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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Mary Jane Kelly » The mystery of the key « Previous Next »

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Archive through May 19, 2003Leanne Perry25 5-19-03  6:38 am
Archive through May 30, 2003Bob Hinton25 5-30-03  6:51 am
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
Detective Sergeant
Username: Picapica

Post Number: 72
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 31, 2003 - 6:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting and informative stuff, thanks Bob. But is that you making a quick appearance?

It might get like Alfred Hitchcock.

Cheers, Mark
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm surprised to see this all again. We thrashed about the missing key a few years ago as well. And then we came to the same conclusions.

I believe there is a newspaper report which even describes the lock as being a "spring lock" (with, of course, all the normal concerns about reliablity of news paper reports).

Bob posted his lock images then, but this was the old casebook, so good to see the images are again available.

Anyway, there is nothing in the testemony or in the actions of those involved that requires any stretch of the imagination to be made. If there were, then maybe we would have a mystery. But we don't. Everything said fits with everything done, and fits with what can be reasonably assumed.

Spring locks can be left "unlocked" (or "On the latch"). This means MJK can leave the room, close the door, and get back in without a key if she had a spring lock.

The only description of the lock that I'm aware of describes it as a spring lock (original post by me on the Old Casebook boards had a source citation which I don't have with me now).

Bob has shown that spring locks were both available and cheap at the time. (You wouldn't expect McCarthy to put an expensive lock on the door)

This means, Kelly could leave the door unlocked, and only lock it when she was inside. She never had to have a key. JtR, however, could have locked the door (and it's reasonable to assume he might have been motivated to do so). When he leaves, the door now locks behind him. He never has to have a key to lock it.

Now, either Kelly left the door unlocked when she went to bed (as Bob has suggested) and JtR enters while she sleeps, or he poses as a customer and enters with Kelly. JtR doesn't need a key to get in. I favour the latter simply because posing as a customer seems to fit with the previous crimes as well but Bob's explanation is within the range of reasonable possibilities.

Regardless, it is obvious that there is nothing about the situation that requires any key to be available on the night of the murder. In unlocked, out locked, no key required.

Furthermore, if reaching through the broken window was as difficult as Bob suggests (difficult, but possible), then once the key was lost this procedure only has to be done once if the door was locked in the first place. Not at all if the key was lost while the door was unlocked. After that one "reaching", the door is left unlocked when the room is not occupied.

I think in my previous posts I had found a police source stating that "It (the reaching) is quite easy." Again, I would appreciate it if anyone could supply the relavent source for me. (I don't have my books here to dig this up myself; sorry).

But what about the risk of theft if Kelly just left her room unlocked when she went out? I think the question is more "What else could she do?" McCarthy isn't going to fix it for her as she's already in debt to him.
She, if she was anything like people I know who owe other people money, avoids him as much as possible. She's certainly not going to ask him to spend money replacing the window and the lock on her door.

In other words, her circumstances make it very believable that she chose the option of leaving her door unlocked when she was out. JtR locks it, or if JtR enters as a customer she may even lock it. But from the inside no key is required. JtR can leave and no key is required. The door locks when JtR leaves out the door, and no key is required. In otherwords, no key is required.

As for the table, what I want to know is how JtR is supposed to have left if he's put the table in front of the door?? Climb out the window? Why is the coat still hanging up then?

I don't know why this issue keeps comming back up. Also, I don't know why this is one of my pet peeves, but for some reason it is.

- Jeff Hamm
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Tommy Simpson
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Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 1:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is just the type of lock I was referring to Bob. As you say, as you slam the door, the door automatically locks, to get back in you need a key. The killer leaving the building would only have had to slam the door to lock it.

The other way to get in if you had lost your key would be to smash the window next to the door, lean through and withdraw the bolt with the large knob. As you say the small knob is to fix the bolt in itís housing, with this in place you can't even open the door from the outside with a key.

