In Anticipation Of November 9th

Because I am more unwell than normal, I cannot predict how I will feel on November 9th, so in anticipation of a possible problem, I will post this essay now, and redate on the appropriate day if I am able to do so.

One hundred and thirty-five years ago, as of November 9th---that is, on November 9th, 1888, a young prostitute by the name of Mary Kelly encountered the serial killer known to history as Jack the Ripper.  In those days before fingerprints, dental records, and picture i.d.'s, the body found the next morning in Mary's apartment at 13 Miller Court was so badly mutilated---the face almost obliterated---that positive identification was impossible.  Joe Barnett, a fishmonger and full time wino, testified to the coroner's jury that he could identify the remains as those of Mary Kelly on the basis that of an intact earlobe.  Yes, an earlobe . . . But they bought it because the hearing was so horrific that they wanted to be done with it.

The case of Mary Kelly also presents us with five anomalies that have never been entirely explained by any one theory.  I have seen theories explain one or two of them, but never all five at once.  And here I must digress for just a moment into the world of theoretical physics and mention Albert Einstein's belief that a mathematical equation could, but had yet to, be discovered that would explain the four forces in the Universe:  gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak atomic binding.  This gave ne the idea that a theory could be arrived at that would also give a single explanation to the five Mary Kelly anomalies.  They are:

1.  The sequence of murders and of taunting letters stopped immediately after the 9th, although the letter writer, if that person was indeed the perpetrator, had stated that the murders would be continued until the Ripper was "buckled" (Cockney slang for being killed).

2.  The Kelly murder took place indoors, not outside as previous four had; and the extent of mutilation to the body was far more extensive.  This led even Scotland Yard to consider that this murder was not done by the hand of Jack the Ripper.  Ths sub-theory was eventually scotched (no pun intended) in favor of ascribing all five murders to the same assailant.

3.  Upon autopsy, the womb was found to be without child, and had never been impregnated; which contradicts statements made in August of 1888 by Mary Kelly, disclosing the fact that she was, indeed, pregnant (she was only twenty-three), and that she intended to give up prostitution in order to raise her baby decently.

4.  On November 10th, Mary Kelly was seen alive and uninjured by two interviewed, and three other uninterviewed, witnesses.  Inspector Aberline of Scotland Yard interviewed two of the witnesses, but apparently was ordered to ignore the voluntary testimony of the other three.

5.  The door to Mary Kelly's apartment was locked; but, because the lock was a dead bolt, it had to be locked from the outside.  Jack the Ripper's sense of presentation was all about immediate shock; I seriously doubt the Ripper would have put the obstruction of a door between the discoverers and the corpse that had just been thoroughly worked over.

Only one person can be said to fit the pattern of the five anomalies:  Mary Kelly; which allows us to assume that the body found in her apartment was that of Jack the Ripper, which would make the assailant female.  A female murderer was also briefly considered by Scotland Yard; but again, that conjecture was scotched by Inspector Aberline's supervisors.

I believe items three through five, above, are the most compelling reasons; especially number four and number five.  The last item is so commonplace as to escape notice.  What is the last thing most of us do when we depart our residences for any length of time?  We lock the door.  It is routine, it is rote, it is a habit that does not require much thought or forethought.  I friend of mine who has studied psychiology confirmed for me that Mary Kelly must have been in such a daze, that morning, as to almost be in a drunken stupor.  The confrontation with the assailant would have brought on a huge adrenaline rush, as well as the maternal instinct to protect her unborn child.  Historical records indicate that although Mary was small of stature, she was able to command great strength when chemically enabled:  while drunk, she had severely injured a sailor who had touched her inappropriately; and in November of 1888, she was a waiting a court hearing on those very charges.  My psychologist friend confirmed that the introduction of adrenaline into her system would have been far more powerful than booze, and might have even caused a "disconnect" in her mind which would have allowed her to carry out the extreme mutilation.  The coroner estimated that the infliction of so much damage would have required several hours of continous effort.  Carolyn Maxwell, the main witness in regard to the next-day sightings, testified to the coroner's jury that, as she noticed Mary Kelly walking toward her, Mary stopped to vomit into the gutter:  morning sickness, or a nausea brought on by the "downer" that must have followed the adrenaline rush?  Or both?  If she left her apartment in a daze, on automatic pilot so to speak, she probably locked her door from the outside out of pure, automatic habit.

I published this theory in print and on the internet in early 2001, and I have the copyright on it.  While I cannot claim to be an expert on the Ripper murders in full, I believe the information I have gathered, since 1975, on Mary Kelly gives me some credibility in my assertion.  I have yet to see my theory overturned.  When I presented it at my college at a private luncheon, the senior History professor present pronounced it "ironclad."  One of the finest compliments I ever was received came from one of the other History professors, who told me that in presenting this theory about Mary Kelly, I was speaking for someone who could no longer speak for herself.  We cannot know how many lives she saved by killing the assailant.  Even if her motive was purely self-preservation and the maternal instinct to save her unborn child---and not, therefore, entirely altruistic---her action saved lives.

As a digression, I will say here that the British painter, Walter Sickert, for whom Mary Kelly had posed nude from time to time, titled one of his paintings, "French Kitchen."  The female figure in the painting has hair very similar to the color of Mary Kelly's hair; and also has some red splotches of paint in various positions on her body (she is clothed in the particular painting).  The paintaing was completed between 1910 and 1920.  Was Sickert telling us that Mary Kelly had escaped to France?  We know she was fluent in the language and that she had visited there, in the summer of 1888, with one of her wealthier clients.  One of the interviewed witnesses to the next-day sightings (Carolyn Maxwell, who had watched Mary Kelly throw up in the street, was the other) told Inspector Aberline that in his next-day sighting, he had seen Mary Kelly standing in front of her favorite pub, the Ten Bells (still in business as of this writing), and she was conversing with a gentleman who wealthy clothing was very much out of place in the Whitechapel area.  Could this have been Walt Sickert, or perhaps the gentleman with whom Mary Kelly had visited France earlier that year?

I believe that, sometime soon, some citizen of France is going to uncover an old trunk in his or her attic, and find within that trunk a diary, or letters, to the extent that suggests that Old Grandad's great-great grandmother was not a native French citizen, but had emigrated, under questionable circumstances, from East London.



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arqios's picture

Oh wow. I guess time will

Oh wow. I guess time will tell.

here is poetry that doesn't always conform

galateus, arkayye, arqios,arquious, crypticbard, excalibard, wordweaver

S74rw4rd's picture

Thank you for those words. 

Thank you for those words.  The theory has been online since early 2001.  I have never seen it overturned, although it was plagiarized once and I had to take steps to assert my legal rights.  A search engine query will bring up the crime scene photographs, which are a little rough . . . even considering the crude technique at that time.