripper Notes page. Our thanks to the editor of Ripper Notes for permission to reprint this article.

       In our January issue, Des McKenna raised an intriguing possibility, imagining the survival of the fifth canonical Ripper victim in 'Did Mary Kelly Survive?' Researcher and author Dave Yost, however, believes the evidence points squarely to the razored body in 13 Miller's Court as being that of Kelly. We are pleased to offer his conclusions in respectful counterpoint to those of Mr McKenna.
       Style note: passages, which are numbered, are relevant quotations taken from Mr McKenna's essay.
- Editor, Ripper Notes

       Some editorial licensing (as presented in the published article) has been adjusted for "re-printing" on this web site.
- CP Webmaster

Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction?
Some remarks on "Did Mary Kelly Survive?"
by Dave Yost

The survivability of Marie Jeanette Kelly is interesting. Ostensibly, the underlining theme of the essay is that, because of the extensive mutilations, it is difficult to know for a "definitely ascertained fact" that the body found by Thomas Bowyer on the morning of November 9, 1888 was actually that of Mary Jane. A sufficient number of arguments have developed over the years on that point alone, especially with respect to the reliability of Joseph Barnett. And, it would be nice to imagine that one of the victims might have survived her impending Holocaust. To survive in the sense of beating Jack at his own game; and, to survive in the sense of being strong enough to remove herself from the squalid, wretched living conditions of the Victorian East End and pursue a life that many modern people might consider normal. It would be nice to wish that the victims did not endure the hardships they did while alive, let alone the desecration that was accomplished after they were dead. Nevertheless, such is not the case.

1. "Joe Barnett, who would not work to support them."
2. "Her [Kelly’s] relationship with Joe Barnett became tempestuous after he lost his job"

    Barnett had "been out of employment for the past 3 or 4 months;" hence, no means to "support them." In consequence, he changed jobs from fish-porter to laborer and fruit-porter, and even left his fairly recent digs in New Street to move in with his sister at Portpool Lane. Plus, "would not work" and "lost his job" offer contrary implications.

    The economic situation of the area should be mentioned: Of the 900,000 who lived in the East End, 80,000 resided in Whitechapel. The "poor" made up about 8% of the population and consisted of men whose jobs were seasonal, such as builders, earning what is described as a "meager" but regular income of between 18-21 shillings a week. The "very poor" totaled about 11¼ % of the population, and their income fell below the aforementioned level. The former struggled to make both ends meet, and the latter lived in a state of chronic want. 1¼% consisted of the lowest class and was made up of "dossers" and the homeless.

    "Taking the sub-district known as the Commercial-street Division, which is bounded by Baker's-row on the east and Middlesex-street on the west or City side; with Whitechapel-road on the south, there are no less than 146 registered lodging-houses, with a number of beds exceeding 6,000. Of these 1,150 are in Flower and Dean-street alone, and nearly 700 in Dorset-street. Some of the houses contain as few as four beds, whilst others have as many as 350."

    Many others were also in want of employment. "From early morning until past mid-day these poor creatures [East End dock laborers] are to be seen standing in the roads and corners, amidst wind, rain, and snow, with clothes in tatters that are past repair, without food - patiently awaiting employment outside the dock gates, and when some of their number are needed, to see them rush, thrusting aside the older and weaker ones, is a sickening sight to behold."
3. "It can be supposed that George Hutchinson may have taken money from her."
    Kelly asked Hutchinson for money -- "Hutchinson will you lend me sixpence?" And, Hutchinson "had occasionally given the deceased [Kelly] a few Shillings."
4. "In mid-Aug, Joe Barnett lost his job...and it was from about this time that Mary stopped paying her rent."
    If payment were "stopped" sometime in mid-Aug, then that would be approximately 12 weeks rent that would have been owed by the time of the murder. The rent was in arrears by 29 shillings with 4shillings/6denarius due each week, (i.e., six weeks rent would be 27 shillings). Plus, Bowyer was sent to collect rent on Nov 9th; so, it can be estimated that the last time the rent might have been paid in full was on or about Sep 21st. "I [McCarthy] sent for the rent [on Nov 9th] because for sometime past they had not kept their payments regularly." Additionally, McCarthy did not seem to be put out by this debt owed him, "Arrears are got as best you can."
5. "and by saving [,] this might hope to stave off her [Kelly’s] own uncouth eviction."
    McCarthy could easily have tossed out Kelly and Barnett for non-payment prior Nov 9th, just as they were "evicted," from their digs in Paternoster Row for drunkeness; (hence, Kelly was no stranger to an "uncouth eviction"). The essay also states that McCarthy "took the key back;" hence, Kelly was "evicted" at that point. Or, Kelly and Barnett could have skipped out on McCarthy, like Tabram and Turner did to Mrs. Bousfield. Also, Kelly did not seem to have any difficulty in borrowing or attempting to borrow money from "associates."

