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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Mary Jane Kelly » Letters on Kelly's Leg « Previous Next »

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Archive through September 23, 2005Helge Samuelsen50 9-23-05  5:10 am
Archive through September 24, 2005Debra J. Arif50 9-24-05  8:36 am
Archive through September 27, 2005Helge Samuelsen50 9-27-05  12:20 pm
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Baron von Zipper
Detective Sergeant
Username: Baron

Post Number: 103
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Helge,

MJK was a big girl, 5'7" and stout. I'd say she had some ample flesh on her. I was going to remark that she was butchered like a whaler using a flensing knife, but that would be ungallant to the deceased, and may indeed open up a whole new theory on Nantucket whalers docking in London. Call me Ishmael, but I'm having none of that.

Cheers
Mike

"La madre degli idioti sempre incinta"

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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 128
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 3:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Helge
>>So, I take it that one would not normally wear a garter to bed? <<

If you mean to sleep in then no, I wouldn't have thought so, especially if it dug half an inch into your leg!...unless you were too drunk to take it off.

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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 5069
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 3:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Debra

I haven't read the item from which you're quoting, but I can't help feeling that the half an inch deep business refers to something else about the marks. After all, they were "slightly depressed," which doesn't sound like half an inch deep. Maybe they were half an inch below the knee?

Robert
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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 129
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 3:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert
Hmmm... half an inch deep...as in the thickness of the garter???
Thanks Robert
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 912
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 4:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Helge,

Why do you expect the color to be that of exposed meat? This is the top part, the skin, the part that's not exposed flesh. The blood and open wounds would be on the underside and beneath, so the color matches exactly what we would expect.

I don;t at all get how you are measuring it. In either photo look at the table versus her outstretched knees. This was a tiny table, relatively speaking. If you compare the size of the body (remember, the second shot is a closeup of just the knee to knee region looking diagonally upwards) if anything the flesh on the table looks smaller than what you'd expect the flaps to be, which I think can be chalked up to being slightly farther back in the frame, as well as propped up instead of flat and spread like the body.

As far as the claims that a photographer could frame the flesh better or take the shot from the other angle if that was the goal, I think you are missing the point. First, the flesh is dangling over the edge of the table on the one side, so that's logically the angle you'd want. More importantly, it looks like the whole intent of the second shot was to show *both* the flaps of flesh *and* the part of the body where they came from. It's a simple cut, lift move toward table and drop and you get exactly what we see in the photo.

And of course I'm all for talking about the phenomena of pareidolia (as I've brought it up here many times in the past), but if you think seeing pubic hair and anatomical parts when the doctor's report says we should, in fact, be seeing them counts, then we might as well call anything and everything pareidolia. It's not "wishful thinking" to see something highly disturbing and gory when the evidence says it was right there. In fact I think those who want to turn it into a pillow or whatever are the ones acting on wishful thinking, to avoid picturing that atrocity. The Ripper tore open her body, leaving a large segment of flesh with sexual organ attached and set it up on display in a pose that certainly shocked the Victorian officials who investigated to the core.

How about this then: the doctor's report said the leg flesh and groin/vagina were on the table. We don't see it anywhere else in the photo. What do you imagine happened to them then? What plausible alternate scenario do you have that would explain why the photo doesn't match the reports?

I think the main problem is that people get so used to seeing something in a certain way that they have problems readjusting. I know it took me a while to make the switch once it was pointed out to me, but then I always wondered why the "pillow" had marks that looked like muscles. Your main issue seems to be a drastic misconception of the dimensions pictured in the photo, which I've found to be fairly common when people discuss it. That's an extreme closeup shot, and also the actual physical photo is only half the size of the other photo (different format camera or half the image or something, you should compare the original displays to see the size difference). It's not at all the same as the full length shot from the other angle. Things look bigger because they take up more of the photo, not because they are actually huge.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
 Profile    Email    Dissertations    Website
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Helge Samuelsen
Inspector
Username: Helge

Post Number: 397
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 4:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike,

Flesh is a funny thing. You don't have as much as you think... Besides Kelly does not appear on the heavy side to me. And look at those legs and arms, I see nothing stout there.

Not that it would matter. Look at the size of that "thingy", not just surface area. Will do some more calculations when I can spare the time, but I'm pretty sure it will prove my initial assessment correct.

Debra, Robert

I have been researching garters this evening. Hmmm.. Interesting subject. This research might take a while...

:-)

Anyway. Can the half inch be the width (not the thickness) of the garter?

I may have to re-evaluate my previous statements here. I increased the sharpness of the image as much as I dared, using a process that cause few digital artefacts, and I'll be darned if I can decide if it's a cut or a garter.

I was thinking (possibly!) a very thin band of those garters you wear, you know, not to hold up stockings or anything, just for..ah, sensual purposes.

Hrm... You see, I need to get back to that fascinating research..

