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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Barnett, Joseph » Joseph Barnett number one suspect?. » Archive through October 26, 2003 « Previous Next »

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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 503
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Caz,

I think that because we are all jumping to conclusions, (not just about the lock and Anderson's comment), and either one of them could be right but not all of them, this illustrates the problems they faced in 1888 and may be why they never discovered who 'Jack the Ripper' was!

I'm not sure what I just said, it's too late and it's time for bed for me, but any comments?

LEANNE
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 505
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 5:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

Theft wouldn't have been on Mary's mind because she had nothing to attract a thief. I'm not suggesting that she wouldn't have left her door unlocked for that reason! There was a slaughterer of women of her class in the neighbourhood and a woman's home is her castle, her safety zone!

What else could she do? She could have used the window trick or if she couldn't reach she could have asked someone she trusted.

If Mary left her door unlocked when she went out, why did Barnett tell Abberline that they used the window trick to gain access?

LEANNE
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 506
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 5:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

Julia Venturney testified: "She lived with Joe Barnett, she frequently got drunk, Joe Barnett would not let her go on the streets - Deceased said she was fond of another man named Joe who used to come and see her and give her money I think he was a costermonger, she said she was very fond of him."

The 'A-Z' says that Mrs McCarthy reported that Kelly left in 1887 to live with Flemming and the relationship ended when Kelly met Barnett. Why Kelly and Flemming Split is not known, but the pair were planning to marry. And you believe he just turned up out-of-the-blue to be "just friends"?. Would he give her money because he wanted to buy her friendship? How did he trace her address if she'd lived with Barnett at three other addresses besides Miller's during the 20 months they were living together?

LEANNE
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Tommy Simpson
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff i am in full agreement with your points, 1 3, and 4 regarding the idiosyncisies of a spring lock, but point 2) Spring locks can be set so that the door is left unlocked, even when closed, leaves me a bit muddled.
You see i once lived in an old house which had a spring lock on the front door, and i couldn't leave the house without locking the door every time i shut it. There was no provision to leave the door on the latch(or more simply unlocked),for in this type of lock the actual locking bar is on a spring, if you push it in with yout finger upon releasing it it springs back into position, so when you slam the door it locks, the only other thing you can do with this type of lock is hold the locking bar in with the handle and slide another knob on the lock accross, this holds the locking bar in it's housing, effectively making the lock redundant. You would do this if you wanted to leave the house without locking it. The problem with this though is that the door now has nothing to stop it swinging open i.e if a gust of wind blew it open If you lost the key to this lock you were knackered. Now i'm not saying that the type of lock on my door was the same as the one on Kelly's room, but having some experience of a spring lock i can't for the life of me work out how you can leave the house slam the door and not lock it. The only thing i can think off is that apart from the lock mechanism, there was another handle further down (or up) on the door where you could open and close the door without locking it, much like the handle on an interior door that dosn't require a lock.
That way Kelly could have the spring lock fastened up, you can do this by turning the knob on the spring lock and then sliding another knob to keep the locking bit in it's housing, in effect making it useless, and using the other handle(interior door type)for use during the day, or for any time when she didn't want to lock the door. Whew!! Hope that's coherent. but i suspect it's not.
Leanne
I agree with your point. If Mary left her door unlocked when she went out, why did Barnett tell Abberline that they used the window trick to gain access? The wording of this statement, seem's to me as if they used this method (using the window), pretty extensively, if not exclusively.
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JeffHamm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry for the huge number of long posts in a row! This is a result of my unregistered status - soon to be cured I hope! These weren't written in the order presetented, and some refer to comments in posts much earlier, where the points have been addressed already.

- Jeff
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JeffHamm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 4:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By the way, to make things clear, just because I think Bruce Paley's case against Barnett is made to appear stronger than it is, that doesn't mean that Barnett must be innocent either. Just because the case against him isn't as strong as what has been presented doesn't clear his name entirely.

He's still the ex-lover of a victim, which makes him a very worthy individual of investigation. The police seem to have lost interest in him, and for what reasons we don't know. That's one area of research that hopefully will eventully find some new information that tells us why the police discounted him. We may find the reasons strong enough to clear him, we may find their reasons for discounting him to be poor. Until we know what they are, we may find anything.

