Jump to content
The Education Forum

Mary Kelly's Room


John Dolva
 Share

Recommended Posts

In order to correctly locate items in Mary Kellys room here is an attempt at reconstruction. In this instance the bed.

I wonder if there are in existence detailed descriptions of the room?

Has anyone found relevant period photo's of bedroom furniture. I assume that the bed is victorian era.

I wonder what type of wood makes up the bed head?

Under the mattresses (standard sizes??) the slat spacing seem to indicate perhaps a few cold winters. Is the tin bath a prop to keep bed up or is it free?

Were measurements taken of the scene?

What is the best quality highest resolution available (on the net) exterior photo showing windows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Stephen Turner

John, Mary's room measured approx 12ft by 12 ft, got some more concerning the tin bath tub under the bed, and the exterior of the windows, will post it tomorrow once I have confirmed my research. Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, Mary's room measured approx 12ft by 12 ft, got some more concerning the tin bath tub under the bed, and the exterior of the windows, will post it tomorrow once I have confirmed my research. Steve.

Steve, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Hoping to get enough precisciopn to be able to reorient,size,enhance etc the head board and other things in the room in order to see better if anything is written, scratched , marked and blood stained etc. As much descriptive and photographic stuff as is available. It'd be good to know the head board wood to study the grain. The manufacturer etc would indicate veneered perhaps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

John, Mary's room measured approx 12ft by 12 ft, got some more concerning the tin bath tub under the bed, and the exterior of the windows, will post it tomorrow once I have confirmed my research. Steve.

Steve, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Hoping to get enough precisciopn to be able to reorient,size,enhance etc the head board and other things in the room in order to see better if anything is written, scratched , marked and blood stained etc. As much descriptive and photographic stuff as is available. It'd be good to know the head board wood to study the grain. The manufacturer etc would indicate veneered perhaps.

John, sorry this is taking such a damn long time, but confirming some of it is the devils own work. Have had to research original police reports, and some comments by her landlord. Hope to have something for you this W/E. Regards, Steve..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hello John and Steven

I am sorry I have been away from this forum for so long. My explanations are that I have had recent computer problems and commitments elsewhere. Needless to say, John, your investigation into Mary's room is important and follows along those of others who are trying to use computer simulations of the murder room at 13 Miller's Court. John, in that respect, I very much encourage you to post your studies on the "Casebook: Jack the Ripper" message boards on Mary Jane Kelly, where, if you will follow the link, you will find discussion of the room and other aspects of the Kelly murder.

Our knowledge of the room mainly comes from the two existing interior photographs of the room, one exterior shot, and some sketches of the interior and exterior that appeared in the press, plus a plan that appeared in the Daily Telegraph. This plan, reproduced in Bruce Paley's book, would presumably give you the best measurements. The furniture from the room, needless to say, was not preserved, so we can only guess at its makeup and dimensions from the existing illustrations.

I have an ongoing controversy with a number of Ripperologists in that one of the sketches appears to show a washstand between Mary's bed and the back wall. I believe this washstand, described as a disused washstand, was there at the time of the murder. Everyone except me seems to insist that the bed was flush against the wall, and yet it can't have been because there is something at the back of the bed in the larger photograph, apparently a bolster, and it is sitting on something, which I believe to be the washstand. There is also a sketch, whether accurate or not, showing a photographer with camera on a tripod, on the side of the bed where I believe the washstand to have been at the time of the murder, and to take that picture it is likely that the washstand was moved out to take the smaller of the two MJK photographs, from the right side of the bed, i.e., if one were oriented looking toward the foot of the bed it would be the right side of the bed.

In fact, it is my belief if you look at the big photograph carefully, the room does not make a rectangle but breaks then there is a gap or setback to the back wall, allowing a foot or two space between the right side of the bed and the wall.

Incidentally, I believe Stewart Evans could probably supply higher resolution copies of the MJK photographs, although I believe there are high res copies on "Casebook" that SPE provided and those actually might not be bettered. Stewart's dissertation, "The Kelly Crime Scene Photographs" contains good information on the existing photographs. Robert McLaughlin's recent book The Jack the Ripper Victim Photographs, also contains valuable information and debate about the photographs. One of the questions is how copies of the Kelly and Eddowes photographs came to be published in some French true crime texts of the 1890's and it is evident that a number of the top officials of the case kept copies of the photographs. In fact in an interview with Sir Robert Anderson published in 1892, three years after the murders, it is stated,

"I sometimes think myself an unfortunate man," observes the C.I.D. chief, "for between twelve and one on the morning of the day I took up my position here the first Whitechapel murder occurred." [note: August 31, 1888 -- the first canonical victim, Polly Nichols, was killed in Bucks Row. The same day, as he notes, Anderson was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Crime; he selected Detective Superintendent Donald Swanson to head the case.]