The window was supposedly broken during a row Kelly had with Barnett. It was very fortuitous that the window they did break was in exactly the position needed to open the door via the window. What I am saying is, could Kelly or Barnett have broken the window to gain entry after returning one day or night and finding that they had lost their key.

Where does this lead us, I am of the opinion that Kelly did not go out and procure her killer and return with him to her room. I believe it is possible that Kelly's killer knew how to gain entry to Kelly's room at any time. The Killer stuck at approximately 4:00 a.m. two witnesses told of hearing someone shout murder at that time, Kelly according to Hutchinson returned to her room with a man at 2:00 a.m. can we believe Hutchinson regarding the man? I believe he did see Kelly but she was without a man.
Could Hutchinson have made the man up to impress others, his description of the man was remarkable to say the least.
So Kelly returns to her room undresses and neatly lays her clothing on a chair, she gets into bed and drops off to sleep. The killer comes to Kelly's room at 4:00 a.m. he knows how to get into the room, Kelly is only in a shallow sleep she is woken by the killer entering the room, she has time to scream murder, the killer grabs her round the neck and throttles her. No other victim of Jack the ripper managed to shout murder, we know this because every one of his murders was committed within earshot of at least a couple of people, the reason why they didn't cry out was because he was right up to his other victims, they suspected nothing, it would only have taken him a split second to silence them.
So who killed Kelly Was it Barnett? Itís possible, he knew how to get into the room, and Kelly wouldn't have recognised him coming at her in that dark room.
What about the blotchy man with the moustache? Had he been to Kelly's room on a number of occasions? He would have known how to get into the room. Was he the sunburnt man with moustache who attacked Ada Wilson? The blotchy man wore a long overcoat; Stride was sighted shortly before her murder with a man wearing a long overcoat, he had a moustache. You would probably say why didn't he kill Kelly shortly after being sighted with her at 11:45 p.m. The fact that he had been sighted by Mrs, Cox, could have put a doubt in his mind, could he have returned at 4:00 a.m. let himself in and murdered Kelly.
How many men did Kelly entertain between finishing with Barnett and being murdered? Any one of them could have known how to get into Kellyís room I believe one of them was her killer.
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 379
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Tommy,

But no one heard a door slam!

LEANNE
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Bob Hinton
Detective Sergeant
Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 86
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 9:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,

Come on now absence of proof is not proof of absence. No one heard a door slam? How do you know? I don't recall statements by everyone present in the court stating that. Why would anyone take any particular notice of a door slamming? In any case the door need not be slammed to lock it - simply pulling it to quietly does the job.

Bob
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 382
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 5:51 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 was referring to the inquest testimony of Mary Ann Cox who lived in Room No. 5, and was in her room at 3:00a.m. and said there was no noise in the Court. She said: "I did not go to sleep I heard nothing whatever after one o'clock. I heard men going in and out, several go in and out, I heard some one go out at a quarter to six. I do not know what house he went out of I heard no door shut. He did not pass my window."

LEANNE
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Tommy Simpson
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Posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I reiterate what Bob said, merely pulling the door closed would lock it. there needn't have been any sound closing the door. What is beyond doubt is the fact that the killer did shut the door behind him, as it was locked the next day when the police came to open it.
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Monty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Monty

Post Number: 98
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cox also mentioned that as she followed Mary walking with Blotchy face that the door was slammed as they entered by the said Blotchy.

I get the impression of someone who isnt use to the place as Im sure Blotchy wasnt. Often people slam my car door rather than shutting it simply because thats how they treat there own.....swines !!

I dont think in this case it would be because the door had to be slammed. Im with Bob and Tommy on this.

MOnty
:-)

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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 461
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 7:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

Reading the inquest statements that appeared in 'The Daily Telegraph' and included the coroners questions as he asked them followed by the witness's answer, after Cox said: "That was too late for the market", the coroner asked: "From what house did he go?"
Her reply was: "I don't know."
The next question was: "Did you hear the door bang after him?" Her reply: "No."

