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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Barnett, Joseph » Joseph Barnett number one suspect?. » Archive through July 09, 2003 « Previous Next »

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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 480
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 3:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Robert,

I have no idea at what stage Barnett smoked his pipe, I wasn't there! Were you? Do you know what they discussed on Thursday evening? As Maria Harvey's presence in their tiny room was partly the cause of Barnett's moving out, wouldn't the fact that she had left there as soon as Joe arrived, have been talked about?

Barnett said he went to bed after playing whist with his friends at Bullers, but who verified that he stayed in bed, or even went straight to bed?

If Kelly's killer let her undress, fold her clothes neatly, and hop into bed, (missing a great oppotunity to attack her while her hands were busy), doesn't that suggest that her killer didn't go there with murder on his mind? I'm suggesting that Barnett slit her throat in a sudden peak of anger, jealousy and frustration!

If the candle was on the mantlepiece, would he have hopped out of bed, walked over and extinguished it, if he had a sudden episode?

If Kelly was supposed to have been discussing and laughing at the poster outside offering a reward, maybe she said something about her suspicions and intentions to report them, causing him to panic!

Why couldn't his coat have been on the floor by the bed, or on the table?

After killing her, then mutilating the memory of her, he could have taken her kidney or uterus but he didn't, he took her heart instead! This implies a really mixed up man.

LEANNE
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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 171
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 5:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne,

Robert makes some excellent points.

The very last thing a woman does, if she can no longer bear a lover, is to undress in front of him. If Joe killed Mary, I imagine he must have entered the room when she was already in bed wearing just her chemise. If and when conscious of his presence, she would, by choice, have remained under the covers.

The very last thing you do in the middle of the night, when you know the person you love will most probably be in a drunken slumber, is expect to be able to discuss or resolve a relationship issue, and then get all worked up when you get no joy. If Joe killed Mary, I imagine he must have gone to her room already worked up into a right old murderous lather and set to work immediately - especially if he was also the ripper.

And like Robert, if this is what happened, I'd have expected him to do a 'quick five minute' Eddowes job, making the uterus and a kidney disappear (since he took the trouble to remove them, and the missing heart, from her body anyway), before doing his own disappearing act post haste in case one of her working pals should suddenly show up with another Blotchy Face in tow.

Love,

Caz
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 482
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 9:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Caz,

But Mary Kelly wanted Barnett's money and the 'meat and other things' he was supplying her with. She was in arrears with the rent and desperate for money!

I know the last thing you do is try to resolve relationship issues in the middle of the night with a drunken partner, but I like to believe that I'm completely sane! He might have been in a murderous lather, but that still doesn't mean that he planned to kill Mary! Why do you imagine that he would have set to work immediately?

He used to live there! I'm sure he would have known the chances of one of her working pals showing up. His thoughts of doing a disappearing act post-haste would have involved giving himself an alibi.

This was no 'quick five minute Eddowes job'. He had the choice of taking any organ he liked, and it was his final choice to steel Mary's heart and vanish into the night!

LEANNE
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Robert Charles Linford
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Username: Robert

Post Number: 351
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 5:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne

If Barnett had a sudden fit of jealous rage when he was actually in bed with Kelly, I don't think the candle would have been alight at the time - it would have been blown out before he got in. They couldn't afford to waste candles. And if this is what you think happened - that he had a fit while in bed - then, with the candle out, that would be another reason why he'd have been unlikely to cover her face so he couldn't see it -he probably couldn't see it very well anyway.

I doubt if all his clothes would go on that small bedside table - and I doubt if he just dropped them on the floor.

I agree with Caz - if he was trying to make it look like a Ripper killing, why take the heart instead of the uterus?

You said that Barnett was mixed up. I'll say he was! First, he has a fit of jealous rage and slashes Kelly's throat. Then he calms down and he's the cunning Barnett, deciding that he'd better make it look like a Ripper job. But then he gets all confused - he does too many mutilations and he takes the wrong organ. But it's OK for Joe, because he recovers his composure in time to hoodwink Abberline.

It seems to me there's a certain slipperiness at the very heart of the Barnett theory. It's never quite clear how much the murders are down to a desire to scare Kelly off the streets, and how much they're due to Barnett's supposed prostitute hatred and sexual perversion. And then, with Kelly's mutilations, it's not clear whether they're supposed to be Barnett indulging his perversions, or the expression of jealous rage, or an attempt to make it look like a Ripper killing.