    Kelly sets no precedent.
References: Kelly Inquest Records, p8, 18, 23; MEPO 3/140, f227, 230-232; Times, Aug 24, Nov 13; Daily Telegraph, Aug 24 p6, Sep 21 p2, Nov 12 p5, Nov 13 p5; The Jack the Ripper A to Z, 3rd ed., p216; Jack the Ripper: The Complete Casebook, US ed., 1988, p23-24

1. "she [Kelly] was the tenant and hers the responsibility [for the rent and window panes]"
2. "The ownership of a key confers the right to the property"

    In the 1800s, women were second-class citizens and barely had any rights (if any at all) to property; that would fall to the husband. Barnett and Kelly obtained the room together, after they left their digs in Brick lane - "I [McCarthy] let the room about ten months ago to the deceased and a man named Joe, who I believed to be her husband."
3. "when he [McCarthy] took the key back."
4. "perhaps she [Kelly] slammed the door furiously behind him [Barnett] as he came into the room and the key shot from the lock where it was habitually kept and disappeared within the room"
5. "When the key was found [After 30 Oct is implied]"
6. "this [saving money] might hope to stave off her own uncouth eviction."
    The key was "lost." Nevertheless, there is no time line provided for the chain-of-events, with respect to the key being "lost," "found," and "taken back." But, it can only be assumed that McCarthy took the key back after it was found; albeit, by taking the key, McCarthy removed "right to property" from Kelly (and Barnett). Meaning, they were evicted, and landlords encumbered by arrears would ensure that paying renters were in-residence rather than evicted tenants.
An illustration from Sugden, based on a Daily Telegraph Sketch
7. "in any case he [Barnett] would not have accepted it [key]; for they knew that on that fateful morning retribution was at hand [because of the broken windowpanes], for that was rent day [9 Nov is implied]"
    Ostensibly, the day of "retribution" was on Nov 9th. The rent was already behind by more than six weeks, and the windowpanes had been broken for over a week; (i.e., rent would have been sought once already after the panes were broken). It is doubtful that the broken panes could have been missed, (ref. Figure 1). Plus, McCarthy indicated that he knew of the broken windowpanes, "A short time ago they had a row and the windows were broken."
8. "she [Kelly] who mendaciously said she had lost the key locked the door behind her."
    Contrary implication - It was previously stated that McCarthy "took the key back;" hence, Kelly could not have locked the door using a key she did not have. Albeit, the type of "lock" was a spring-latch (or "spring lock"), requiring the key to enter not lock it, and the door had to be opened "by reaching through the window."
References: Kelly Inquest Records, p6, 8, 17, 18, 22, 23; Daily Telegraph, Nov 10 p5, Nov 12 p5; Times, Nov 13; The Jack the Ripper A to Z, 3rd ed., p215-216; Figure 1 sketch from The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, which is an adaptaion of the Daily Telegraph sketch

1. "Mrs. Caroline Maxwell, the wife of a lodging-house deputy, was very positive that she saw and spoke to Mary that very morning."

    The reliability and accountability of Mrs. Maxwell is a debatable topic unto itself, because her accuracy was in question from the start:
      "Mrs. Maxwell is very positive as to this statement. Inquiry, however, tends to show that the deceased woman did not go to the public-house at the corner, nor was she served at any other in the neighbourhood on the morning of her death. The story also is inconsistent with the medical opinion...The question has arisen whether Mrs. Maxwell might not have confounded one morning with another..."
2. "Undaunted, in answer to the coroner's asking what Mary wore - expecting her [Maxwell] to confess that she didn't know, which would give him [MacDonald] the chance to deride her evidence as worthless - she recalled it exactly, saying that she could not remember her wearing these clothes before. It has been dismissed as the talk of a woman who was lying, or drunk, or mistaken, and denounced as wrong. But was it? She was interviewed within hours of the slaying, [most people were since the room was not even entered until hours after the slaying], it was her husband's pay day, it was the day of the Lord Mayor's show, it was "clean pinny" day and someone she knew, it was said, had been brutally killed. She could not possibly have got the day wrong."
    Maxwell’s testimony is interesting, (like Malcolm’s at the Stride inquest and similar to Mortimer’s statements to the press). The curious aspects are what she really does not know:
      "[Coroner] Did you speak to her? - Yes; it was an unusual thing to see her up. She was a young woman who never associated with any one. I spoke across the street, "What, Mary, brings you up so early?" She said, "Oh, Carrie, I do feel so bad."
      [Coroner] And yet you say you had only spoken to her twice previously; you knew her name and she knew yours? - Oh, yes; by being about in the lodging-house.
      [Coroner] What did she say? - She said, "I've had a glass of beer, and I've brought it up again"; and it was in the road. I imagined [guessed] she had been in the Britannia beer-shop at the corner of the street. I left her, saying that I could pity her feelings. I went to Bishopsgate-street to get my husband's breakfast. Returning I saw her outside the Britannia public-house, talking to a man."
      [emphasis added]
    Maxwell seems to not have been aware of Barnett, Fleming, Harvey, Albrook, and Venturney who associated with Kelly. Additionally, Walter Dew, who recognized Kelly on sight, stated she always paraded around Whitechapel with two or three friends. Similarly, Malcolm’s final comment was that she had "not a shadow of a doubt" as to the identity of the Berner Street victim; yet, she was wrong in her identification, despite the fact that she viewed the body three times. Baxter did not adjourn the inquest again to recall Malcolm after Mrs. Stokes testified.
3. "When Caroline Maxwell gave evidence, the explosive situation that Roderick MacDonald had striven so hard to control almost blew up. Mrs. Maxwell burst forth babbling that she saw Mary that very morning and was sharply warned to be very careful what she said."
    MacDonald’s warning is understandable for the reason given:
      "The Coroner: You must be very careful about your evidence, because it is different to other people's. You say you saw her standing at the corner of the entry to the court? - Yes, on Friday morning, from eight to half-past eight. I fix the time by my husband's finishing work. When I came out of the lodging-house she was opposite."
      [emphasis added]
    MacDonald was correct in warning Maxwell, because of the importance of being accurate. Plus, this is no different situation than what occurred during the Stride inquest with Malcolm. Baxter very closely questioned Malcolm regarding the victim’s identification. Additionally, a similar situation occurred during the Tabram inquest with Connolly - "Mary Ann Connolly (‘Pearly Poll’), who at the suggestion of Inspector Reid was cautioned in the usual manner before being sworn" Plus, pre-inquest statements were made; hence, MacDonald already knew as to what the witnesses were going to testify.
    [emphasis added]

