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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Mary Jane Kelly » The (in)Famous Window Photograph. » Archive through February 06, 2005 « Previous Next »

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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 68
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 4:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with the photograph of the exterior of Mary Kelly's room, showing the two windows.

Has anyone got any information about this photograph? When was it taken? Who by?

I would be very interested in getting this one nailed down.

Bob Hinton
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 337
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Bob,

I think I've mentioned this before, but you obviously missed it. Click on 'Victorian London' in the panel on the left, open 'Photographs/Whitechapel Then and Now'. Click on 'Dorset Street' and the second photo was taken on the morning of the murdder, by the police photographer.

LEANNE
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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 69
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 8:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Leanne,

No I didn't miss the picture you refer to and I have read the caption, but what validates this caption?

What is the provenance of the photo?

I think the first thing we must do is to establish where and when it was first published?

Bob
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Robert Charles Linford
Detective Sergeant
Username: Robert

Post Number: 131
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 9:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Bob

If the photo was taken on the 9th, the floor looks terribly clean. There had been a lot of people in the Court. Surely they would have left some rubbish behind?

If on the other hand the photographer swept up before taking the picture, why didn't he move the tray?

Could that tray belong to Diddles the cat, from upstairs?

Robert
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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 70
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 9:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I personally believe this photo was taken at amuch later date. Why? For two main reasons.

First there was no reason to photograph the outside of the room. All the police were interested in were photos of the body and the injuries sustained. Today of course you photograph everything.

Second, if you look at the left hand side of the larger window there appears to be a curtain. Assuming this was the first photograph to be taken, surely this would have been drawn, entry to the room not having been made yet. It couldn't have been taken later on as the windows were boarded up and they were still boarded up at the time of the inquest. What would be the point of taking the photo after the inquest?

Unfortunately the photograph does not contain sufficient clarity to say whether or not any of the panes of glass are broken.

Bob
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 338
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Bob,

At the time, they had no idea how the window was broken, and the photographer called by the police would have been told to record everything.

Look at the door. It appears to have been opened, which would indicate that it was taken after entry was made. Why should that curtain you mention have been drawn?

LEANNE
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David O'Flaherty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 81
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 11:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The photo posted here at Casebook is too dark to see any broken windowpanes, but in the copy provided by Ultimate Companion, I can make out that the upper right pane is broken--there's an area that's darker than the rest of the pane. If I really squint, it looks to me like the lower right is also broken.

I can't say anything as to the date of the photograph, but it seems reasonable that the exterior could have been photographed after the interior, before it was boarded up. A possible reason for photographing it is that the window figured in the investigation, since that was how the body was first discovered.

I also see what appears to be a curtain in the larger window. It also seems logical that while investigating the interior, the curtains would have been opened to admit light for the examination.

Just my two cents. I'd also be interested in knowing what the source was for this photograph. Is this picture included in the official files? It's a shame Stewart's not posting anymore, because he would certainly know the answer. Maybe it's been covered on the old boards--I'll have to check the archives.

Dave

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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 71
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 6:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In the photograph in ultimate source book, three patches of a suspicious nature can be discerned. Upper right, and the two lower ones. Are these broken windows or what? Impossible to say but we do know that on the day there were only two broken windows.

It is impossible to say whether the door is open or closed from this photograph.

I disagree that the photographer would have been told to photograph everything. Photographs were time consuming and expensive. The window has absolutely nothing to do with the murder, or the body, now if we also had photographs of the door, the lock the interior etc etc I would agree with you but we don't. Sure they could have been lost, they might equally have never existed.

This photograph has all the hallmarks not of a crime scene photo ( there is absolutely no detritus, equipment, coppers feet, personnel or other rubbish that is normally associated with a crime scene photo) but of a photo taken years after the event to record something for posterity, with the adjoining areas given a quick going over with a broom first.

We have to tackle this from another angle, anyone out there do photo interpretation? Where's the Brylcream boys when you need them?

Here's my thinking. The window shot does not appear to have been taken with a magnesium flash, such a flash would have reflected back off the glass. It is therefore possible it was taken in daylight with a reasonably good film. Millers Court was enclosed, surrounded by high walls, therefore the only time it would have had sufficient light to take such a photograph without a flash would have been about noon on a bright sunny day.