Robert

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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 174
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne,

You say you like to believe that you're completely sane. The trouble is, you also like to believe that Barnett is completely insane, yet you can't provide a scrap of evidence for it. And I'm sorry, but the fact that serial killers don't tend to appear insane is not evidence that Joe was a serial killer.

'He had the choice of taking any organ he liked, and it was his final choice to steal Mary's heart and vanish into the night!'

Barnett must indeed have been hopelessly insane to make choices which could have led the police directly to a conclusion that this was not the anonymous ripper's work at all, but that of a spurned lover.

'He used to live there! I'm sure he would have known the chances of one of her working pals showing up.'

That's my point. While a stranger may have judged from all the circumstances, the size of the room, and maybe an assurance from Kelly (whether reliable or not) that they would not be disturbed, Barnett was well aware that Mary had begun inviting other working women to share her room. It was his given reason for moving out, so he would also have known there was a chance of one of them bringing a customer back at any time of day or night. With more than one woman taking men back to that tiny room, their hours of work could have been all over the place, and Barnett was no longer there at nights to monitor all comings and goings. So he could not have assessed his chances with any great degree of confidence.

But then, if Barnett was totally insane and had the luck of the devil on his side, I donít suppose he gave any more thought to being caught red-handed than he did to the ramifications of his organ selection.

Love,

Caz


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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 483
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 9:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

VALERIE: The day that Mary was killed was the big 'Lord Mayors Day'. Everyone was preparing for it and I'd say that Harvey left the clothes there for Mary to sell at that event.

The fire was probably lit though, otherwise why would she have left her boots there?

CAZ: I'm not saying that Joe was completely insane, try schizophrenic. This is what I believe the Ripper was, otherwise he would have came under suspicion all the time! Barnett appeared harmless most of the time, which is why he managed to be overlooked.

The fact that Kelly's heart was taken instead of her uterus and kidney, wasn't enough to lead police and detectives to the conclusion that this was the work of someone else.

Kelly had invited 2 other working women to share her room in the past. There is no evidence to suggest that she let them bring their customers back with them, unannounced. Let alone at the same time that Mary and a client were using it. - What a picture! And when Maria Harvey left at 8:00, she said "Well Mary Jane, I shall not see you this evening again." Barnett was there and would have heard this.

LEANNE
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 5:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Barnett Theory put forth by Bruce Paley seems to be based on interpreting the data with a particular "slant". I don't have his full length book, only his essay in the "Mammoth" unfortunately, but based upon what's presented there I think the main problem lies with the lack of any real evidence to support the "cornerstones of his theory".

For example, two of the cornerstones, are that Barnett was obsessed with Mary Kelly while Kelly despised Barnett. A brief look through the A-Z for witness statements connected with Kelly's murder makes it difficult to make either of these conclusions.

However, if one starts with a different slant, the very same evidence supports that slant too. For example, one witness reports that Mary was fond of another man named Joe. This, it seems, is the indication that Mary despised Joe Barnett. I'm sorry, but even in 1888 people could have been fond of more than one person. Meaning even if Kelly was fond of Joe Flemming, this in no way leads to the conclusion that she "Despised Joe Barnett". That is only one of an infinite number of possible conclusions, her emotions could have ranged anywhere from intense love to extreme hatred and she could still have been fond of Joe Flemming. See what I mean?

Personally, I can't find anything that indicates any real dislike in either direction, apart from Barnett not likeing Kelly working as a prostitute - but that is not the same as being willing to go out and slaughter women who are prostitutes. Joe seems to like her well enough to continue to visit, and she seems to like him well enough to allow him to visit. Nowhere do I see any statements that indicated he wanted to move back in, nor do I see any of Kelly's friends suggesting there was any reluctance on Kelly's part to actually be around Joe Barnett. Finally Paley's essay concludes with the "key mystery", which is not a mystery at all and is not at all suspicious.

Anyway, the case against Barnett seems to depend heavily on the slant one uses to describe the evidence. It's the slant the makes the case compelling, however, not the evidence itself. It is easier to accept the slant because it's common for ex-partners to be the killer, but that doesn't change the fact that by spinning it Paley's blurred some of the facts to fit his story rather than fitting a story to the facts.