The mention of this appalling sequence of still undiscovered crimes leads to the production of certain ghastly photographs. [emphasis mine]

"There," says the Assistant Commissioner, "there is my answer to people who come with fads and theories about these murders. It is impossible to believe they were acts of a sane man ­they were those of a maniac revelling in blood."

All my best

Chris

Edited by Christopher T. George
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christopher, I looked at the pictures with 'virgin eyes' and straight away saw the distortion in lines indicating that there is a gap/table just as you describe.

One reason I want to get more info on the room.

These early photographs, descriptions and drawings are just what I want. Without current interpretations to 'influence' me. I deliberately use this approach in the Kennedy assassination in order to minimise the effects of such things as auto suggestion as I find it greatly helps in noticing things others may miss. This is just how I choose to do it, not necessarily a recommendation for others.

I do have some additions to the scenario.

I speculate that the person wanted is not of great stature or strength. Just capable of sustained bursts of brutality which can overpower even stronger persons particularly if they are caught off balance.

If you look at the bed you will see that it's wobbly. This is understandable for a poor pro. Lots of vigorous use.

This is not good in a close neighbourhood. The neighbours would make her life hell unless she moves the bed head away from the wall.(keep this in mind and read on...)

Note that the bedlinen is bunched up by her left arm and that she lies ON TOP OF this bunching and that the bunched area is next to the table standing with its leg snug up against the bed.

OK. Picture this: (pre mortem) The bed head is away from the wall enough for it not to knock against the wall. It is positioned with the bedhead parallel to the wall. The right edge is parallel to the far wall and separated from it by a narrow bedside table placed at about the middle. In other words: premortem the bed is square to walls in the room

There is no table next to the bed on the beds left side(looking from bedhead to feet) This table is ELSEWHERE in the room.

Mary is not on the bed but either standing or being moved towards it.

The process of getting her on to the bed is a violent one. The bed is displaced with its far corner moving closer to the far wall. She connects with the bed at its middle (no table there) and is pushed/handled/dragged on to the bed so the linen bunches. At this point she is not struggling but is dead weight (npi). Therefore she is not carried as per firemans grip or in arms but is killed/knocked out while close to the bed and this drives her on to the bed where she is arranged into post mortem posture. OR she has been killed/knocked out away from the bed and (because of the bunching of linen) dragged/pushed on to the bed, and this effort displaces the bed, and for this to happen the person has to be not strong and not tall, not carried easily by a strong person or more than one persons.

This action has displaced the bed from its normal position. The person who did it is not strong,tall and/or not fastidious or is single minded/eager or feels pressed for time and does not drag the bed back to its normal position (were there any reports of witnesses mentioning knocking sounds that night?)

The table is moved to the bed, putting it snug up against it and square to the wall. (see how it's not square to the bed, but appears to be so to the wall.) This indicates intent and experience, The person knew 'he' would need a table there.

The person is therefore right handed.

Quite possibly there was necrophiliac activity, quite likely after, or during towards end of 'dissection'. At some time the person was crouched between Marys legs and possibly at the 'consummation' supported self on left arm, reached across diagonally for balance and scribbled/drew something on the bed head.

This person was a 'starved' individual in the sense of 'not having enough'. 'His' whole mind/body cried out for satisfaction on multiple levels. hence the extreme 'sloppiness', gorging on body fluid, body mass, prostitute, woman, cannibalism features.

Starved because of not being unrestrained, probably quite a placid person at times who moves unnoticed through society, but certainly with at least rudimentary anatomy knowledge such as that of an imaginative well read person or perhaps a medical/dental student or a butcher.

So a person with a position in society who is not overly strong or tall, capable of bursts of energy, probably has been noted for intense 'temper tantrums' at some time, has anatomical knowledge, has killed before in similar circumstances, not fastidious hence possibly lives alone or without any intimates to comment on stained clothing, or in a profession where such stains would be regarded as 'normal'. Or a person who knows 'he' is going to get down and dirty and carries a change of clothing or has an independent place apart from home where cleaning up facilities are in place.

This person is also right handed and not old and not young, agile and experienced.