We know that the day of the murder was damp and dreary with heavy overcast. (does the court look remarkably dry to anyone else?)

Now look at the photos in Matters book, especially the famous chair shot of the entrance to Millers Court. The shadow of the chair shows us a bright sunny day at about noon. Now look at the 29 Hanbury street shot, again a bright sunny day possibly 10am.

How about this for a theory. Matters or someone taking pictures for him starts off in Hanbury street, takes a picture chats a while then moves on to Dorset St where he takes the Millers Court photos.

This is speculation of course. But if its wrong we have to establish how a photographer of the day (1888) could take such a picture on a dreary overcast day in November without using a flash!

Bob
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 340
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 8:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Bob,

I'll tell you how I worked out that the door was open in the photograph here on 'Casebook':

Look at the bottom horizontal edge of the door. It appears to be pointing in, not straight across to the other side! With me?

LEANNE
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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 72
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 9:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Leanne,

No can't see it. I've scanned in a copy at high resolution and will hand it over to an expert to enhance.

Don't forget the door was hinged at the edge furthest away from us.

Bob
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 342
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Bob,

Is it possible that the photo appears lighter on my computer than it does on yours? Yes, see what the expert says, because now I see parts that could have been a flash used in daylight hours!

The lighter parts on the larger window, and what's that speck of white on the lower-left frame of the small window? I even wiped my computer screen, to make sure it had no dust on it!

I'm going to bed now. I'll continue in the morning! Good night!

LEANNE
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David O'Flaherty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 82
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found this on the old Kelly Crime Scene Photographs thread. This is from a post by Viper on Dec. 28th, 1999:

"For a contemporary photo of Millerís Court, look at the one depicting the back of Mary Kellyís room, showing both rear windows and the passageway back to Dorset Street. It appears in Rumbelow, between pages 116 and 117 of the 1987 hardback edition."

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Rumbelow's book, but perhaps he references the source?

Hope this helps,
Dave
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Brian W. Schoeneman
Inspector
Username: Deltaxi65

Post Number: 256
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David,

I pulled my copy - the pictures are there, but I don't see any references as to where they came from. It's the same photo on the Casebook.

B
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David O'Flaherty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 83
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 2:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Brian

I wonder if that exterior shot was one of the negatives Donald Rumbelow discovered in the 60s. I reread Stewart's dissertation on the provenance of the MJK photos, but he doesn't mention any exterior shots and in Ultimate, there's no mention of the date the photo was taken. So maybe it's contemporary, or part of the batch that was taken in the 20s, maybe? I'd be interested to know why Viper said it's contemporary. I'm inclined to trust his word since he knows all things Whitechapel :-)

Thanks for checking that for me, Brian.

Cheers,
Dave
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John Hacker
Sergeant
Username: Jhacker

Post Number: 18
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 4:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all,

In my copy of Rumbelow's book the caption under the exterior shot showing the windows reads "Kelly's room before the window frame was removed later the same day."

If the frame was removed at the time of the murder, it would pretty much date the photograph. But offhand I don't recall ever reading anything to that effect before.

Regards,

John
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 354
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 2:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

Thomas Bowyer testified at Kelly's inquest: "I refer to plan and I mean the farthest pane of the first window the small one..." If he called the small window the first one, obviously he was thinking the first was closet to the corner. The farthest pane, would have been the lower left one. "...I looked in the window, there was a curtain over the window..." This was obviously the man's coat left by Harvey. "...I pulled the curtain aside..." He stuck his hand through the lower hole in the lower right pane, still looking through the lower left one. "...and looked in..." It was glass, so why should he have looked through the pane that he stuck his hand in to move the coat with? "...I saw two lumps of flesh laying on the table close against the bed..."

The two broken panes were the upper and lower panes closest to the pipe!