This is why I think it is so important to clear away the invalid conclusions, the conjecture, the presentations of "what if's" like they are real evidence, so that it becomes possible to re-evaluate the evidence we really have. Once we do that, then we can try and put those tiny pieces together. They may not provide a solution, but those pieces may then suggest what kind of information to look for. Things like, for instance, Bob Hinton checking out the price of spring locks to see if they could be obtained cheaply. Not something one would have thought to do if one accepted the story that both sides of the lock required a key.

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 507
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 7:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

As it has already been explained here, it has always been standard detective proceedure to supect\interview a victims 'inner-circle' first. Then they move out to the next 'circle'.

The only 'evidence' we have of Joseph Barnett being closely examined, are his own words: "They kept me there four hours, ['fffffor hours'], examined my clothes for blood stains...etc..."

Many Detectives would have already had strong opinions about other people and favourite suspects to eliminate in their minds first, before they even considered innocent-looking Joe!

LEANNE!
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JeffHamm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 6:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Tommy,
Bob Hinton has posted some photo's of the spring locks from the time. These locks would be separate from the door-knob, and did have a mechanism for being left "unlocked". So such mechanism's were available on contemporary locks.

As for when the "window trick" would have been used, at some point they lost their key. If on that occasion, they had locked the door, this is probably how they got back in. Since Barnett obviously knows this was possible (he's the one that describes it so it's fair to conclude he knows about the trick in the first place) this is just one reasonable opertunity for him to have learned it.

Anyway, once they knew of this "trick", it becomes an option for them to lock the door when they are going to be away for the day and a way to get in later. If it was easy, they may have used it fairly often if they were going out for long periods of time especially. Maybe not, but they only had to use it once for Barnett to be aware of it. If they only used it once, then the most likely time would be when they lost the key, and if we assume they used it rarely, then we're assuming their lock can be left unlocked.

Of course, if their lock was like your old house lock, then they would have to resort to the "window trick" more often. In Abberline's testimony at MJK's inquest, in at least one rendition of it anyway, he's reported as saying:
"...
Barnett informs me that it (the key) has been missing some time, and since it has been lost they have put their hand through the broken window, and moved back the catch. It is quite easy. ..."

The last part of this quote sounds like Abberline, or at least the police, tested Barnett's window trick, and found that it wasn't difficult. It could also be interpreted as a continuation of what Barnett told Abberline, but his change from what Barnett tells him being presented in the past tense, while the assertion of "being easy" switches to using the present tense, seems more indicative that he is now "confirming" that what Barnett told him was, in fact, easy-to-do.

Not definitive, I admit, but there's nothing to indicate a problem with what testimony we have. What we really need is some report that indicates what the police actually did to follow up Barnett's testimony. Until then, we can only look for potential problems in the evidence. So far, it's all internally consistent with the one description we have available.

- Jeff
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JeffHamm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 12:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
It certainly doesn't appear Mary had anything that would attract a theif. And I'm in full agreement with you that when Mary went to sleep she would most certainly have locked her door for the very reason you state. It's possible she forgot on this one occasion, but because it's unlikely, it would be dangerous to assume that was the case.

So, she could have used the window trick all the time, or she could have left the door unlocked when she wasn't home. Since neither of these is unusual behaviour, it's hard to pick one over the other, but in the end it doesn't matter which one is true.

Why? Because both of these situations require the ability to open the door without having a key, and the ability to lock the door without having a key. Once we've established those things were "probably possible" (how's that for taking a stand?), which I think we all agree that we have, then that means Jack didn't need to have a key in order to lock the door when he left. And that's the part that Bruce Paley presents as the big key mystery. I think we've established from the examination of the evidence, however, that such a conclusion was premature.

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 515
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

Bruce Paley was premature on a few things. He believed that some of the Ripper letters were authentic, but considering the time he wrote his book, they were probably thought by many readers to be authentic!

He studied Jack the Ripper for the 13 years he researched Barnett, and then went back to his love of music!

LEANNE
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Chuck
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 1:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,

There is no excuse for accepting the Ripper letters as authentic. You either believe them or don't believe them. Iím sure Paley still does. I don't think anybody cares what time period he wrote the book. And I don't think it matters how long Paley spent researching Barnett, he still doesn't come up with a good case. You could find a lot of Ripper authors who spent as much time or more studying a Jack the Ripper suspect and still come up with a terrible case. I could study Walter Sickert for 20 years and tell people that, but my book would have barely any evidence in it. It's not the quantity of research, it's the quality.
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Tommy Simpson
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff
The Door was found to be locked the next day. If the locking of the door required for one to lean through the window to lock it, does this mean then that the killer must of known how to do this?
Or did the lock, lock automatically when he closed the door to leave the room?
Pity this type of investigation of the locked door wasn't disscussed at the inquest.
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Jeff Hamm
Police Constable
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 6:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tommy,
If we accept your initial premise, that locking the door required leaning through the window in order to lock it, then yes, presumably the killer had to figure this out.