    The Kelly case sets no precedent.
Sketch from Illustrated Police News
4. "She [Maxwell] finally described Mary's clothing, remarking that she was not wearing a hat, which suggests that she normally did. Yes, I know Walter Dew said that she was always bareheaded, but the etchings in the popular press show her sporting a bonnet, and these were based on the recollections of people who knew her."
    The inquest testimony also indicates that Maxwell did not know Kelly, as well as she thought. Walter Dew also knew Kelly. Plus Kelly is also shown without a hat in an "etching" by the press, (ref Figure 2). Another sketch, which commonly shows Kelly with a hat, also portrays her as being better off than she actually was, (ref Figure 3). Figure 3 has also been labeled as an "artist’s conception."

5. " Mrs. Maxwell's remark, ‘I could not swear to seeing her in those clothes before’ was simply the truth."
    Yes, Maxwell probably was telling the truth about being uncertain regarding Kelly’s attire, since she, herself, admitted to having spoken with Kelly only two times within four months. Plus, being truthful and being accurate are two different things. Someone can very earnestly and firmly believe what they are saying, but that does not make his statement accurate. Truthfulness does not imply accuracy.
A posthumous portrait of Kelly
References: Kelly Inquest Records, p11, 15; Daily Telegraph, Oct 3 p3, Nov 10 p5, Nov 12 p5, Nov 13 p5; Times, Aug 10, Oct 24; Illustrated Police News, Nov 17; The Jack the Ripper A to Z, 2nd, ed., p233; Figure 3 sketch courtesy of Stephen Ryder; Figure 2 sketch courtesy of Alex Chisholm

1. "Right from the start, he [MacDonald] treated the jurors very heavily and bullied them into silence when they complained of the change of district, because there was confusion [about the victim’s identity] and this had to be concealed."