LEANNE
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Scott Nelson
Sergeant
Username: Snelson

Post Number: 12
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yup, you're right Leanne. That's exactly the conclusion I came to. And it's partly supported by the contemporary sketch, "A Lost Woman Mary Kelly in Millers Court", which shows that the lower right pane is broken (Ultimate Sourcebook, opposite p. 341) Wouldn't it make more sense for someone reaching through a broken pane to more easily unlatch a door from waist-level, reaching through the lower pane nearest the door, rather than from the furthest pane or from the upper right pane, where very careful leverage would have to be maintained to avoid being cut? In other words, it wouldn't be quite so "easy."
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 356
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 5:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Scott,

All it took was a slow reading of what Thomas Bowyer actually said!

LEA!
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DJHINES57
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 3:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With regards to dating the photograph of 13 Miller's Court did not Donald Rumbelow mention in his Complete Jack the Ripper discovering the negative amongst a collection of glass negatives of the City Police? What became of this glass negative and surely we can date this type. I'm in the possession of a glass negative of my Grandfather in WWI and I am sure such a method of recording a image by this method was quite antiquated by 1914. Any thoughts folks?
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Angelina Thomas
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all, Okay.... maybe it's just me, but it seems that the "infamous window picture" is more like the "infamous door picture". There is no way that the first photgraph was taken through the window. First of all the angle would be completely off. Second, there wouldn't have been enough room to take this shot through the broken glass, let alone the closness of it. And third, if the picture was taken through the unbroken part of the window there would have been a glare and the photo would not be as clear.

Any thoughts???
Angelina
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Nina Thomas
Sergeant
Username: Nina

Post Number: 31
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 5:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At the Kelly inquest Dr. Phillips stated: I found a room the door of which led out of the passage near 26 Dorset Street and having two windows I produce a photograph I had taken...
Did Dr. Phillips take the Photo?

Nina
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Natalie Severn
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Severn

Post Number: 1136
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 5:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Nina,thats a good find!Good to see you on the boards again.Natalie
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Alan Sharp
Chief Inspector
Username: Ash

Post Number: 656
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 6:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nina

I assumed him to mean that it was a photograph was taken on his instructions. In the English vernacular if the photograph was by himself he would probably have said "a photograph which I took".
"Everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."
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Nina Thomas
Sergeant
Username: Nina

Post Number: 32
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 10:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Natalie,
Glad to be back.

Alan,
Thanks, I can see it clearly now.

The Times of November 10th contained the following: Mr Arnold, having satisfied himself that the woman was dead, ordered one of the windows to be entirely removed.
http://www.casebook.org/press_reports/times/18881110.html
Are there any other references to the window being removed?

Nina


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Jon Smyth
Inspector
Username: Jon

Post Number: 228
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 4:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob wrote:
"The window has absolutely nothing to do with the murder, or the body, now if we also had photographs of the door, the lock the interior etc etc I would agree with you but we don't."

Bob, we have no idea how many photo's were taken that day, from isolated statements we can deduce that certainly more were taken than have survived.
Surely it is not unreasonable to have an outside shot taken of the murder location?. There was no other vantage point from which to take such a shot.
Dr. Phillips said he had the window shot taken and it could certainly have been done without a flash. Previously this group, either rightly or wrongly, had determined that the indoor photo's were not taken using a flash, so why do you think an outside shot had to use a flash?.

Regards, Jon


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Scott Suttar
Inspector
Username: Scotty

Post Number: 165
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 1:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all,

Just to put in my 2 cents worth. I'm with Jon here, I still think it is possible that the photo was taken on the day of the murder. To me the walls appear whitewashed, if that is correct then it would have been easier to obtain a good exposure. I doubt a flash would have been used as the photographic equipment of the day worked quite well without one, especially if nothing in the frame was going to move. Look around this site and you will find plenty of pictures taken at the time with people in them where the people who are moving are blurred. This is because of the long exposure time required, as such it makes perfect sense that no people appear in the photograph as they would not enhance it in any way. Also any photographer will tell you that an overcast day is the ideal lighting for photography outdoors because there is a lower contrast ratio between the bright objects and the darker objects. Overcast light is even and soft. If you look at the photo again the top of the picture is far more exposed than the bottom which indicates there was more light up there which of course you would expect there to be in the court. But we see no clear outlines of shadows cast by the surrounding buildings which we would see on a bright sunny day.