It makes a whole lot of difference when you know the coroner's questions. Because the coroner asked her if she heard the door bang after him while enquiring which house he came out of, it sounds to me as if it was expected that she would hear a door bang!

LEANNE
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The coroner may not have expected a "door bang", but by asking he's looking for information that might help determine if it's likely the person she heard came from one of the rooms. If, for example, she answered "yes", then it becomes pretty reasonable to conclude that she heard the footsteps of someone leaving one of the rooms (note, not necessarily Kelly's by this "pretend answer" only).
If, as she did, she says "no", then it leaves open the possibility that the person she heard was not from one of the rooms. At the same time, it doesn't rule out the possibility that the person did actually come from one of the rooms.
All the coroner is doing here is trying to extract as much evidence from the witness as possible that might help limit the possibilities. Since she heard no door slam, that line of investigation gets shut down (sorry for the pun there).
In other words, the coroner probably had no expectations one way or the other about whether or not she heard a slamming door.

- Jeff
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Julian Rosenthal
Police Constable
Username: Jules

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 8:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day everyone,

Sorry to tread on your toes Lea, bur Diddles heard a door close:-)

Good to be back.
Jules
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Leanne Perry
Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 495
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jules,

Great to have you back!
Imagine a cat that woke you up everytime it heard a door close!!!!

LEANNE
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dahrius
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Posted on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 7:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe that JTR came to Miller's Court as a client. The reason behind my saying so is that several profilers have suggested a somewhat visibly harmless individual. It explains why Annie Chapman would have no problem going in the backyard of 29 Hanbury with him and why Catherine Eddowes would go into Mitre Square with him after all the talk about a murderer. It is highly likely that JTR was someone that Mary Kelly was not afraid of in the least or she is unlikely to get into a submissive position with him. I'm pretty sure that JTR merely closed the spring lock behind him and split.
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Frank van Oploo
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Posted on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 8:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Goodday everyone,

A little over a year ago I discovered this enormous site and have since read all I could on the site as well as some books on the subject.

Just a few days ago I read all the posts on the key and the broken window panes and I think that Mr. Hinton might have made a mistake - maybe not a big one, but a mistake nevertheless.

In his post of May 16 last he comes to conclusion that the broken pane Thomas Boywer looked through was the bottom left and that the other one then was the top right.

The way that he comes to this conclusion is perfectly logical. However, he assumes that it would have been a stretch to look through the top panes, but I don't think that it was.

In the fotograph of the 2 windows we can see that the first & smaller window was one brick away from the corner. I measured a brick in the wall of my own house and it was little over 20 cm (8 inches).

On the basis of 20 cm I came to a rough 165 cm for the height of the door (I counted 23 layers of bricks in the foto). For the height of the (top) panes I came to some 50 cm.
If the brick were 22 cm this gives a door height of 181 cm and a pane height of about 55 cm.

In the first example the crossbar dividing the upper and lower panes will then be at a height of about 115 cm and in the second example at about 126 cm.

If you just assume that the door was 195 cm high, then the dividing crossbar was at 136 cm.

So, whatever the actual height of the door (165 cm might be too small, 195 cm seems too tall), even a small man of 1,60 m (5ft 4in) tall could have looked through the top panes without really having to stretch. It might even have been a lot easier for Thomas Boywer to look through the top broken pane instead of the bottom one, even it was not the first (broken) pane he came upon.

Certainly if Thomas Boywer was a tall man for his time, it was quite probable that he would have chosen the top broken pane to easily look through and would have walked right past the broken bottom (right) pane.

So, the broken panes being the bottom right and top left is at least as probable as them being the top right and bottom left.

The broken panes being the bottom right and top left is even more probable if we add to this that it was stated (at least in the Daily Telegraph of Nov. 13) that it was easy for Barnett & Kelly to unlock the door by reaching in through the broken window, whereas Mr. Hinton explains in one of his posts how difficult it must have been to reach through the upper right pane and unlock the door.