    Per some of the media, the police were confused - period, (e.g., Punch cartoon, "Blind Man’s Bluff"). The radical press (namely Star and Pall Mall Gazette) continuously attacked the police as being oppressors before the Whitechapel Murders and inept when the murders started. There was confusion about the identity of the Berner Street victim (and that inquest lasted five days, spanning nearly the entire month of Oct), which was not formally resolved until the inquest’s last day. While some might classify MacDonald’s treatment of the jurors as heavy-handed, the following excerpt shows that the jurors were not silenced into obedience:
    Punch Cartoon, Blind Man’s Bluff
      "The jury having answered to their names, one of them said: I do not see why we should have the inquest thrown upon our shoulders, when the murder did not happen in our district, but in Whitechapel.
      "The Coroner's Officer (Mr. Hammond): It did not happen in Whitechapel.
      "The Coroner (to the juror, severely): Do you think that we do not know what we are doing here, and that we do not know our own district? The jury are summoned in the ordinary way, and they have no business to object. If they persist in their objection I shall know how to deal with them. Does any juror persist in objecting?
      "The Juror: We are summoned for the Shoreditch district. This affair happened in Spitalfields.
      "The Coroner: It happened within my district.
      "Another Juryman: This is not my district. I come from Whitechapel, and Mr. Baxter is my coroner.
      "The Coroner: I am not going to discuss the subject with jurymen at all. If any juryman says he distinctly objects, let him say so. (After a pause): I may tell the jurymen that jurisdiction lies where the body lies, not where it was found, if there was doubt as to the district where the body was found.
      "The jury having made no further objection, they were duly sworn, and were conducted by Inspector Abberline to view the body..."
    The jurors’ complaints were not with respect to any "change in district" but about whether or not their district was responsible for holding the inquest - quite a different matter, (i.e., This is Shoreditch; the problem is in Whitechapel). Plus, no juryman objected when formally asked to do so.
    Jurisdiction is where the body lies, not where it was found.
2. "the body was deliberately taken to the wrong ward to the mortuary in Shoreditch."
    H-Division was well within their rights to take the body to the Shoreditch mortuary. Plus, the complaints by Baxter, the juries, and the doctor during the Nichols inquest and the Chapman inquest regarding the so-called "Whitechapel mortuary," show that it was an unacceptable place - a mere shed at the end of a cul-de-sac, which was loosely called a "mortuary." Removing Kelly’s body to Shoreditch is acceptable. Additionally, the newspapers did not even question this - "Shortly after four o’clock yesterday a covered van was driven to Miller’s-court, and in a few minutes the remains were placed in a shell and quietly removed to the mortuary adjoining Shoreditch Church to await the inquest, at the Shoreditch Town Hall, on Monday."
    (It should also be mentioned that there was an editorial in The Lancet espousing the need for proper public mortuaries, condemning the existing sanitary administration. The editorial was re-printed in Daily Telegraph, Fri, 21 Sep 88, page 2.)
3. "The time of death was uncertain, the two doctors disagreeing [at the inquest]."
    Dr. Phillips was the only doctor to testify, and he did not give an estimated time of death, only cause of death - "leads me to the conclusion that the severance of the right carotid artery, which was the immediate cause of death." The other doctors present at the autopsy were Dr. Bond, Dr. Dukes, Dr. Brown, and Dr. Phillips’s assistant. Within Dr. Bond’s report to Dr. Anderson, there is mention of a time of death - "so 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning would be the probable time of the murder." Dr. Bond’s estimation was based on the state of rigor mortis and also from the state of partially digested food. Per the Daily Telegraph, "the body was quite cold, and the blood coagulated [at time of entry to the room], and it is understood the professional opinion will be to the effect that several hours must have elapsed before the discovery of the crime was made." Additionally, the police have shown an awareness for conflicting evidence for times of death - "Evidence points to something between 5.30 and 6 :- but medical evidence says about 4 o’cl," (i.e., Chapman’s time of death).

    The Kelly case sets no precedent.
4. "At 5.45am, a door was heard to open and footsteps walking off…no one heard the door close!"
    Cox provided the following:
      "[Coroner] Did you go to sleep? - No; I was upset. I did not undress at all. I did not sleep at all. I must have heard what went on in the court. I heard no noise or cry of "Murder," but men went out to work in the market.
      "[Coroner] How many men live in the court who work in Spitalfields Market? - One. At a quarter- past six I heard a man go down the court. That was too late for the market.
      "[Coroner] From what house did he go? - I don't know.
      "[Coroner] Did you hear the door bang after him? - No.
      "[Coroner] Then he must have walked up the court and back again? - Yes.
      "[Coroner] It might have been a policeman? - It might have been."
      [emphasis added]

    And from the inquest records, she states:
      "I heard men going in and out, several go in and out, I heard someone go out at a quarter to six - I do not know what house he went out of I heard no door shut."
      [emphasis added]

    No door was heard to open.
5. "at inquest the doctors made no mention of it [pregnancy]."
    Only one doctor testified at the inquest. No autopsy information was presented at the inquest, (except for cause of death), so it is impossible to omit a single item from a list of items that was never given. Plus, Dr. Bond’s report does not state that the uterus was gravid. Additionally, the Daily Telegraph comments, "By design, the medical testimony adduced at the inquest was limited to that which was absolutely required to enable the jury to find respecting the cause of death."
6. "Realising the danger the inquest was in if others testified in like manner, Dr. George Bagster Phillips was hurried in and the enquiry adjourned, never to be re-opened, with the words "There is evidence which I do not propose to call. . ." And that evidence may well have been provided by those who also might affirm that they had seen Mary Kelly alive on that morning."
    Pre-inquest statements were taken from those who were known to be testifying, at the time. There was nothing "unexpected" about the information that was presented. Nobody was "hurried in." As will be seen in the following extract, Dr. Phillips asked if his presence was required, the Coroner gave opportunity for an adjournment, and the jury stated the cause of death could be ascertained from the evidence presented.
      "The Coroner: You [Barnett] have given your evidence very well indeed. (To the Jury): The doctor has sent a note asking whether we shall want his attendance here to-day. I take it that it would be convenient that he should tell us roughly what the cause of death was, so as to enable the body to be buried. It will not be necessary to go into the details of the doctor's evidence; but he suggested that he might come to state roughly the cause of death.
      "The jury acquiesced in the proposed course.
      "[Coroner] Is there anything further the jury ought to know? - [Abberline] No; if there should be I can communicate with you, sir.
      "The Coroner (to the jury): The question is whether you will adjourn for further evidence. My own opinion is that it is very unnecessary for two courts to deal with these cases, and go through the same evidence time after time, which only causes expense and trouble. If the coroner’s jury can come to a decision as to the cause of death, then that is all that they have to do. They have nothing to do with prosecuting a man and saying what amount of penalty he is to get. It is quite sufficient if they find out what the cause of death was. It is for the police authorities to deal with the case and satisfy themselves as to any person who may be suspected later on. I do not want to take it out of your hands. It is for you to say whether at an adjournment you will hear minutiae of the evidence, or whether you will think it is a matter to be dealt with in the police-courts later on, and that, this woman having met with her death by the carotid artery having been cut, you will be satisfied to return a verdict to that effect. From what I learn the police are content to take the future conduct of the case. It is for you to say whether you will close the inquiry to-day; if not, we shall adjourn for a week or fortnight, to hear the evidence that you may desire.
      "The Foreman, having consulted with his colleagues, considered that the jury had had quite sufficient evidence before them upon which to give a verdict.
      "The Coroner: What is the verdict:
      "The Foreman: Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."