Helge
"If Spock were here, he'd say that I was an irrational, illlogical human being for going on a mission like this... Sounds like fun!" -- (Kirk - Generations)
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Helge Samuelsen
Inspector
Username: Helge

Post Number: 399
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,

Good points. I'll look over things better when I have more time, right now, it's too late over here.

You will notice I have not speculated about where any missing parts are, or if they indeed are missing.

My initial asessment, and my initial calculations do show some anomaly here, though. And, as I said, when I checked my reference measurements against the known height of MJK, it did seem to match up perfectly.

Well, for now I'll just say that I will certainly ponder your arguments, and we'll see what I can come up with.

Do realize, I have no special desire to have either result here. It makes no sense to me that there should be an anomaly either. And I'd rather have it disappear!

Maybe it will. Right now its late, I'm having the mother of all flu's, and I'm planning on sleeping on it!

:-)

Helge
"If Spock were here, he'd say that I was an irrational, illlogical human being for going on a mission like this... Sounds like fun!" -- (Kirk - Generations)
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 5070
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 4:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all

I couldn't find much in the Times. There were a couple of cases where women had nearly managed to commit suicide by tying their garters round their necks. And in the Westminster mystery, Bond says that there was no mark of a garter - which shows that he was likely to have noticed one on Kelly had it been there. But then, he didn't have the same motivation to mention it with Kelly - the Westminster victim was unidentified.

Robert
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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 130
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 4:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think that is the key Robert, the noting of garter marks always seems to be in association with unidentified bodies, the female ones anyway.
As Mary could be identified there would be no need to make a note of it, but if it was a circular cut it surely would have been mentioned.
Are there any other obvious wounds on MJK's body that have been missed from the reports that anyone knows of?

Helge, get well soon


Debra
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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 131
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

p.s. Helge
>>Anyway. Can the half inch be the width (not the thickness) of the garter? <<
This is what I mean to say WIDTH not thickness!

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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 2142
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 5:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Glenn,

...it is a well-known fact that the coroner and one doctor at the time expressed great fear of that public knowledge of the details of the mutilations would 'influence weak minds' and that is also why they were with-held from people at the inquests. So even the authorities of the day recognised this risk.

But I thought your argument was that the authorities couldn't organise a pi**-up in a brewery and had no idea that someone other than Jack might have committed murder during his reign and jumped on his bandwagon.

Now it appears that they recognised the risk and feared exactly the kind of scenario you believe may well have happened in Mary's case - yet they didn't believe it.

Hi All,

That mark is so striking that I'm surprised it wasn't described if it was in fact a neat cut. A garter, however, would not have been so important to note, and a pretty commonplace garment for a young prostitute, being both practical and decorative.

Love,

Caz
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Glenn G. Lauritz Andersson
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 4065
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 5:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz,

"Now it appears that they recognised the risk and feared exactly the kind of scenario you believe may well have happened in Mary's case - yet they didn't believe it."

Well, the coroner and one of the doctors seemed to have feared that people would be influenced in a bad way - not necessarily the police, as far as we know. But yes, apparently.

All the best
G. Andersson, writer/historian
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Eddie Derrico
Police Constable
Username: Eddie

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Glenn, Caz

So, if there were any letters, initials, names etc., the Police would not tell the Media because it could lead to a lynching of anyone with those initials.

Yours Truly,

Eddie

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Glenn G. Lauritz Andersson
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Glenna

Post Number: 4067
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eddie,

We weren't talking about any letters or initials here, but about more detailed descriptions of the mutilations.
Of course, the papers described them anyway, but at least that kind of information was banned from some of the inquests on behalf of the coroner.

All the best
G. Andersson, writer/historian
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Eddie Derrico
Police Constable
Username: Eddie

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 10:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Glenn,

Thanks. Yes, the people in that area were frightened enough about the murders. If they read about these mutilations, it could put them into a real panic.

Yours Truly,

Eddie
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Gareth W
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 6:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Debra,

Are there any other obvious wounds on MJK's body that have been missed from the reports that anyone knows of?"

Interestingly, the stab wound (circled in red in the picture below) to the inner right calf shows an interesting feature that might support my "one sock on" theory:



You may notice that what appears to be a small amount of blood that has radiated right around the wound - i.e. both upwards as well as downwards.

Why upwards, though? Wouldn't a seepage of blood, under gravity, have tended to trickle down the leg a little way? Now, a sock or stocking would "hold the seepage in place", moreover its absorbent properties might explain why some of the seepage is "in the wrong direction" - capillary action in the silk or cotton would explain it.

I don't want to make too much of this, but I would draw your attention to the yellow rectangle in the above picture. It's just possible to see what may be the ragged end of a sock or stocking poking up for around half an inch to an inch above the lace or "garter" just under Mary's knee. Furthermore, just beyond the bottom right hand corner and outside the yellow square, there also appears to be a more-or-less rectangular shape drooping down which might be a sodden strip of cloth fibres from a torn stocking, although I'm not too convinced.