Anyway, what is suprising is how little research has been done on the various partners of the victimes (relatively speaking) compared to how much is spent on impressionist painters and princes. As more information about Joe Barnett, and the other "husbands" is uncovered it will, if nothing else, give us a more complete picture of the victims through assosciation.

- Jeff
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Tommy Simpson
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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz
You stated that you didn't believe for a moment that the killer used the window trick to enter the room.
On what occassions did Kelly deem it necessary to lock her door? Because she was known to lock her door, we know this as Aberline stated that the key was missing, and Kelly used the broken window to gain entry, she would only do this if the door was locked.
Couldn't the lock have been the type (common on the older type of buildings) that locks automatically when closed, this lock requires a key to open it from the outside, but can be turned using a knob and opened by someone on the inside (or in the instance of a key being lossed, can be opened by someone from the outside leaning through the broken window and turning the knob to open the door). If this is the type of lock on Kelly's door then Kelly every time she left her room effectively locked it, and upon returning would need to lean through the window to unlock it. If she returned that night with her killer she would have to open the door using this method. The killer when leaving the room, would only need to pull it shut to lock it, which is what Bowyer and the police discovered the next day, the door locked.
Of course anyone who had entered the room with Kelly would have known how to get in there using the broken window, could her killer have come to her as she slept?
I can't see Kelly leaving her door on a latch and any Tom Dick or Harry being able to get in her room with JTR on the loose, indeed the woman upstairs had the contents of her room barricaded against her door to try and keep JTR at bay.

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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 486
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 3:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

Jeff: As Maria Harvey's moving in with Kelly was his given reason for moving out and she had found another room to lodge in, why wasn't Barnett invited back? It's not too difficult for me to come to the conclusion that Mary no longer wished to live with him, but didn't mind him bringing her money! - oh sorry that's a 'slant'!

If Joe had have murdered Flemming to get rid of him, he would have immediately became the prime-suspect!


LEANNE
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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 181
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne,

'Barnett appeared harmless most of the time, which is why he managed to be overlooked.'

Yeah, and didn't I predict you would use his harmless appearance as evidence that he was anything but harmless!

'The fact that Kelly's heart was taken instead of her uterus and kidney, wasn't enough to lead police and detectives to the conclusion that this was the work of someone else.'

No it wasn't, but that would have been luck rather than good judgement on a guilty Joe's part, wouldn't it? He could have made sure the police would conclude the ripper had been at work by repeating what he did the previous time, and not doing new stuff.

Hi Tommy,

You wrote:
'I can't see Kelly leaving her door on a latch and any Tom Dick or Harry being able to get in her room with JTR on the loose, indeed the woman upstairs had the contents of her room barricaded against her door to try and keep JTR at bay.'

Well, I can quite understand any woman in the area trying to protect herself from a possible visit by the ripper while inside her lodgings and alone.

But taking all the evidence into account, and adding a good dash of my own speculation, I think Kelly, as a working prostitute who relied on money from strangers she took back to her room for sex, would have to take the risk that one of them would turn out to be the ripper.

As I've said before, leaving the door on the latch (assuming this was possible) while she was out would not be a huge problem for Kelly because, with the window broken, any determined intruder would be able to get in anyway to take anything worth stealing, or lie in wait for her return if he was planning something far worse. Once inside, I imagine Kelly would have taken the door off the latch, effectively locking herself in, except on occasions when she was too drunk or too hungover to do so.

I also imagine she would have used the window trick, or got someone else to help her with it, on occasions when she locked herself out accidentally, by forgetting to put the door on the latch when going out.

With the key lost, and the window broken, and Kelly often drunk and perhaps not overly concerned for her personal security, I don't know how much close attention she would have paid to the latch, and how many times it may not have been left in the best position.

Love,

Caz
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 4:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Tommy,
Kelly may have had to leave the door unlocked when she wasn't at home. This doesn't seem to have been a hugely uncommon thing to do. The lock is described as a "spring lock", and Bob Hinton has researched locks of the time. He's found that very inexpensive "spring locks" were available. These could be left "on the latch" (meaning unlocked). So, Kelly would only have to lock her door when she went to sleep. Once the lock is "off the latch", the door just needs to be pulled shut, and it automatically locks.

So, if Jack entered the room with Kelly, there's no need for him to have a key to lock the door and he doesn't need to know about reaching through the window either.

