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Kane Friday
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Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 7:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all.
Among the many mysteries surrounding the murder of woman known to us as Mary Kelly,is that of the letters she received from her family in Ireland.

I believe both Barnett and McCarthy refered to them in their statments.
McCarthy mentioned that any mail posted to residents living in the court,went to him first.

My first question is why?
Was McCarthy's the only door with a letterbox?

Also more importantly,what happened to those letters?
There was no mention of them being found in Kelly's room.
Nothing after Abberlines thorough search the following day!

Of course these letters would have been vital to the Police in there efforts to trace Kelly's family and even her killer.

Maybe the Ripper himself burt them in the grate for that very reason.
This of course begs the question...did Kelly know her killer?

Talking of the fire in Kelly's room,Abberline said that he found that a lot of burnt clothing in the ashes in the fireplace.
It may have been that the killer had removed his own clothes,and wore some of the items left by Maria Harvey,in order to keep himself clean.
He possibly used the large portion of Eddowes'apron in the same way!

So why did the Ripper bother to burn the soiled clothes? Why didn't he just leave them on the floor?

Well,quite possibly,being one step ahead of the Police as usual,the killer had read in the newspapers that bloodhounds where to be used and so burned anything in the room he may have touched,that would have carried his scent.

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John Carey
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Posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 7:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The best coverage I have found about the probable writers of these letters is in The Star 12 November 1888 report or Barnett’s testimony at the inquest, when Barnett was reported as saying:
“She (Kelly) went to France, but remained only a short time. Afterwards she lived in a fashionable house in the West-end of London; but drifted from the West-end to the East-end, where she took lodgings in Pennington-street. Her father came from Wales, and tried to find her there; (when she was living at Pennington Street, I infer) but, hearing from her companions that he was looking for her, Marie kept out of the way. A brother in the Second Battalion Scots Guards came to see her once, but beyond that she saw none of her relations, nor did she correspond with them. When she was in Pennington-street a man named Morganstone lived with her, and subsequently a man named Joseph Fleming passed as her husband."
The Star report continued: “The authorities have been making inquiries concerning the soldier who, according to Barnett, was in the second battalion of the Scots Guards. That regiment is now in Dublin, and it is understood that inquiries will be immediately prosecuted there. (Without success, it seems.)
This brief report at least has the merit of being written contemporaneously from first-hand source (the reporter heard Barnett’s spoken words himself) unlike some examples of “Ripperology”. It raises a number of interesting points. Kelly’s father came from Wales to London, and tried to find her there. If this is true, how did he know she was in London? Reading the Stat report, it implies that her brother knew the exact address where she was living. Was the brother with whom she may have corresponded the source of telling her father where she was living? The Star report adds confirmation that Mary Kelly came from Wales, although it does not identify her father by name. Although according to the legend Mary had left home around 1879 to live with Davis the coliier, and then gone to Cardiff and a bad life (which from my searches appears to be true) she had evidently not been entirely disowned by her family or else why would her farther and her soldier brother go looking for her? I am left to wonder from the Star report whether her brother wrote letters to her (quite likely especially in view of John McCarthy’s evidence of Kelly receiving letters in the post) and if she and her father also corresponded from time to time (possible)

The Star report as I read it, is saying that none of her other relatives had contact with her, in person or in writing, although her brother and her father may well have done so. In any event, one or other must have known Mary was living in London for them to make the journey. Without wanting to make too much of an issue of this line of reasoning, it is at least consistent with Kelly keeping in touch with her family (or adopted family) but not wishing to return to the family home in Wales at that time where she would have been shunned as a young woman who had given birth to an illegitimate child. Since we do not know more about this family, and new information is unlikely to be found after all this time, I can only make an assessment on what looks reasonable on the available evidence. Is this how we would reasonably expect a reasonable father and son to behave towards a young daughter and sister who, although she had left home and then had fallen on hard times may, whatever she had done in the past, still have meant something to them. Or is there another, better explanation?
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Joan Taylor
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Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 9:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It seems fairly normal that Mary's family in Ireland wrote to her. The issue is finding this family. Alan Sharp has done some interesting research on this on the 'who is Mary Kelly' board. Many people in Ireland were terribly poor, and Mary will have known it was out of the question to ask them to bail her out.
However, they will have been a close knit, close community, who kept in touch.
Irish families were extremely close and loved a good natter. It was never considered a mystery that Mary's family wrote to her.
However I do reccommend the Mary boards.
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Greg James
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Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Your observation about the letters would surely suggest that the police knew all about the true identity of MJK, assuming they had them in their possession. For whatever reason, perhaps the very nature of her profession, the police had perhaps decided to keep this identity a closely guarded secret.

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