All the best,
Frank

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Jon Smyth
Sergeant
Username: Jon

Post Number: 46
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 8:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"So, the broken panes being the bottom right and top left is at least as probable as them being the top right and bottom left."

Actually Frank, if you read the testimony of Bowyer he states it was "the farthest pane of the first window, the small one..." that he looked through, leaving us to question whether it was upper or lower.
Then, Dr Phillips states, "two of the panes in the window nearest the passage were broken,.....I looked through the lower broken pane..."

So, we know using both statements that 'for sure' the lower left pane was broken, the question is 'which of the other two were broken?'.

And this question is solved (tentatively) by knowing that Barnett stated they reached through a broken pane to unlock the door.

So, the question you have to solve, from a dimensional perspective is, "can you reach the door from the upper left pane or more easily from the upper right pane?.

I think interested parties have settled for the upper right pane being the one which was broken as it was nearest the door and easier to reach the spring-lock bolt.

Regards, Jon


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Frank van Oploo
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 9:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jon,

Perhaps it is because Dr. Philips stated in his inquest testimony that he looked through the lower broken pane that you - like Mr. Hinton - assumed that it then was easier for anybody to look through the bottom one.

I can follow Mr. Hinton's reasoning, it's completely logical - if you assume that looking through the lower pane would be far easier than looking through the upper one. Would the right lower pane be the broken one, Mr. Hinton argues that it seems inconceivable that Boywer would have walked right past this pane on his 'nosy mission'.

So, as one of the left panes were broken (testimony Boywer) and also one of the right panes (testimony Barnett), it follows then that the broken pane Dr. Philips peered through was the left one, leaving the upper right one to be the second broken pane. Again, completely logical.

As you can read in my earlier post I measured and calculated that the horizontal dividing crossbar would have been at about 1,30 m (4ft 4in). You must agree that men of 1,70 m (5ft 8in) tall would certainly have no trouble looking through the upper pane.

What I (1,73 m tall) also tested (several times) and discovered is that it would have taken 3 steps to go from the door to the window, starting with the left foot (the right one would not be natural): the first step would take you at about the level of the window wall, the 2nd would take you about 30 cm beyond this wall and maybe a little beyond the right edge of the first panes and the 3rd would place your left foot past the middle of the window and after turning your body to the right you would find yourself more or less in the middle of the window. I think it would be a very short, awkward and unnatural turn if you would try to stop more in front of the right panes. In other words, a man of about 1,70 m would have walked right past the greater part of the right panes without stopping.

Both you and Mr. Hinton are certain that the broken panes were the bottom left and top right. There seems to be no doubt in your minds, but my point was (and still is) that there is enough room to doubt this conclusion.

Because, considering the height of the crossbar and the 3 steps, would it not be conceivable that, if Thomas Boywer was a tall man for that time, he would have walked right past the first panes and would have looked through the top left (broken) pane? Can you say for sure that this might not have happened?

Regards,
Frank
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Jon Smyth
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jon

Post Number: 51
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Frank.
Did Barnett mention "right pane", I cannot recall him being so specific.
Mary Kelly was not so tall and yet it has been suggested that she may have also used this 'arm through the window' method of opening the door.
Also, Bowyer was an army pensioner, but we don't know how tall he was, being old (presumably) I always pictured him as small, or at least, not tall.
I guess we simply don't know.
If the upper right pane was the broken one, and presumably the one to reach through to open the latch then your 4'4" measurment would need to fit nicely under the armpit in order for either Barnett or Kelly to reach through.

More complications.
regards, Jon
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Frank van Oploo
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Posted on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 5:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello again Jon,

This is going well, isn't it?

First, I agree with you on some of your points: Barnett didn't mention the "right pane" and we simply don't know anything as to Bowyer's length, although I can imagine (but I really don't know) that the army didn't admit men under a certain length.