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 489
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 4:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

I am having alot of trouble trying to understand your above post. Is this what you mean:
On the latch = unlocked,
Off the latch = locked,
So when Mary and Joe used the window trick to get in, they had to reach through the window and put the latch "ON". Is this correct?

NOW I"M REALLY CONFUSED!
LEANNE
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 6:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne,
I think the term "on the latch", meaning unlocked, probably reflects an action that seems more appropriate to some other kind of locking mechanism (but don't quote me on that!).

The only written description of the lock that I'm aware of does describe the lock as a "spring lock". Unfortunately, it's a press report, so if it turned out that spring locks at the time were expensive, we would be very skeptical of this description (Kelly's apartment isn't one where you would expect the landlord to spend a lot of money on a lock). But, Bob Hinton has researched spring locks and found that they could be very inexpensive in 1888. Although this doesn't prove it was a spring lock, of course, it does mean we can't argue the discription is wrong.

Basically, the important points are
1) there were cheap spring locks at the time
2) spring locks can be set so that the door is left unlocked, even when closed
3) spring locks can be set so that they lock when you shut the door without use of a key
4) spring locks can be opened from one side without a key

Now, based on the described opening technique (reaching through the window), this also fits with a "spring lock" (and others as well, but we have a description that says spring lock, so we're stuck with it). Also, a spring lock allows the door to lock without a key, so even if Mary Kelly's killer didn't have a key, the door can still become locked when he leaves the room. Because the spring lock can be set so that the door is left "unlocked", Mary Kelly could come and go as she pleased without having to reach through the window every time she re-enters the room. At the same time, when she goes to sleep, she could then lock the door from the inside, even though she didn't have a key.

It might be easier if we just use "locked" and "unlocked" as that is easier to understand than "on the latch" is "off" and "off the latch" is "on"!

- Jeff
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 7:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
You're right, that is a slant! For example, it's easy for me to envision that Barnett didn't move back in because after leaving Mary Kelly, he didn't want to get re-involved in a romantic relationship with a women who was so quarrlesome when she was drunk and who also prostituted herself. However, he helped her out with some spare cash when he could because he owed her some portion of the back-rent and he felt obligated to pay her what he still owed from while he lived there. When she was killed, he felt so guilty over her death that he stuttered and stammered during his testimony because he figured that if he had only moved back in with her when she asked him to during his last visit, maybe she wouldn't have been killed.

Notice how I can claim she asked him back during their last conversatin with just as much proof (or should I say with just as much absense of proof) as the claim that he begged her to return. Any meetings with Joe's brothers could just as easily be Mary trying to convince Joe to return as the other way round. See what I mean? It's all slant, it's all speculation, and it's all just-so story telling. Because the interpretation of all this is so spin driven, one cannot claim that the data is evidence for either interpretation. Meaning none of this is evidence for Barnett's guilt any more than it is for Barnett's innocence. And because the case against Barnett is presented as being strong "because" of this kind of evidence presentation, that means the case against Barnett is based upon evidence that can just as easily be pitched in terms that argue for his innocence. That means the case against him is all based on spin and not based on anything solid.

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 497
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Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 5:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

Yes I've read the description that it was a spring lock. I don't know if John McCarthy would have put a such a lock on a room that he had partitioned off a shed. OK, I can believe that the killer didn't need a key to lock the door when he left.

If Barnett and Kelly put their hands through the window and moved back the catch to open the door, could this mean that it wasn't fully closed at all times? To close it would have been to lock it and they would have had to break the door open to get in again!

LEANNE
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 498
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Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 5:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

In the 20 months that Barnett had lived with Mary Kelly, the couple had lived at four different addresses: George Street, Dorset Street, Brick Lane and then back at different court in Dorset Street. If they kept getting evicted for not paying the rent, (there is proof that they got evicted for this reason from one address), and Joseph Flemming kept hanging around, then I'd say that Barnett wanted her very much!

LEANNE
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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 188
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Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 4:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Leanne,

I think you still misunderstand the probable situation with the lock.

On occasions when Barnett and Kelly had to put their hands through the window to open the door, it simply meant that the door was locked to them, or to anyone else who was outside at the time. Anyone on the inside (or reaching in to gain access to the inside of the door) could open the door without needing a key. Read Jeff's 4 important points again - all you need is there.