Possibly the 'orgiastic' nature of the killing indicates some drug/alcohol influence but certainly not enough to dull some degree of preciscion and purpose.

__________

For these reasons and others I would like to have the bedhead material (wood type) identified so that the grain can be factored out of a condideration of writing on the bed head. Also is there any account to indicate if the bed is actually resting on what looks like a tin bath? Are there any accounts of dragmarks of any description in the room or outside of it?

As I live in Australia there are not many places where I can go and expect to see typical working class bedroom furniture from the period and on the net it's usually the expensive antiques in good conditions that are available.

All the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi John

I respect your inclination to not be influenced by others writings and to reach your own conclusions which of course is an acceptable and meritorious approach.

I believe the furniture in the room would probably have been cheap pine or a similar wood. While I do not think the Expressionist painter Walter Sickert was the killer, as has recently been alleged by Patricia Cornwell on weak evidence, some of Sickert's work and other artists' paintings show working class rooms of the period. Here is a working class room as painted by Sickert as well as a photo of the artist himself sitting on a chair--

camden.jpg

Sickert, "Ennuie" painted circa 1914

sickert.jpg

Walter Sickert

You mention that you are in Australia so may find it difficult to see working class type furniture of the day. But how about reconstructed Australian colonial era settlements? I am sure there must be a few around that you could visit or even find on line.

John, there were no sounds reported of the furniture being moved around on the murder night. We have reports of Mary going in and out of the court observed with various men. Also one witness reported hearing the cry "Oh, murder!" during the night.

It is probable that the bed was moved to take the photographs, at least certainly the smaller photograph looking toward the door. You could be right that the killer was a smaller man, or at least not a big man. One of the best regarded suspect sightings, that of Joseph Lawende who saw a man with Catherine Eddowes prior to her murder, was a man of a man aged about 30, fair complexion, brown mustache, height five foot seven with a gray peaked cloth cap, red neckerchief, salt and pepper coat, sailor-like appearance. Such a stature, five foot six or seven or so, of course, would have been average for the day.

When you talk of a bedside table, there was a bedside table with various organs on it, next to the door, left side of the bed, and the washstand that I mentioned in my last post to the right of the bed. I am glad you agree with my view that there was likely a gap between the bed and the back wall. Have a look at the dissertation by the Viper "The Whitechapel Dossier: Dorset Street and Miller's Court" which discusses the dimensions of the room and shows the plan of the room that I mentioned earlier. A new dissertation by Simon Wood "http://casebook.org/dissertations/room-13-millers-court.html" contains some interesting ideas about the placement of the furniture and the bed in the room.

That back wall, incidentally, was just a thin partition separating the murder room, 13 Miller's Court, from the front of the house that faced onto Dorset Street. John, your theory that Mary, a prostitute, would have wanted her furniture away from the walls, to lessen knocking against the walls during the "act" is a very good one.

In regard to the idea that the Ripper had sex with his victims either in life or necrophiliac sex, the jury seems to be very much out since the doctors' reports fail to mention evidence of any connection. It could be therefore that the killer was impotent, which is one of the things that might have fed his rage.

Last, we have no evidence that the bed rested on the tin bath evident under the bed -- the tin bath was simply sitting under the bed, I believe.

John, I hope these further thoughts prove helpful to you.

All my best

Chris

Edited by Christopher T. George
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

Hi Chris, good to hear from you again. John is fairly new to jack research, but as in his Kennedy work brings a fresh approach which in certain areas may bare fruit. Regards, Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christopher, I looked at the pictures with 'virgin eyes' and straight away saw the distortion in lines indicating that there is a gap/table just as you describe.

One reason I want to get more info on the room.

These early photographs, descriptions and drawings are just what I want. Without current interpretations to 'influence' me. I deliberately use this approach in the Kennedy assassination in order to minimise the effects of such things as auto suggestion as I find it greatly helps in noticing things others may miss. This is just how I choose to do it, not necessarily a recommendation for others.

I do have some additions to the scenario.

I speculate that the person wanted is not of great stature or strength. Just capable of sustained bursts of brutality which can overpower even stronger persons particularly if they are caught off balance.

If you look at the bed you will see that it's wobbly. This is understandable for a poor pro. Lots of vigorous use.

This is not good in a close neighbourhood. The neighbours would make her life hell unless she moves the bed head away from the wall.(keep this in mind and read on...)

Note that the bedlinen is bunched up by her left arm and that she lies ON TOP OF this bunching and that the bunched area is next to the table standing with its leg snug up against the bed.