DJHINES57, you're completely correct. If the picture was taken by the same photographer as the other MJK pics, then it was not taken on film but on a glass plate. If the photo was taken 20 - 30 years later there is almost no chance that the photo would have been a glass plate exposure. 1888 was the year that Kodak started production of the film type we know today, albiet a very early variety. Don't suppose anyone is able to contact Donald Rumbelow and ask if this was one of the glass plates he found?

Angelina, I think the photo you mention (the first MJK photo, wide angle) could have been taken through the window but only after it was removed from it's frame. If the large window on the left was removed I think it would be in almost the perfect location for the photo to be taken.
Scotty.
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John Casey
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've done some work on the windows, to increase contrast/brightness a bit. On the right hand window, it looks to me as if the bottom pane is broken at the top right quarter, and most of the top pane seems to be missing. Of course thats just how I interpret it.
On the left hand window, which I've posted an enlargement of, does anybody else see a womans face looking as if she's lying on a bed!? Again it's maybe just how I see it, but is there any possibility that a photograph was taken from the outside with MJK still lying there?left hand windowboth windows
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debra Arif
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 1:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi John
I did exactly the same thing with the photograph once...and yes I must admit I did see what looked like a womans face and i also saw a hand, but I have a vivid imagination !
The only thing is Mary's bed would not have been visible from this window I don't think, her bed was on the opposite wall to the window opposite the small window which i believe is the one Bowyer viewed the scene from.
So it must be our imagination!
I am glad someone else has seen it though and not just me
Debra
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Lindsey Millar
Inspector
Username: Lindsey

Post Number: 275
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 9:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi John,

First of all, thank you for working on the window.

I don't yet see an image of MJK, but I'm all ears.

If you could tell me exactly where you see the image, maybe.

All ears,

Lyn
"When a man grows tired of London, he grows tired of life" (or summat like that)
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 4037
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 4:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi John

I don't see a face (except for what is obviously an optical illusion in the bottom left corner)and I suppose that for a face to be visible through the big window they'd have had to pull out the bed and maybe turn it round.

If we take the 16 panes in the big window and call them A - D downwards and 1 - 4 across, then there is the suggestion of a bedpost at square C3. It starts halfway down the pane, on the extreme left of it, and continues into the pane below. But I dare say that's an optical illusion too.

Lyn, all ears, MJK....is that a sick joke?

Robert
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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 318
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 6:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now... this window business...

I may need some clarity here...

The COAT was over the window closest to the door, obviously, yes? Did the larger window have curtains? Is it only a likelihood it was a coat over the smaller window as I seem to recall debate about this quite recently? If a coat, then firstly it must have been a big one, and secondly how could it have been placed over the window in order to afford privacy? I can't see how a big and very heavy coat (which it would have to have been I think) could, if put over a curtain rail or pelmet and spread out, stay there and not just succumb to gravity immediately?

I COULD vaguely see a very small trace of the famous photo through the larger window yesterday. I can't see it today. The fading horizontal strip across that part of the picture (it goes over the window frame too) has a lot to answer for.

I too adjusted my copy of the photo. Now I had always been led to believe it was taken on the same day as the body was discovered. I have seen clearer copies of this in books and it is quite clear in those that 2 panes of glass are smashed - but I can't swear with absolute certainty that it IS the 2 marked out above (that doesn't mean it isn't though). Having adjusted my copy it all went a bit weird - there seems little doubt the bottom right pane has it's top right half on the diagonal broken away, but the gap in the pane above it in my shot seems also to encompass the actual window frame. To add to this, there appears to be an S-shaped hole in the bottom left pane too.

It all gets very weird. And this probably hasn't helped at all. Theorising about JTR isn't usually something that I get into (just the facts, Ma'am) but I think there ARE answers here somewhere.

PHILIP
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 319
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 6:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ha haaa!

Looked at the shot of #13 as elsewhere on this site, which is lighter than my copy and easy to see. Here's - clearly marked out - the holes in the windows.

PHILIP

windows
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 4038
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 7:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Philip

I'm not sure when the photo was taken. I've seen it suggested that it was taken by Matters just before demolition.