Very simply, on occasions when Kelly's spring lock was set to leave the door unlocked, even when closed, no key and no window trick would have been needed by anyone on the outside.

On occasions when the spring lock was set to lock the door on pulling it to, the window trick would be needed by anyone without a key who was on the outside wanting to get in.

A key would not be needed by anyone inside the room to open the door at any time, because, as Jeff says, spring locks can be opened from one side (ie the inside) without a key.

Love,

Caz
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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 500
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Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 8:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Caz,

No I worked that out myself, but thanks anyway!
The question is, would Kelly have set her spring lock to let anyone in, when she knew that 'Jack' was about? Did spring locks have this feature in 1888?

Elizabeth Prater, who lived directly above Kelly, had to put 2 tables against her door. There would have been no window to reach through, so I don't think this is proof that she also had lost her key.

I think if McCarthy was well-off enough to put the latest design in locks on his doors, he would have put them on the rooms before he put one on the 'room' that was partitioned from his wharehouse!

LEANNE
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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 194
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Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, Leanne, I took your words: 'To close it would have been to lock it and they would have had to break the door open to get in again!' to indicate that you still hadn't worked it out yet.

To close it would have been to lock it or leave it unlocked, depending on the position of the latch. This means the door could be in a locked or unlocked state, either intentionally or by accident, depending on the circumstances.

If Kelly entertained in her room at all, she could have had no idea if she was going to be entertaining Jack until it was too late to do anything about it. Same for any other prostitutes, whether they serviced customers on the streets or in their rooms.

It is entirely reasonable that any woman living in that area at that time, prostitute or not, and regardless of the risks they took while making their survival money, might feel unsafe in a room alone at night, and use furniture against the door to make them feel more secure, lock or no lock, key or no key.

We know that Jack got into Kelly's room somehow, either invited or uninvited. If the latter, there are three possible options: the door, for whatever reason, had been left unlocked; the door was locked and Jack opened it via the window; the door was locked and Jack had a key.

I know which I'd plump for if asked.

Love,

Caz

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Leanne Perry
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Username: Leanne

Post Number: 502
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 5:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Caz,

Looking back at my comment: 'To close it would have been to lock it and they would have had to break the door open to get in again', I was trying to imagine the features of a spring lock in 1888! Just because Bob Hinton found that they were available and inexpensive at the time with this feature, that's no reason to jump to the conclusion that McCarthy would have bothered to install them on all of his doors! Looking at all contemporary photos of Miller's Court, it was a dump! I think to jump to that conclusion is a bad as just jumping to the conclusion that Anderson was referring to Alice McKenzie's pipe.

LEANNE
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Caroline Anne Morris
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Username: Caz

Post Number: 198
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Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 4:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry again, Leanne,

In all my musings while sitting on Kelly's doorstep I should have made it clearer that this is of course only if her door had a latch that could be left on or off. I certainly didn't mean to jump to any uninformed, unevidenced, or unwarranted conclusions, so if I have I apologise.

If anyone can explain to me how the evidence points to a door without such a latch I am more than willing to listen and reconsider all possibilities more carefully.

I don't know whose pipe Anderson was referring to because he never said. You can be sure that any conclusions I come to will be based on as much information as I can find. At present, I am unable and therefore unwilling to conclude that he was referring to Barnett's.

Love,

Caz

PS Incidentally, I think my three options for how Jack could have got in uninvited remain the same, don't they?

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JeffHamm
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Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 7:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
No one is jumping to the conclusion that McCarthy installed a spring lock on the door. Rather, they are examining the validity of the newspaper report that describes the lock as a spring lock and determining if the other evidence is consistent with a spring lock. And, it is.

If, however, the paper had described the lock as a "deadbolt", one that requires a key on both sides to both lock and unlock the door, then there would be a problem because the descriptino and the evidence would not be consistant with each other. Something would have to "give", we would be forced to conclude that something is "wrong", either the description wouldn't be right or the other evidence would be incorrect. That's where one has to try and weed out the errors to try and find what remains as "real".

But, the paper doesn't describe the lock as a "deadbolt", it describes the lock as a "spring lock", and there is absolutely no reason to conclude this discription is incorrect. It's not jumping to a conclusion at all, it's called investigating the evidence for internal validity.