However, since spring locks will automatically lock when you shut the door (provided they aren't set otherwise), then there's no reason to believe the killer had to know about the "window trick" in order to lock the door.

Although we don't know for certain that the lock could in fact be left unlocked (because we don't actually have the lock to examine), all of the evidence suggests this was the case.

- Jeff
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Tommy Simpson
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 11:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff
If Kelly when leaving her room that night left her door on the latch, then it follow's that when she returned with her killer they only had to turn the handle to enter the room. If this is what happened then how did the killer know how to adjust the lock in order to lock the door by slamming it shut as he left the room? Because he would then have to adjust the lock from being on the latch, to locking upon slamming mode.

Alternatively if Kelly had adjusted the lock to lock when she slammed the door, as she went out that night, upon returning with her killer she would have to had leaned through the window to unlock the door.

What i am saying is that one of the two scenario's above is what probably happened. Mind you, the first scenario could be nothing more sinister than that the killer was au fait with the workings of springlock's and simply slipped the latch to lock the door upon leaving.

If the second scenario is what occured and Kelly was in the habit of locking her door every time she left her room and re-entering it via the window,then the killer would only have to slam the door when leaving to lock it, as it would be already in this position, but remember if this was the case, then it follows that he would witness Kelly perform her window manouvre as they entered the room.

Which could lead to the possibility that the killer had visited Kelly before, and knew how to get into Kelly's room at any time. Could he have let himself into Kelly's room that night while she dozed. Her neatly folded clothes suggest's that she retired at her leisure that night and not in the company of a punter. Also it seems she managed to get off a cry of oh murder, before she was silenced, did she awake as the killer entered her room and manage to cry out before he killed her?
Tommy
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Jeff Hamm
Sergeant
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 20
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 1:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Tommy,
It's also possible that Mary returns with Jack as a customer, the door is unlocked, they enter, and she locks the door so they aren't disturbed. All Jack then has to do is leave and close the door behind him.

- Jeff
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Tommy Simpson
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 8:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That is another distinct possibility Jeff, and the more i think about it the more appealing it becomes. Tommy
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 563
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 3:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day,

Ummmm, if Kelly locked the door behind her so she wouldn't be disturbed while entertaining a customer, how could she have been sure Barnett wasn't going to return to plead with her? He knew how to unlock the door!

LEANNE
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Jeff Hamm
Sergeant
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 25
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 4:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Leanne,
She couldn't be sure if Joe, or anyone else for that matter, was going to stop over unannounced for any reason whether or not she locked the door. The two events are unrelated.

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 564
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 5:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

What two events?

LEANNE
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Jeff Hamm
Sergeant
Username: Jeffhamm

Post Number: 26
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,
Sorry I wasn't clear. The two events are "her locking the door for privacy with a customer", and her "being sure that Barnett wasn't comming over".

In you're post where you say

"...if Kelly locked the door behind her so she wouldn't be disturbed while entertaining a customer, how could she have been sure Barnett wasn't going to return to plead with her?..."

suggests some sort of link between her decision to lock the door and her ability to be sure about Joe comming over. The statement implies that her locking of the door somehow makes it impossible for her to predict whether or not Joe is going to turn up.

All I'm saying is that her decision to lock the door would have no bearing on her ability to predict whether or not Joe (or anyone else) might come over. So, the "two events" are "unrelated"; they don't influence each other.

That's all I meant.

If you mean "Locking the door for privacy wouldn't prohibit Joe from getting in if he wanted", well, that's true. But there were more people than just Joe who might come over (her friends, for example) so locking the door anyway is probably not a bad idea given Mary's occupation.

Also, since Joe didn't live there anymore, we don't know if he would try and gain entry this way if the door was locked. We know he "could have", but we don't know if he "would have".

- Jeff
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 566
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 11:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Jeff,

I'm sorry if I jumped in here! I haven't been following this conversation. I just read your post that said she would have just locked the door, so they wouldn't be disturbed. I was pointing out that things weren't that simple.
It wouldn't have promised privacy!

LEANNE
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 4:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Shannon

I've re-opened this thread rather than enter the Billingsgate discussion, as I don't want to be either burnt to a crisp or drenched by a bucket of water.