The only time I sometimes think there's a face is when I look at the Prater window above. And I'm struck by how low the ceiling must have been in Kelly's room (at least from the photo). Given that Prater's window would have to start a little way above her floorboards, there looks hardly space for anyone to stand up inside 13 room.

Robert
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Ally
Chief Inspector
Username: Ally

Post Number: 823
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 7:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I see the optical illusion of a woman's face but there is no possibility that the face is actually MJK lying in the bed. Putting aside the way the room was laid out, to be perfectly frank, MJK didn't have a face once the Ripper got done with her, so you wouldn't be seeing it anyway.


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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 322
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 7:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yo Robert (can I say 'Yo' anachronistically?)

Are you sure that tiny bit you see at the top left of the photo is actually the bottom of Prater's window and not just an architectural feature denoting the seperation of the floors? If the latter, then the room would be of usual height (and remember, of course, that this would thus denote the height of the entire ground floor of 26 Dorset Street).

If this shot WAS taken by Matters just prior to demolition, then it is one Hell of a coincidence that those same 2 panes are broken again. If you go to the link given for Dorset Street above on this thread, you will see that the top pane, at least, is very clearly smashed.

Though it may not be the greatest of indicators, the grain and tone of this shot is very unlike the 2 that Matters took at the front of Miller's Court in 1928. I would also add that - bit of amateur psychology - Matters would have made sure he had got a photo through the window of the room itself if he had taken that shot.

One other thing - I have just checked my copy of Matters (ain't you all so JEALOUS I have one?!) and he says on page 89 that when he visited, just days before demolition - this is when the old woman on the chair swore at him - for the first and only time, #13 was not only closed but BOARDED UP.

I'm going with the 1888 glass plate camp myself.

PHILIP
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 1800
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 7:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

if you squint a little and tell yourself its there....isn't it strange what you can convince yourself?
Jenni
"What d'you think about that? Now you know how I feel"
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 4039
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Philip

Matters said it was boarded up? Well then, it doesn't look like this photo was by Matters. But then again, why didn't Matters take a photo with the room boarded up? Why just go to the entrance of the alley and take one of that? Why not go into the court?

Re the window, I'm going by the pic in Rumbelow, where the upstairs window can be seen. Maybe it's a trick of the camera, but there doesn't seem to be much room between the top of Kelly's window and the bottom of Prater's.

Robert
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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 323
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 9:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert - Do you know, I actually don't have Don's book! 50-odd Ripper books, half of them rare ones, and I don't have the centrepiece! I heard a new revised one was out (but I've yet to see any for sale) so I'll get one over the summer (hardback preferably) and get him to sign it at Brighton. I could do it when I see him a couple of times a week when we're doing our walks at the same time - but it would look a bit out of character! On looking at the shot it doesn't seem too low a ceiling to me - I have seen a 'reconstruction' picture of Liz Prater waking up and I seem to remember the window was close to the floor? But if you look at the alley opening and at MJK's door, the room still looks a good 7 feet tall to me.

To quote Mr Matters : "Abutting on this yard, or 'court', was the small back room in which the woman Kelly was killed - a dirty, damp and dismal hovel, with boarded-up windows and a padlocked door as though the place had not been occupied since the crime was committed".

In regards to why he didn't take a picture of the room - another good one. Maybe he did. Maybe his publisher thought the shot too uninteresting at the time to be included in the book? After all - the dark alley is much more dramatic. If so - maybe there exists in an archive somewhere another photo of #13? Wouldn't that be cool? Sadly, my copy is the 1964 Arrow reprint so has no pictures in it at all. It still cost me a packet, though!

Jen : Are you referring to the supposed shape in the room, or my outline of the broken windows? If the former - I agree. If the latter, there is no 'convincing' at all - that top pane, especially, is definitely smashed! Rather like I expect some of you were at The City Darts last night...


PHILIP
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 324
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looking at the photo of the 2 windows at the back does make me wonder...

They don't match, they are of different heights and why is there a need for 2 of them?