Anyway, back to the "garter" region, whose outline I've tried to pick out in purple in the detail above. If you look closely at this, and the original image, there certainly seems to be a transition between the hacked flesh around the angle of the knee to something smoother just under it. That smooth surface appears to continue down throught the "garter" all the way to Mary's ankle, punctuated only by the stab-wound noted above. I suggest that the apparent smooth surface from knee to ankle could be due to some sort of hosiery close to the skin, which would also explain the 360-degree seepage of blood from the stab wound. If so, the purple demarcation line I have drawn would appear to be the point at which the skin of the knee ends and the remains of a tied/gartered stocking or knee-sock begins.
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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 138
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 5:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gareth
Yes I can see what you mean about the stab wound on the calf, I can also see the ragged edge that you have pointed out, but it's hard to tell if it is just where the mutilations above the knee came to a halt, would flesh pucker like this I am not sure?
One thing that puzzles me about the getting ready for bed when attacked scenario is, if MJK was undressing for the night and the bedclothes where in the position she usually kept them ie. rolled up in a bundle at the side of the bed, why would she get naked in the middle of November before she had made up her bed for the night, and if she was dressing for the morning, same question, why would she roll away the bedding first while she was still naked and then start getting dressed.
Debra
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Gareth W
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 2:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Debra,

"it's hard to tell if it is just where the mutilations above the knee came to a halt, would flesh pucker like this I am not sure?"

It might not be puckered flesh - it's just possible that we're looking at the faint echo of the "ribbing" in a woollen stocking, which would also explain why there seems to be a "waist" around the garter region. The labelled picture below shows why I think so. Pareidolia here I come!



Note how the mottled knee-flesh and the hacked flesh beneath is different in appearance from the "sock" below, which pokes up roughly half an inch above the "garter" and continues under it, as a smooth white surface as far as the ankle. The "sock" or "stocking" draped on the apparently rolled-up blanket by the side of the bed appears to have the same surface appearance as the "sock" on Mary's right leg. Are we looking at the same sort of fabric?

"why would she get naked in the middle of November before she had made up her bed for the night"

She could have been putting on a show for her last client? With no intention to trivialise, couldn't she have been in the final throes of a strip-tease when her killer attacked? Seems a reasonable scenario in the context of Mary's profession.

As you correctly point out, it would be unlikely for Mary to have rolled up her bedding, draped a sock over it etc before dressing. This casts doubt on the "getting dressed after a night's sleep" scenario - so, goodbye Mrs Maxwell - and points more to a likelihood that Mary thought she was about to entertain a client (or lover) the instant before she was killed.
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Caroline Anne Morris
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Caz

Post Number: 2160
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 4:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Which would take us back to the idea put forward that Jack may have started out as John this time, if he was in the habit of using prostitutes. Maybe he hated himself for doing so, and was particularly disgusted by the older street variety, and took it out on them.

Mary, a younger version with her own room, may have been John's usual cup of tea. But this time some crude remark made as she was stripping for action may have reminded him of the 'wrong' kind, and Jack took over.

Speculation of course, but what else is there, short of regurgitating the few facts we have?

See some of you later in Brighton.

Love,

Caz
X
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Debra J. Arif
Detective Sergeant
Username: Dj

Post Number: 141
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gareth
I can't quite see the ribbing but I can see everything else you have pointed out.
If she was putting on a strip tease show for her client she surely must have been the one who lit the fire beforehand too!!!

Robert
If you are still wondering about elastic, they did have elasticated stockings in 1891 but garters were advised as well in case your elastic went! So it's possible they had them in 1888 too.
Debra
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Richard Brian Nunweek
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Richardn

Post Number: 1495
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 4:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Guys,
I am here to be shot down but i truely belive that Kelly was killed with one stocking on and one off, that would indicate that she was attacked most logically whilst removing her left stocking to dangle it over the pile which i still believe was [ kellys clothing ] .
For those of you that suggest that is a circular cut I Would add that this wound would be in the precise position as a Garter or a elasticated top, therefore I would go with the obvious.
What this infers is open to suggestion.
Regards Richard.
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Steve Swift
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 8:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Its not a stocking or a garter - its a roll.They were used in lieu of garters,placed on the stocking at the top of the thigh and then 'rolled' down a little to keep the stocking up,elasticated.

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Gareth W
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve,

Whether garter, lace or roll (neither of which category rules out - indeed reinforces - the presence of hosiery, by the way) I'm glad some of us seem to see it as definitely NOT a circular cut.

If whatever-you-call-it really was still holding up her right stocking or "pop-sock", then it's quite probable (given the rolled up blanket + 'tother sock apparently draped on it) that Mary was in the process of getting undressed for business at the point she was attacked.

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