Second, some time ago I had already checked under 'Suspects' and 'Victims' on the site and found that both Barnett and Kelly were about 5'7".

Third (here I go again), I tested reaching in through the left panes, allowing the bolt to be between 3'4" and 3'8" from the ground and about 1'1" or 1'2" from the corner. Of course, I had to do without the sharp broken glass. The result was that I couldn't reach the bolt through top nor bottom left even with my shoulder pressed against the vertical crossbar. So, even though Barnett didn't mention a right pane through which the reaching and the unlocking was done, it's likely to have been the actual state of affairs.

By the way, the bottom right pane presented no problems for me, and I think it's safe to say that if in the actual case the bottom right was broken it wouldn't have either - even with the broken glass.

And to respond to your final remark, with my feet flat on the ground (about the same height Barnett & Kelly could have reached by standing on their toes) and the crossbar at 4'4" under my armpit it wasn't easy to reach the bolt, but I made it, although I must mention that I wasn't obstructed by broken glass.

In reality the succes of JB & MJK reaching the bolt through the top right would have depended on the actual height of the crossbar (which could have been and inch or so lower than 4'4") and on how badly they were hindered by the broken glass. But again, also regarding this matter we simply do not know anything for sure...

All the best,
Frank

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Robert Charles Linford
Chief Inspector
Username: Robert

Post Number: 509
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Frank, Jon

On a minor point, I feel that if there'd been any trouble with broken glass when Joe or Mary reached through the window, they'd have simply knocked out the jagged pieces remaining. The window was a write-off, and McCarthy had doubtless already added the cost of a new one onto their rent arrears.

Robert
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Frank van Oploo
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Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 5:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good point, Robert!

They had to get inside anyhow and even though it must have been cold at the end of October a little less glass wouldn't have made much difference.

So all in all, in my view we still can't assume anything as to which panes were actually broken, other than that they were diagonally opposed panes.

By the way, the only thing I know about this rent arrears is that Mary owed McCarthy 29 shillings and that it still is somewhat mysterious how this arrears could have run up. Could it be possible that the arrears was partly composed of the cost of 2 new panes or was it only rent, or is this a stupid question?

Now, coming back to Dahrius' post of last Monday I'm inclined to think that Jack didn't enter Mary Kelly's room as a client. If you bear with me a moment I will try to explain why.

Apart from the 'horrendousness' about the case, one of the first things to strike me when I got acquainted with it was that Mary Kelly was different from the other victims. She was young, blond, quite tall and attractive, whereas the others all were about 20 years older, dark haired, about 5ft tall (I don't think Elizabeth Stride was a JtR victim) and not very attractive as far as I have been able to determine.

It is generally accepted that Annie Chapman & Catharine Eddowes were most likely seen in the company of their killer, being quietly engaged in conversation. If we assume this were true, I'm not convinced (I don't mean proof-wise) that he also aproached Mary Kelly in that way. She seems a little 'out of his league', so to speak. And that's why I don't think he accosted her in the street nor otherwise.

Any opinions?...

All the best,
Frank






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Robert Charles Linford
Chief Inspector
Username: Robert

Post Number: 539
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 3:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Frank

Sorry, I've only just seen your post. It must have disappeared from the screen before I could spot it.

I think McCarthy could have added the window panes to the rent arrears. He may even have added the price of a new key. But I imagine that most of the arrears were for rent.

Regarding Kelly, I don't see her being particularly choosy about her clients. The blotchy-faced man doesn't sound very upmarket. Nor does Joseph Fleming, with whom she's supposed to have had a relationship. George Hutchinson may have been an occasional client of hers, and he lived at the Victoria Home.

It may not even have been a case of him approaching the women, but as AP Wolf says, them approaching him. Apart from perhaps Stride, these women seem to have been desperate, ill or drunk in various combinations.