OK. Picture this: (pre mortem) The bed head is away from the wall enough for it not to knock against the wall. It is positioned with the bedhead parallel to the wall. The right edge is parallel to the far wall and separated from it by a narrow bedside table placed at about the middle. In other words: premortem the bed is square to walls in the room

There is no table next to the bed on the beds left side(looking from bedhead to feet) This table is ELSEWHERE in the room.

Mary is not on the bed but either standing or being moved towards it.

The process of getting her on to the bed is a violent one. The bed is displaced with its far corner moving closer to the far wall. She connects with the bed at its middle (no table there) and is pushed/handled/dragged on to the bed so the linen bunches. At this point she is not struggling but is dead weight (npi). Therefore she is not carried as per firemans grip or in arms but is killed/knocked out while close to the bed and this drives her on to the bed where she is arranged into post mortem posture. OR she has been killed/knocked out away from the bed and (because of the bunching of linen) dragged/pushed on to the bed, and this effort displaces the bed, and for this to happen the person has to be not strong and not tall, not carried easily by a strong person or more than one persons.

This action has displaced the bed from its normal position. The person who did it is not strong,tall and/or not fastidious or is single minded/eager or feels pressed for time and does not drag the bed back to its normal position (were there any reports of witnesses mentioning knocking sounds that night?)

The table is moved to the bed, putting it snug up against it and square to the wall. (see how it's not square to the bed, but appears to be so to the wall.) This indicates intent and experience, The person knew 'he' would need a table there.

The person is therefore right handed.

Quite possibly there was necrophiliac activity, quite likely after, or during towards end of 'dissection'. At some time the person was crouched between Marys legs and possibly at the 'consummation' supported self on left arm, reached across diagonally for balance and scribbled/drew something on the bed head.

This person was a 'starved' individual in the sense of 'not having enough'. 'His' whole mind/body cried out for satisfaction on multiple levels. hence the extreme 'sloppiness', gorging on body fluid, body mass, prostitute, woman, cannibalism features.

Starved because of not being unrestrained, probably quite a placid person at times who moves unnoticed through society, but certainly with at least rudimentary anatomy knowledge such as that of an imaginative well read person or perhaps a medical/dental student or a butcher.

So a person with a position in society who is not overly strong or tall, capable of bursts of energy, probably has been noted for intense 'temper tantrums' at some time, has anatomical knowledge, has killed before in similar circumstances, not fastidious hence possibly lives alone or without any intimates to comment on stained clothing, or in a profession where such stains would be regarded as 'normal'. Or a person who knows 'he' is going to get down and dirty and carries a change of clothing or has an independent place apart from home where cleaning up facilities are in place.

This person is also right handed and not old and not young, agile and experienced.

Possibly the 'orgiastic' nature of the killing indicates some drug/alcohol influence but certainly not enough to dull some degree of preciscion and purpose.

__________

For these reasons and others I would like to have the bedhead material (wood type) identified so that the grain can be factored out of a condideration of writing on the bed head. Also is there any account to indicate if the bed is actually resting on what looks like a tin bath? Are there any accounts of dragmarks of any description in the room or outside of it?

As I live in Australia there are not many places where I can go and expect to see typical working class bedroom furniture from the period and on the net it's usually the expensive antiques in good conditions that are available.

All the best.

John,

Fascinating insights. I always thought MK lay on the bed willingly and then met Jack's knife but on reflection I like your ideas better. I also think you've profiled our Jack to a nicety. Your scenario re the placement of the bed, table, etc is very interesting indeed.

Based only on the eyewitness descriptions, some conflicting, I see Jack as a short man with obvious pent up feelings of hostility and inadequacy. This doesn't get us any closer to his identity of course, but for me it narrows the field. I wish there was a form guide listing the height and accurate description of all suspects. With some suspects, all you get is a drawing. Where was the paparazzi when we really needed them?

The police photograph of MK's remains is the most horrifying photograph I have ever seen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi John, Mark, and Stephen

You might all want to look at the new sample article on the Ripperologist website, which is "The Enigmas of Miller's Court" by Simon Wood, a more extended exploration of Wood's ideas about the Mary Jane Kelly murder room than he published on "Casebook: Jack the Ripper." This article appeared in the December 2005 electronic edition of Ripperologist. We are now putting out the magazine as a monthly electronic publication rather than the paper magazine which came out every two months. I hope you find the article illuminating. It is certainly thought provoking and controversial side in terms of some of Mr. Wood's ideas and hypotheses.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...