Re your suggested motive for Barnett to be the killer, it doesn't really add up for me. You say that this man was abandoned by his mother (this is an assumption, but it seems plausible - in any case, even if he wasn't, it may have looked that way to him). Now, I would have thought that someone with a jaundiced view of women such as you suggest, would have great difficulty forming relationships with them, because he would never trust them. If he did team up with one, it would most likely be a "safe" one - e.g. a girl from the Sally Army, you know the sort of thing. But he would probably be very jealous, always wanting to know what she was doing, who she'd been speaking to and what about, etc etc. And he would always be seeking reassurance that he was Number One.

For a man like the Joe Barnett that you paint, to set up home with a prostitute in the hope of reforming her, and live with her for such a long period of time, seems bizarre to me. Talk about living dangerously!

Robert
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Richard Brian Nunweek
Inspector
Username: Richardn

Post Number: 344
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 5:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Robert,
This thread never seems to go away, for a person many people doubt capable of being the killer, he certainly generates a lot of debate.
We should remember, from april 1887, when Barnet and Mary first lived together, although previously she admitted that she had prostituted herself, she started to live a respectable life with him. they lived as a couple , and the income from his well paid job, was adequate, to survive comftably,
It only turned sour, when Barnett lost his job in july-aug 88, and she returned to the streets, more so in the last few weeks of her life, in order to survive.
I should have imagined that Barnett up to the time he lost his job, was content that he was able to provide for kelly, and she did not need to sell herself anymore,
But it became evident to him that within a few weeks of roughing it, she was drifting back into old habits, and what made matters worse , was he could not perswade her otherwise.
Thats when he decided drastic measures were needed, if a local prostitute, mayby one that kelly was familiar with was to be killed, in a frenzied manner, it might shock her, into giving up her life of prostitution.
It did not, so Nichols was killed in a more hidious fashion, again proberly she was aquainted with her most proberly.
That did not work
Then Chapman[ reports indicate that she and kelly were friends]
Then stride and eddowes, more then likely she was aquainted with both these women . long Liz was a familiar figure in whitechapel, and Eddowes stayed in the very same house as Kelly. infact out of all the victims, it would not have surprised me , if eddowes and kelly were well known to each other
Then came all the preaching to kelly, the newspaper reports , all the gory bits, it certainly would have scared Kelly that all these women, who she was proberly familiar with, had been murdered, kelly was so scared she started to have nightmares, and could not bear to spend the nights alone, it would not have surprised me if Barnett stayed out at nights on purpose to petrify kelly, but she started to bring home prostitutes to spend the nights with her, and that is when Barnett decided, it was all in vain
She had a dream that someone was murdering her, and this dream was to turn into reality.
Richard.
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Leanne Perry
Chief Inspector
Username: Leanne

Post Number: 803
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 5:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

G'day Robert,

It's not an assumption that Joe was abandoned by his mother! She was no longer listed as part of the Barnett family in the 1871 census, and the last official record of her anywhere was on her husband's death certificate in 1864.

He didn't have much choice but to try to reform a young attractive prostitute like Mary Kelly.



LEANNE
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AP Wolf
Inspector
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 459
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 5:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One thing that bothers me a great deal here is that certain people are making certain assumptions concerning what life would be like living with a working prostitute, and then using those assumptions to quickly label someone a killer.
My wide experience of life has also led me down some dark Whitechapel alleyways, and for four years of my life I shared a home with a working prostitute and her live-in boyfriend, this was in the Middle East and the situation was obviously far more glamorous - and a lot better paid -than the Whitechapel situation we discuss. However the ground rules would probably remain the same, and what astonished me was the free and easy acceptance by the boyfriend of his girlfriendís working life, there was never any acrimony or jealousy, there was certainly never a desire to íreformí, the boyfriend followed his own work and they lived just like any other couple. The two of them are still together now, though Iím pleased to say she has retired and now house sits peopleís pets for them.
So I donít think people should make general assumptions about what life would have been like between Joe and Kelly, and we mustnít forget that your Joe was after all a man of the streets, a Ďumble fish porter and not some do-gooder vicar or the other from the West End, and probably had his nose down in the gutter just as far as Kellys.
I feel you paint a very, very unrealistic painting here of this relationship and are attempting to join up dots that were never there in the first place.
Now, if you were to tell me that Joe was Kellyís pimp, I just might think you onto something dramatic.

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