    Plus, during the Chapman inquest, Dr. Phillips demonstrated that he had no difficulty in expressing his opinion regarding the medical information that was being offered or asked to be presented. Additionally, during the Nichols inquest "Detective-inspector Abberline asked for an adjournment of some length, as certain things were coming to the knowledge of the police, and they wished for time to make inquiries." Hence, the police would have extended the inquest had they a need to do so.

    The Kelly case sets no precedent.
7. "But why not admit the truth? Because that meant owning that the doctors could not agree on the time of death, nor what precisely caused it, nor who the assailant was, and on top of all that they didn't know who the victim was!"
    There were medical disagreements over the exact nature of Stride’s death. Dr. Llewellyn stated that Nichols’s abdominal injuries were inflicted prior the throat wound, which is unusual, at best, (although he did later re-think his view about the killer being left-handed). As previously shown, there is conflict between the medical estimate for Chapman’s time of death and that based on witness testimony. Plus, there is continued uncertainty over any soldier’s involvement with Tabram’s death, let alone Tabram’s inclusion as a victim. To date, over 100 people have been named, Jack the Ripper, despite all of the information available to the modern researcher. The records clearly show that the inquest was held on Marie Jeanette Kelly. Had the authorities not accepted the identification, the victim would have been classified as a "woman unknown," as in the case of the Pinchin Street Torso or the Whitehall torso, (which occurred before the Miller’s Court murder). Additionally, the authorities were still attempting to ascertain the killer - "It was stated late last night that the persons taken in custody on the previous day had been liberated, and it is doubtful if the constabulary have obtained new clues to assist their search."

    The Kelly case sets no precedent.
References: Kelly Inquest Records, p9; MEPO 3/140, f220-223, 244; HO 144/221/A49301C (8a) f129, (8g) f160–161; Times, Aug 10, Oct 24, Nov 10, Nov 12, Sep 12 1889; Daily Telegraph, Sep 11 p3, Sep 13 p3, Sep 14 p3, Sep 20 p2, Sep 24 p3, Sep 27 p2, Oct 3 p3, Oct 6, p3, Oct 9 p3, Oct 12 p2, , Nov 10 p5, Nov 12 p5, Nov 13 p5; East London Observer, Sep 8; The Jack the Ripper A to Z, 2nd ed., p49-51, 303; Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, 1993, p617-618; "Another Look at Mary Kelly’s Heart" S. Gouriet Ryan, The Criminologist, p238-248, 1998 Winter Issue; Ripperana, #14 p15; "The Identification of Elizabeth Stride," Dave Yost, Ripper Notes, #4 p11-17

1. "Joe Barnett...from whom she [Kelly] wanted to leave, except he would not go."

    The split-up was due to Kelly wanting a "woman of bad character" to stay with them "out of compassion," and Barnett objected - "when in consequence of not earning sufficient money to give her and her resorting to prostitution, I resolved to leave her." His reaction is understandable. Plus, not everyone can live in such close quarters (10 feet x 12 feet room with a single bed) with numerous people, which did occur three years later - the 1891 census records reveal that 12 people resided at 13 Miller’s Court.
2. "She [Kelly]...seems to have been afraid of a mysterious stranger."
    Barnett did state that Kelly "seemed afraid of someone," when he read the news accounts of the murders to her, (upon her asking him to do so); albeit "she did not express fear of any particular individual." This is a natural reaction, considering the whole of the East End was talking about the murders, and in enough cases, over reacting to them. (E.g., innocent people being chased by mobs, because someone yelled, "Leather Apron," or "Jack the Ripper;" men scaring publicans into giving them free drink by claiming to be or be friends with "Leather Apron".) Many people had cause to be afraid of the unknown, or of a "mysterious stranger," especially in light of several recent "horrible" murders having gone unsolved and being blamed on one person.
3. "She may have been charged with being drunk and disorderly"
    No current information shows that the Fifth Canonical Victim was the "Mary Jane Kelly who was fined 2/6 [12 1/2p] at Thames Magistrates Court for drunken disordliness on 19 September 1888." Plus, it is known that pseudonyms would be given in lieu of a real name. Additionally, there were others, who also got drunk, had arguments, etc. - Chapman, Stride, Nichols, Tabram, and Eddowes.