I do agree that Mary's killer may well not have been a client she'd taken back to her room, because her clothes were neatly folded on the chair. I just find it very difficult to believe that the Ripper would have sat and waited patiently for her to undress. Also, there are the stab marks in the sheet, which suggest an attempt to shut her up, and the defensive wounds. Plus the reports of cries. If the Ripper was a client whom she'd taken back to her room, then it would have to be the case that with more time to plan her death than he'd had with any of his other victims, he nevertheless bungled it.

This is just my feeling, and I may be wrong - for instance, the cries of "Murder!" may not have come from Kelly's room at all.

Robert
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Observation
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Posted on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 10:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Re: the earlier comments about whether or not there was a door slam..

quote"I get the impression of someone who isnt use to the place as Im sure Blotchy wasnt. Often people slam my car door rather than shutting it simply because thats how they treat there own.....swines !!"

one thing that is being forgotten is that a murderer was making his escape here and he would surely be endeveouring to do this as silently as possible. Shutting the door makes sense from the point of view that it would most likely delay the discovery, but I put it to you that if the door coudln't be closed other than by a loud slam he wouldn't have risked it. Rather he should pull it to and lerave it slightly ajar but concealing the scene as best possible. I put it to you consideration that the fact that it was shut proves he could shut the door without an accompanying slam.
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Olivier Lefebvre
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Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 10:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just a quick comment about the Key, the Killer most likely has known about it's dissapearance and how easy it was to open the door.

Indeed :
Case 1 - He was a client and got inside with Mary, in which case the Key dissapearance is irrelevant. but it seems unlikely the way the event unfolded and they way the MJK was dressed.

Case 2 - He knew the key was missing and that he could get in at any time easily, so he either noticed MJK opening the door directly or getting her arm through the window to open it.
I would go for the second, as such an unusual way to enter home is much more noticeable and guaranted that the door was really open at any time.

I have the feeling that he stalked his prey and knew he could enter the room while she was sleeping and could do his dirty work w/o being interupted. If i remember correctly MJK had drunk a bit too much this evening something she was not used to.
I somehow have the feeling that the killer waited for such a moment, when he knew she will most likely not hear him open the door and enter the room. Opening a door at such an advanced hour would most likely wake up anyone sober. Air movement while opening the door, noise produced by the door, the movement of someone in the room, etc... would awaken most people.

Some open questions :
- Is the Killer responsible for the key dissapearance ?
MJK was very comely, he may have wished to have her as a [i]piece de resitance[/i] and could have schemed the key dissapearance so as to be able to enter her room.

- Was he responsible for her drinking too much that night ?
As i underlined her state must have been a pre-requesite for him to kill her the way he did.
---------------
One could object that the killer might have saw her getting back to her room that night, drunk, fumbling through the window to open the door. He would have waited for sometime and then entered the room. I'm not sure about this theory, indeed :
AFAIK it was the crime which happened the most late into the night : 2 or 3am. The killer must have had an intent to kill that night, having his knife with him. I do not expect him to wait for a prey for so long a time, afterall he must have seen many whores alone between 11pm to 2am and probably had some occasion for a quick and easy kill.
I'm quite certain that that very night he waited for MJK, knew he would have much time with her and would be able to do her whatever his fantasies were.

Regards,
Olivier
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Barbara Cobb
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Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have written a book on the Maybrick trial. Where can I find the copyright to put the pictures in my book? No one seems to know, please help me.
Thank You,
Barbara
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Leanne Perry
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 1975
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 6:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Harry,

I've tried to understand your description of the Victorian lock and I'm sorry to say that I am lost. Have a look at Bob Hinton's post on Friday May 30 2003 6:40a.m. Just zoom above to: 'Archive through May 30 2003'.

He has posted photographs of the lock he believes was fitted on Mary Kelly's door (exterior and interior) and the key. Is this like the lock you describe?

