Saturday, 26 September 2009

JACK THE RIPPER: The Singing Girl

When I commented on The Tainted Archive's review of Patricia Cornwell's Jack The Ripper book I pointed out that no one seemed to concentrate on the final murder and the singing girl.
Books have mentioned her and skipped by it - even Superintendant Barlow in the 'Softly, Softly' special dismissed it.
As a fifteen year old kid I was concious that the final murder just did not fit in with the pattern.
So this is what I am going to concentrate on the - the importance of a singing girl.
Mary Kelly was the final victim of Jack The Ripper.
And the proof is - what?

Mary Kelly, unlike all the other victims was killed in her own home.
The lock to the front door was broken as was a pane of glass in the window - but this wasn't made by the Ripper doing a bit of breaking and entering. This had all happened sometime before and reported to the landlord.
At 9pm the night that Mary Kelly was killed several witnesses mentioned that they had heard a female singing indicating that Mary Kelly was not alone that night.

Back to the other victims. All were found in the street and all mutilated either by a butcher (Leather Apron) or a Royal Phycisian (Dr.William Gull). In Mary Kelly's case - her body was found on her bed in her room.

So - two women in one room where only one body was butchered. Not just butchered but mutilated beyond recognition. Ergo one mutilated body found in Mary Kelly's room must be that of Mary Kelly. Not exactly positive ID.

Whatever the theorists come up with for the murder of these prostitutes it has to be assumed that the killer knew what his victims looked like. So why remove Mary Kelly's face? He would have wanted her to be positively identified. On the other hand if he encountered the second female he would have known that it was not Mary Kelly.

Mad and illogical as it sounds - the only reason for the final victim having her face mutilated is to make people believe that the corpse was indeed that of Mary Kelly. And I am fully aware of what this implies and the weight of evidence concerning this one part of the Ripper crimes seems to draw a logical conclusion.
Though having a logical conclusion - doesn't explain the why - except that Anne Stride and the rest new Mary Kelly. They had been arrested, at various times, for prostitution and had used 'Mary Kelly' as an alias. Not really a good excuse for bumping them off - unless, of course, Mary Kelly did not like the reputation this was giving her.
What is obvious is that the Ripper killings ended with Mary Kelly's death.
For fifty odd years I have read everything and watched every documentary on the subject and I am still convinced - or deluded - that it was Mary Kelly who killed the singing girl. With that comes the possibility that Mary Kelly was The Ripper.
Far fetched - maybe.
I am reminded of that moment in the Sherlock Holmes 'Silver Blaze' concerning the curious incident of the dog in the night time. It did nothing. Exactly.
Substitute the curious incident of the singing girl in the night time - and some things make sense.
Or not - as the case may be.


  1. It's an interesting theory but there are police reports that say Mary Kelly was heard singing Irish ditties at a late hour. Several neighbours reported this - but was it Mary Kelly or someone else. The film From Hell also supposed that it wasn't Mary Kelly murdered but someone else but for all together different reasons.

  2. From Hell is fiction - so it came as a surprise that the writers picked up on that.
    But I'm talking about a kid who picked up on that line of thinking way back beyond that.
    I think that it was both Colin Wilson and Robin Odell who picked up on two women in that room in Mitre Court. Several witnesses, as you say, heard singing that night - but some witnesses did point out that they had seen two women there that night.
    The first book I read back in 1960 was 'The Identity Of Jack The Ripper' by Donald McCormick.
    Since then Robin Odell, Colin Wilson, Donald Rumbelow, Philip Sugden and the two reviewed on The Tainted Archive.
    In the photos of Eddowes, Chapman, Stride and Nicholls - the face is visible. In the photos of Mary Jane Kelly it is plain that she has no face.
    Nothing there to identify her. And because of that I'm still curious - I ask why?

  3. Fiction, but intriguing: if you haven't read it, give it a go - Michael Dibdin's 'The Last Sherlock Holmes Story. Brilliant - and it upset many a Sherlockian...

  4. Thanks Nik - I'll check that out.

  5. Mary Kelly is definitely the key to Jack's identity if not the answer to the question of his identity.
    If it wasn't her, then why is she not identified after 120 years. I can't believe they couldn't identify her. So why the obvious secrecy? Why the cover-up?
    And what about her alleged child? Why does the subject of the child elicit so much anger in the field when at least three witnesses testified to his existance?
    Where there's smoke there's fire and there's more smoke here than in the DaVinci Code with Mary Magdalene!