    Kelly sets no precedent.
4. "She may have been heavy with child and may have had a son of about 10."
    Dr. Bond’s report - "The viscera were found in various parts viz: the uterus & Kidneys with one breast under the head." Had the uterus been gravid, Dr. Bond would have mentioned it. Plus, Dr. Hebbert provided autopsy information to Dr. Harris - "The abdominal viscera and pelvic viscera, including bladder, vagina, and uterus with appendages, had been torn from their cavities..." Again, no claim that the uterus was gravid. Plus, descriptions of Kelly give no indication that she was "heavy with child:"
      Mrs Phoenix stated Kelly was "5 feet 7 inches in height, and of rather stout build with blue eyes and a very fine head of hair which reached nearly to her waste;" Mrs Prater described her as tall, pretty, "fair as a lilly," and "on good terms with everybody;" yet, Mrs Maxwell described her as "a pleasant little woman, rather stout, fair complexion, and rather pale...spoke with a kind of impediment."
    Additionally, Barnett informed The Star a six or seven-year-old boy lived with Kelly, (not 10); yet, he informed the Daily Telegraph that Kelly "had never had any children." However, there were other victims who had children: Tabram, Nichols, (whose son helped pay for the funeral), Chapman, and Eddowes, (whose daughter testified at the inquest).

    Kelly sets no precedent.
5. "Almost certainly the ‘fondness’ was in Joe Fleming’s imagination."
    Barnett - "she [Kelly] was very fond of him [Fleming]."
    Venturney - "Deceased [Kelly] said she was fond of another man named Joe…she said she was very fond of him."
6. "Why would a woman who occupied a room for a few nights have left a man's overcoat, two dirty shirts, a boy's shirt and a girl's petticoat? And a bonnet! Maria Harvey was at least Mary's friend and one of the low women who she allowed to stay in that room."
    Kelly was also one of the "low women." "Barnett believed Kelly, who was an Irishwoman, was an ‘unfortunate’ before he made her acquaintance." Kelly informed Barnett that "she had obtained her livelihood as a prostitute for some considerable time" before he "took her from the streets." Maxwell also believed Kelly was an "unfortunate girl." By comparison, Chapman managed to earn money by doing crochet work, making antimaccassars, and selling flowers. Eddowes went hop-picking. Stride cleaned rooms, and Nichols at least attempted domestic service. Additionally, the act of giving things or having someone "hold" something temporarily is not unknown - Emily Birrel gave Catherine Eddowes a pawn ticket for a man’s shirt. Stride gave Lane a piece of velvet to hold for her.