LEANNE
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Harry Mann
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Username: Harry

Post Number: 254
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 3:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
The picture that Bob posted shows a type of lock I was referring to,but do not confuse it with a latch.Some locks did incorporate a means of latching without having a separate latch,and this addition was commonly called a catch.
Confusing?.It is if you think in todays type of locks.
Now an important consideration to bear in mind is the age of the door of Kelly's room.It appears old at the time of her death,so if we are hearing of a lock that was there when the door was fitted,it might be that we should be looking at locks that were common around the beginning of the 1800's or even earlier.
Unfortunately there is no actual description of the door or the locking mechanismm dating from 1888,well not as far as I know,but Barnett's desciption of reaching through the window to release the catch,might mean that to secure the catch,the same procedure would be gone through i.e.an arm through the window.
Now this might raise an interesting thought.If the door was locked and on the catch and had to be broken to gain entry by the police,then the killer would have had to reach through the window on leaving to secure the catch.Think what this might mean.
Pity Barnett only stated how the door was opened,and didn't mention how it was shut,and Aberline,he could have asked.
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Bob Hinton
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Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 453
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 4:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,

The lock I pictured was of a type called a night latch. It started being used in the Regency period and is still in use (in various forms) today.

The bolt is spring loaded, which means to secure it all you have to do is to pull the door to. It is opened from the outside by a key and from the inside by drawing the bolt back.

It has a button which locks the bolt in the drawn positon, enabling the user to shut the door without locking it. This is generally known as leaving a door 'on the latch'

I belive MJK was in the habit of leaving the door in this way, and only locking the door when she was inside.

It is a myth that it was easy to open her door by reaching through the broken window - it was quite tricky.

Bob
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Leanne Perry
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 1977
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 4:59 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,

'The bolt is spring loaded, which means to secure it all you have to do is to pull the door to. It is opened from the outside by a key and from the inside by drawing the bolt back.'
That sounds like the lock that I always imagined she had. So does that suggest the killer simply pulled the door shut when he left, with the bolt not 'on the latch'?

Yes Mary Kelly may have left the door 'on the latch' often and locked it when she was inside. She didn't have anything to steel but her life.

Wouldn't leaving the door 'on the latch' be risking her room to be used as a brothel by friends and anyone who knew this fact? She may not have been worried about this, but it could have been a way to earn money.

'It is a myth that it was easy to open her door by reaching through the broken window - it was quite tricky.'
Would it have left Kelly relying on Barnett to do, perhaps? Why do you think Abberline described it as easy to do at the Inquest. Do you think he was speaking from experience, or did he just relay what Barnett had told him?

LEANNE
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Harry Mann
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Username: Harry

Post Number: 260
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 4:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One important item in addition to what Bob says.The 'catch' when applied held the bolt or latch in an open or closed position.When the door was closed behind a person leaving the premises by the spring mechanism forcing the latch into the recess on the door jamb, the'catch 'could only be applied by someone remaining in the building,or through the broken window in the case of Kelly's room.Once applied the catch would have to be disengaged before the bolt or latch could be withdrawn from the door jamb.
The catch was a safety feature.When applied ,and the latch or bolt part was in the jamb,not even a key could open it from the outside.As Bob says,the method is very much in use today,and one can verify what I say if a Catch is fitted to an entrance door lock.
So you do not,as Barnett testified,open the door by the Catch. Where a catch is fitted there is also means,a knob,lever or slider that is actually used to draw back the bolt or latch.
Then again,there are and were many different types of locks,and without knowing the particular make of lock on Kelly's door,we are only working on assumptions.
It could be important to know precisely what type of lock was in use,for if the door to the room could not be opened because a catch was engaged,then only the killer could have set the catch,and that from outside through the window on leaving.
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Bob Hinton
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Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 462
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 4:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,

If anyone thinks it might be of use I can post photo's of the type of lock I believed was on MJK's door.

Bob
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 5441
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 5:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob, you already have - May 30th 2003, this thread.

Robert
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Bob Hinton
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Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 463
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 8:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Which just goes to show what a terrible memory I've got!
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3488
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 10:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah!!!!!! .......put it down to a 'Senior Moment' Bob!