If we did not have this description, then all one could do is speculate that the lock could have been a spring lock, which would be a reasonable deduction based on the other evidence. But, because we are told it WAS a spring lock, and because all of the independent evidence is consistent with that description, then it's definately not jumping to a conclusion.

Jumping to a conclusion would be to conclude that the killer must have had a key to lock the door without fully investigating what information was available about the lock. See the difference?

- Jeff
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 5:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
Bob Hinton would be the one to know if spring locks were the "latest design" or not. I don't think they were though. Also, he did find they were very inexpensive, so even if they were the latest thing they came cheap, which we all agree is what would be expected given the area.

- Jeff

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JeffHamm
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Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 6:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
Since Bob Hinton has found that spring locks were available that were very inexpensive, then there's no reason for us to assume the description is an error. We wouldn't expect McCarthy to put anything but a cheap lock or no lock. We know there was a lock, and we know spring locks were cheap. So we can be reasonably sure that the lock was a spring lock.

Anyway, these kinds of locks can be set such that when you close the door, the door remains "unlocked". Or, by flicking a switch, when you close the door it locks itself. In other words, the door can be left in both the locked and unlocked state when it is closed. Obviously, if it's left unlocked, a person can enter and exit the room at will, with or without a key.

When you're inside the room (or can reach inside the room), you can then turn a knob and unlock the door without a key. Flip the switch and the door remains unlocked, so you can release the knob, walk around to the door, and enter.

Enter the room, flick the switch, close the door behind you, and the door is locked again so you can go to bed. Get up in the morning, turn the knob, flick the switch so the lock is "off", and when you go out for the day, your door is closed but unlocked. If you forget to leave the door unlocked, you always have the "window trick".

It's been argued that Mary wouldn't want to leave her room unlocked all day for fear of theft, but what else could she do? Since she must have been able to enter and exit her room during the time she doesn't have a key, there must have been a way for her to come and go. And a spring lock allows for this and it allows for the room to then become locked without the need for the key.

In other words, the missing key mystery is not really a mystery at all. Bruce Paley presents it as such, but he's assumed that the lock requires a key on both sides of the door (like a two key dead bolt). This kind of lock, however, is not what is described, and would have landed Barnett in trouble when he described the "window trick" as it obviously wouldn't work without a key. Barnett's window trick must have been plausible, and with a spring lock, it is. And with a spring lock, the whole missing key becomes a non-issue.

- Jeff
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JeffHamm
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Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 6:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You can say that, but that doesn't prove it. Can you be sure that Joseph Flemming was hanging around for the whole 20 months (for instance). Maybe he turned up recently, and Barnett got fed up and left Mary with no desire to get back together. Maybe Barnett knew nothing about Flemming (the secret lover scenerio). Maybe Flemming and Mary were "just friends". Maybe Barnett didn't want Mary all that much. Maybe Barnett decided that with all the difficulties that he was having with Mary (he gave her the rent money and she kept it rather than paying the rent so they got evicted, etc) he finally left her. Maybe, he felt obligated to at least give her what he owed, but no longered wished to suffer the consequences of her not paying the rent when he gave it to her, her annoying male friend, her prostitutation, her drunken anger, etc. I can maybe all day, put a different spin on my maybe's and if's and such, and the story changes it's tone and implications. And, from what I've seen, this new story I'm making up right now, can be told without leaving out any of the "evidence"; i.e., we know Mary and Joe got together and chatted for about an hour. We have no idea what they talked about, so if I make up their conversation and want Barnett to look guilty, I might claim that Barnett was begging her to let him come back, I spin the evidence that way; or if I decided I want Joe to be innocent, I make up a conversation where Mary begs him to return and he lets her down, gently because he's such a gentleman, etc. Same real evidence, different spin, different impression of Barnett, and neither is based on anything real. It's all smoke and mirrors, it's all if's and maybe's used to spin a yarn that includes the "evidence" of them spending time together to give the impression of "evidential weight". But when we really look closely, we see that the real evidence is noninformative and the "case" is built upon sand.

Barnett is by no way the only suspect where this is a problem. What we need to do, however, is try and carve things down to the real evidence, remove the spin, and see what the evidence tells us. Some evidence won't tell us much, won't point to guilt or innocence, but will tell us tiny bits. For example, we can't deny that Mary and Joe B. were still talking, we just don't know what they were still talking about. We know they broke up, we don't know if either wanted to get back together. etc.

- Jeff

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