    Kelly sets no precedent.
7. "One of them [mystery] is, what burned in the grate so fiercely that it melted the spout off a kettle and was still warm from the small hours of the night till mid-afternoon, and yet it didn't rouse the denizens of that crowded court with the light that it must have so brilliantly emitted?"
    While this particular question is a topic unto itself, the following may be of interest:
      1) The primary material for a typical heating "fire" would have been coal, which will not produce great flames in a quantity normally used for heat, but can generate a great amount of heat.
      2) For wool clothes to burn a hot fire is required, and will not be quickly consumed; yet, unlike clothes of wool, cotton clothes will readily burn, tending to either flare-up & be consumed quickly or smolder & die out. Therefore, the clothes would have been insufficient to create any kind of "blaze" to produce a "brilliantly emitted" light that might have lasted long enough to be noticed.
      3) The kettle would have been of brass, copper, or tin (most likely tin). Of these three materials, Tin has the lowest melting point (449.4-degree Fahrenheit). The type of solder used to braze the spout and handle to the kettle would be hard solder (a zinc copper alloy used for brazing), so as to not "melt" easily. Solder melts only when heat is directly applied to it.
      4) Harvey’s overcoat was used as a curtain to cover the window. Cox stated she was in her room by 3:00am and the light (possibly referring to the halfpenny candle Kelly bought on Nov 7th) was out and there was no noise, (i.e., singing). This would be around the time that Hucthinson left (who had been watching Kelly and the "well-to-do" man since c.2:00am). There are no other people explicitly known to us who was in the court between 3:00-5:00am. Plus, there is a gas lamp just outside of Venturney’s room, which was lit.
8. "Four garments, each about a yard long, which when twisted together into a sort of rope would be like ten feet of twisted timber as thick as a wrist, which when coiled within the grate would brightly burn as any wood, as warmly so, as constant and as steadfast."
    This assumes that the grate would have been big enough to contain the twisted mass of clothing - ashes were within the grate, no mention of ashes being on the floor. Plus, the clothing would have to have been bound in order to sustain their twisted shape.
9. "The body [of the hat] was probably straw painted with tar dissolved in linseed oil, the fruit made from paraffin wax polished with shellac and varnished, the strings that held the muslin veil stiffened with size attached with gum arabic and gutta-percha and all wreathed in crepe and gauze."
    Harvey does not describe her hat beyond it being "a black crepe bonnet with black satin strings." However, felt would have been a commonly used material for the bonnet’s "body," had its style required a more definitive shape. Nevertheless, Crepe: "light, soft, thin fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or other fabric with a crinkled surface. A black band of this fabric displayed/worn on sleeve/hat as a sign of mourning."
10. "Such a confection of combustibles would have exploded in furious flames to belch a rolling wave of heated gas brawling up the chimney which would easily melt the soft soldered spout off a cheap tin kettle, and after its short uproarious life would weep its rage in globduled tears upon the cabled clothing beneath and ignite them, and the wind pursing its lips against the broken window panes to sigh upon the fire could easily smoulder the embers away for hours."
    The type of "fire" described would leave only ashes; yet, the bonnet’s brim and a portion of skirt still remained. Plus, There would not have been that much solder, and it would have rolled down the surface of the kettle, going no further had it not simply evaporated; and, the clothes would already have been on fire, since that is what Kelly used to start the fire (per the essay). Additionally, The window was nearly diagonally opposite from the fireplace with Harvey’s coat acting as a curtain, (ref. Figure 4 - enlarged view of Kelly's room from Figure 1 - not in originally published article).
11. "Which, in fact, it did [embers smoldered]. So much so that the raiment was still identifiable five hours later when the room was opened and it was found that two of the shirts were dirty."
    Contrary implication - "Such a confection of combustibles" exploding and producing such "furious flames" would not leave anything identifiable, for it would have consumed the consumables.
References: Kelly Inquest Records, p4, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 18, 19, 27; Eddowes Inquest Records, p28, 29, 30; MEPO 3/140, f 220-223, 226, 227-229, 236; Daily Telegraph, Sep 4 p2, Sep 10 p3, Sep 11 p3, Sep 12 p3, Oct 4 p5, Nov 10 p5, Nov 12 p5, Nov 13 p5; Illustrated Police News, Sep 22; Star, Sep 8 p2-3; Manchester Guardian, Sep 10; Times, Aug 24, Nov 10 p7; The Jack the Ripper A to Z, 2nd ed., p47, 227, 229, 232-233, 236, 330, 454-455; The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, p22, 61-62, 77, 310; "Another Look at Mary Kelly’s Heart" S. Gouriet Ryan, The Criminologist, p238-248, 1998 Winter Issue; Ripperana, #14 p15, #15 p20; Census Records information courtesy of Alan Jones; WHAT JANE AUSTEN ATE AND CHARLES DICKENS KNEW, p26, 30, 159-160, 193; THE TORMONT WEBSTER'S ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIC DICTIONARY, 1990 ed., p406, 579, 1728; The Smoke & Fire Company; The Revereware Company

The reader is asked to consider the idea that Kelly was so in debt that her sexual prowess as a prostitute had no financial value. Kelly might have obtained money by selling clothes that Harvey stole; yet, Kelly burnt those clothes (per the essay). The rent payment was stopped around mid-August (approximately twelve weeks); yet, she and Barnett were only a little over six weeks in arrears. Plus, she may have had a fine to pay. Hutchinson may have taken money from her, (even though she asked him for money). And Barnett could offer her very little because he was unemployed and "could not give her any money" when he last saw Kelly. Albeit within nine days, she manages to acquire "quite a little nest egg;" which was done by sub-letting the room unknowingly to anyone. This money was to be paid to McCarthy to back fill the rent (and possibly pay for the broken windows?); yet she dreaded Friday, November 9th, despite this available sum of money. The day being dreaded because of the owed rent and the broken windowpanes, despite that rent would have been sought once already after the panes were broken.

The reader is aware that various witnesses saw Kelly in or near her residence up to and including 3:00am with some witnesses stating she was drunk. Yet, it is then offered that after 3:00am she unknowingly slipped out, rented the room to an unknown, and then woke up earlier than usual at her new digs, early enough to return by 8:00am, expecting it to be a normal day, (despite the "dread"). However, Pickett’s interaction is never explained. She arrived at 7:30am to borrow something from Kelly; the door was supposedly left "ajar" when the killer departed; albeit, Pickett never noted this nor found the body, which would have happened.

The reader is asked to consider the idea that Kelly found the key (which Barnett believed to be lost). When McCarthy took the key back, he essentially evicted her; yet, Kelly feared eviction (to which she was no stranger). Kelly then locked the door upon her final departure from Miller’s Court with the key that McCarthy already took back.

The reader is asked to consider a fire so "furious" that from its description, one would not only wonder why the chimney did not catch fire, but why the room, itself, did not; yet, "remnants" of clothing were found in the grate with no ashes on the floor. And it is offered that a great deal of light would have been emitted by this "fire" that anyone would have seen, despite the coat hanging over the window and the lit gas lamp outside Venturney’s room.