Suzi
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Suzi Hanney
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Suzi

Post Number: 3489
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just checked that pic back!!!!! LOVE the Hinton through the keyhole shot there!!!!

Suzi
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Harry Mann
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Username: Harry

Post Number: 276
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 4:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A couple of illustrations to show what a 'Catch'was.They are simple locks in their own right,sometimes mistakenly called latches,which
formed a slightly different form of locking.
Tha 'Catches' shown should not be mistaken for catches affixed to a lock or latch.
One is called a 'Claw catch'from its appearance,and there is a third type reefered to as a sliding catch.
Barnett is reported to have said it was easy to operate,and he is correct.Catch
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Harry Mann
Inspector
Username: Harry

Post Number: 277
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 5:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A larger illustration of what I call a Swivel catch.It should need no explanation as to how it was operated.Catch
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Bob Hinton
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Username: Bobhinton

Post Number: 470
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Harry,

These are commonly referred to as Stable latches, and are not the type fitted to MJK's door.

Abberline states quite clearly it was a spring lock, a stable latch has no spring to operate it, it relies on gravity. It also has to have an external handle and lever fitted to operate the latch from the other side of the door.

Bob
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Harry Mann
Inspector
Username: Harry

Post Number: 280
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 3:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How do we know that the 'Catch' I have illustrated,or a similar Slide Catch, was not fitted to Kelly's door?
I do not believe there was ever a complete description of the door given,or compiled by the police or any one else.
I have seen doors with those sort of Catches,which also have a Spring lock fitted as well as a Thumb latch and a Hook latch.
I do not dispute Aberline,s word that there was a spring operated lock even,that had, untill the key went missing,been the means of opening and closing the door.
The catches on a spring lock are to keep the lock in an open or closed position,in which state not even a key will open or close a door.Try it if you have a spring lock at home.They are small,so it still needs a knob or handle to actually push the door closed or draw the door open.You do not open the door with the catch.The Spring lock sometimes has an extension piece fitted through the lock,so that an inside and outside handle or knob can be fitted,which engages the lock, and enables the door to be opened or closed without the use of the key,provided the Catch is set in the nuetral position.Non spring locks also sometimes have opening and closing handles or knobs on both sides of the door.
The Catch I illustrated does not have an extension through the door so it can be operated both within and without.It is entirely fixed to the inside,and is withdrawn or set by the nob on the catch itself.It is an interior lock only,and needs a person's body or arm within the room itself,to unlock or lock it.A study of the one illustrated will show this.
It was advertised by the manufacturer as a 'Door Catch'.
At the inquest Aberline gave this testimony,'An impression has gone abroad that the murderer took away the key of the room.Barnett has since informed me that it has been missing for some time,and since it has been lost they have put their hands through a broken window and moved back the catch,it is quite easy'.A Slide Catch,similar to the one shown,would fit well the movement described by Aberline.
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Harry Mann
Inspector
Username: Harry

Post Number: 287
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 3:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A smaller and simpler slide catch.Made of cast iron,and fitted to the inside of doors.This or similar could have been accessed through a window such as in Kelly's room.
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Diana
Chief Inspector
Username: Diana

Post Number: 941
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All this can be explained if Jack had access to or the expertise to use burglars tools.
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Harry Mann
Inspector
Username: Harry

Post Number: 289
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 3:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana,
All Jack needed was to know the conditions that existed at 13 Millers Court that night,and the ability to put his hand through a broken window and slide a catch.One individual most certainly knew both.
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Leanne Perry
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 2030
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 4:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Diana,

All Jack needed to do was let Mary Kelly invite him into her room, then he would have seen the latch and how easy it was to reach through the window. When he was finished he simply passed through the door, noislessly closing it, then reached through the window and locked it. Simple!

Reading through contemporary police reports, I see that experienced burglars commonly took moulds of locks, while someone was guarding outside, then made keys to fit.

LEANNE

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