Is it possible that once they served a different purpose? Part of 2 tiny rooms knocked through, or seperated on the outside in some way? This is a really weird feature and is starting to bug me! Does anyone know?

PHILIP
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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Frank van Oploo
Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 476
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert,

If the ceiling was as low as you suggest it might have been, people would have to have practically crawled through the door to get in or out. Even if we just for the sake of argument would put the door at 5 ft 5 (which seems low to me, but hey, what do I know), a ceiling directly above the large window would still put it at about 5 ft 11 or 6 ft at least. This doesn't seem very high, I agree, but it doesn't seem that low either.

All the best,
Frank
"Every disadvantage has it's advantage."
Johan Cruijff
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George Hutchinson
Inspector
Username: Philip

Post Number: 325
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 9:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lyn - in regards to the 'face', I have marked out below what I think it is. But then there is a monster in the next pane I've also marked out so I wouldn't set much store by it! Whatever next? People will be seeing the initials 'FM' on the wall!

PHILIP

face
Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd!
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Frank van Oploo
Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 477
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 9:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I see I've made a mistake. The distance between the top of the door and the top of the large window would have been much bigger than I suggested in my post above. Perhaps something like 25-30 cm, which would be something like 10 or 11 inches and which would put the ceiling at about 190 cm or 6 ft 3 at least.

Cheers,
Frank
"Every disadvantage has it's advantage."
Johan Cruijff
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Jane
Inspector
Username: Jcoram

Post Number: 245
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 10:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi All,

I am pretty convinced that I read that the shot was actually taken on the day of the murder, but I know what you're going to say, 'quote your source' I can't but I am pretty certain that I read it. I think Hutch's point about the windows being broken is pretty good proof, also apart from seeing faces or whatever, that is the same table in the same place inside the room, everything about it is identical to the police contemporary sketches. I am quite certain that it was taken the day of the murder after the interior shots were taken.

The different sized windows? I believe it was originally a kitchen and that could account for the different sized windows. I can' t think of any other reason. Maybe a tiny pantry/ storeroom inside the door?

Jane

xxxxxx
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 1801
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hey Philip,

no no i was referring to the former.
I wasn't at the City darts (ever sadly)

Jenni
ps your first outline looks a bit like eng/sct/wales!!

pps do you prefer this sig.!
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Frank van Oploo
Inspector
Username: Franko

Post Number: 478
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Philip,

What casts doubt on the photograph being taken on the day of the murder is that from the inquest testimony it can be deducted that two diagonally opposed panes were broken, not one on top of the other.

So, that leaves us with two possibilities: the photograph wasn't taken on the day of the murder, or, at least one of the holes you've pointed out to be a hole isn't a hole and the second hole isn't visible in the photo.

I hope you don't mind my butting in.

Cheers,
Frank
"Every disadvantage has it's advantage."
Johan Cruijff
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 4040
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi folks

Maybe the ceiling in there is higher than it seems in the photo. Don't mind me, anyway - I have the same problems with Dr Who's Tardis.

Robert
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DeadEnd
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

does anyone know how or why and by who the windows were broken in the first place? I was thinking about this and if they were broken to get into the rooms then the person would have to have reached all the way across the door to the latch ... that's quite a stretch for anyone. someone on here also said that it would have been locked at waist level, that wouldn't be true if there were a dead bolt near shoulder / head height.
I admit i'm very new to the particulars and if it was printed somewhere i haven't seen it ...yet.
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John Casey
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 11:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have enhanced the pic as much as I can so you can still see the "face", which I've also outlined....hope this helps!
"face" enhanced
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John Casey
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 7:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Point taken Ally, he did a pretty thorough job on her....
Robert, using your numbering/lettering of the window panes what I saw as a face is in d2 in the extreme top left corner, possibly extending into d1.
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John Casey
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah.....well that blows that theory out the water then! *Grins*
You'll have to excuse my ignorance as to where things were in the room, I'm new around here. But I didn't half get a shiver down my spine when I saw that "face" looking at me, I'll tell you!
BTW, is there any way for Brits to register without having to pay international postage?? (Which I know has precious little to do with poor old Mary, but I can't find an email addy to ask anyone...)

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