The reader is asked to consider the idea that the numerous people left the Lord Mayor’s parade to persuade the police that Kelly was alive. People like "friends of Maurice Lewis." Albeit, it is offered that the police became confused due to conflicting identifications, because "Mary was remembered by so many people on that morning;" even though conflicting identifications (or no identification) on a victim was not new prior the Kelly case.

The reader is asked to consider that Mary spent her nest egg and was seen by so many people because she might have "trolled and tarried round her favourite drinking dens," despite that "Inquiry, however, tends to show that the deceased woman did not go to the public-house at the corner, nor was she served at any other in the neighbourhood on the morning of her death."

The reader is asked to consider the idea that in order for the police to not suffer from bad press, they felt a requirement to hastily hold an inquest to ensure that what identification they had was officially accepted, else they might loose face. This in spite of the fact that a previous victim’s identification was in question, and in spite of the fact that the radical-press, from the beginning, hounded the police with bad press.

I realize there were 160 some odd newspapers circulating in London at the time (ranging from weekly penny pieces to multi-page daily publications), along with foreign newspapers, and that some of these papers merely copied previously published articles or generated summaries from previously published articles. However, I have yet to see, read, or hear about some of the alleged events described within the essay. Events such as how people left the Lord Mayor’s parade to inform the police that Kelly was still alive; that a constable struck a bystander because of disagreement over the victim’s identification; that "Mary was remembered [being seen] by so many people that morning." Or, that Harvey was a thief. Or, that Barnett lost his job due to dishonesty. Or, that Kelly was viewed as anything but a prostitute. Or, that McCarthy would have publicly humiliated (or temporarily enslaved) Kelly for the broken windowpanes. Or, that Fleming physically abused Kelly. Albeit, no hypothesis within this case is without its suppositions.

Nevertheless, the case of Jack the Ripper is strewn with hypotheses that are founded upon suppositions. And, the modern researcher has become accustomed to this, unnecessarily. Example: what if Inspector Abberline were Jack the Ripper - he who knew the East End best, a cop, the man responsible for the investigation on the ground, a man who would have been able to move about with impunity, merely to present whatever story he desired to his superiors? Abberline could easily have been the embodiment of Father Brown’s Invisible Man. ‘Folly,’ you say? ‘We know Inspector Abberline,’ you say? Perhaps, we know the victims, just as well.

The idea that the Miller’s Court victim was not Kelly would be a modern desire that someone we have come to know was not so decimated, like a deer that has been skinned and gutted after the kill. What better way to resolve the disturbance to our sensibilities, except to accept that it was someone we do not know, and to think that she, the one we do know, has gone off to live "happily ever after."

    "Over the years, Mary has changed in our imagination...she comes to us now not as one who blithely sank to the lowest sinks of degradation...but as a country girl so daisy fresh and shining"
    "And away went she to that emerald island where she had spent her sunlit childhood, and therein recovered her health and her fortunes and met and wed the man of her choice, and in lusting and in liking, in passion and in purity, lived out a long and happy life."
Albeit, the essay’s underlining theme is right in that we do not know for a "definitely ascertained fact" whose dead body was found by Bowyer, because of the extensive mutilations. But, if it was not Kelly, then someone else has been immortalized under an assumed identity, and for the same reason as the other victims - the name is not all inclusively important, only that we do not forget the victims while we seek to name the nameless. So, Did Mary Kelly Survive? Until the evidence suggests otherwise, I think those who study this subject of mutual interest are quite safe in acknowledging the fifth and final canonical victim as Mary Jane Kelly.

Related pages:
  Caroline Maxwell
       Dissertations: Did Mary Kelly Survive? 
       Message Boards: Caroline Maxwell 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 10 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 10 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 10 November 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 10 November 1888 
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  Dave Yost
       Dissertations: American Connections to the Jack the Ripper Case 
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       Dissertations: Long -vs- Cadoche 
       Dissertations: Matthew Packer - Final Thoughts 
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  Mary Jane Kelly
       Home: Timeline - Mary Jane Kelly 
       Dissertations: Estimating Mary Kellys Time of Death 
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       Ripper Media: Jack l’Eventreur: Le Secret de Mary Jane K. 
       Ripper Media: Mary Jane Kelly: La derniere victime 
       Ripper Media: The Inquest of the Final Victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary ... 
       Ripper Media: Will the Real Mary Kelly? 
       Victims: A Violet From Mother's Grave 
       Victims: Mary Jane Kelly 
       Victims: Testimonies of George Hutchinson and Sara Lewis 
       Victorian London: Dorset Street 
       Victorian London: Overcrowding in a School Room 
       Witnesses: Elizabeth Phoenix 
       Witnesses: Lizzie Albrook 
       Witnesses: Thomas Bowyer 
       Witnesses: Walter Beck