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Points To Ponder A forum filled with rehashed ideas, overlooked & often original theories, and newspaper articles from days gone by.

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Old September 18th, 2017, 07:40 PM   #11
Anna Morris
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Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
Anna, the recent discussion on Casebook regarding "neatly folded" starts more or less with this post http://forum.casebook.org/showpost.p...&postcount=444



Sam Flynn states that the first mention of clothes being neatly folded is from the 70s http://forum.casebook.org/showpost.p...&postcount=452

Besides what was brought up before about the clothes being laid down in the usual manner besides the bed (Times and Pall Mall Gazette), Joshua Rogan mentions this in the thread on Casebook:

Daily Telegraph, nov. 10th: So generally, the idea that MJK's clothes were neatly folded is a modern invention (to some degree).

Also, you assume that the burnt skirt was velvet - is it possible you're thinking of the velvet bodice?
I haven't yet found a mention of the skirt being velvet.
I do not have anything to refute the points you make. I believe some of what I have said was in contemporary press reports but I am going to have to do some digging. Abberline's actual inquest testimony is terse, "articles of womans [sic] clothing had been burnt." (Evans & Skinner, p. 357)

I need to dig up that "Pall Mall Gazette" article since it was written from the point of view of a reporter actually being with the jury and inside the room when the jury was there. Whether or not that was factual, it sounded true.

In deciphering the murder, the basic point is she must have taken off her own clothes.
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Old September 18th, 2017, 10:41 PM   #12
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"Times" (London, 12 November, 1888, published BEFORE inquest as the end of the article states the inquest would begin at 11:00 that morning, has an interesting bit of information.

"The police, on making a more minute search of the room...on Saturday morning discovered in the fireplace the charred rim of a woman's felt hat, as well as a piece of burnt velvet. These, no doubt, formed a portion of a hat and velvet jacket belonging to and worn by Kelly, which are missing."

This is one example of why I believed the portion of a skirt found in the ashes was a velvet skirt.

Now I am curious about piecing it all together again. Abberline had very little to say at the inquest. He mentioned the hat rim and portions of a shirt or skirt depending on who reported what. "Irish Times", 13 November, 1888 uses the word shirt.

I think if I keep digging I will find a press report saying Abberline had said a man's shirt was burned in the fire. There was no more than that about the shirt so I wondered if he made this discovery based on buttons. If one reads a lot of these articles there is a lot of information about MJK's clothing but now is a good time to sort out how much is possibly invention or rumor. Over a number of articles there were several mentions of her black velvet jacket but unfortunately that began on Saturday the tenth and was tied in with Mary going to get milk at a time when most of us think she was already dead.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 08:40 PM   #13
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It looks like two or more sources contributed to what was found in the ashes.

"Times", London, 12 November, 1888, "police believe" Mrs. Harvey's laundry was "consumed" in the fire along with the hat and velvet jacket. In the ashes were found, "charred rim and wirework of a woman's felt hat."

The article goes on to explain that these articles were burned because they were blood stained and the killer did his work in daylight!

"The Star", 13 November, 1888, says the ashes were originally sifted to look for remains of the beer pot that Blotchy had had. It was thought the beer pot could have been melted down in the fire. Since no trace of it was found, it was deduced that the murder had taken place in the daylight and Blotchy must have taken the pot with him when he left!

"Echo", 10 November, 1888 covered the re-sifting of ashes with Dr. Phillips, Dr. Bond and Inspectors Moor, Abberline and Reid in attendance. According to the article these men were, "...again paying a visit to Millers Court in order to examine the ashes," because, "some portions [sic] of the body are missing." This was ascribed to, "an Echo reporter writing at two o'clock this afternoon."*

All of the information attributed directly to Abberline remains very simple; quantity of women's clothing, rim of a hat, portion of a skirt.

*I included this information because it is plain in various articles that the ashes were sifted twice, once Saturday morning and again about 2:00 on Saturday afternoon. My only interest here is in clothing and my original interest in ascertaining an inventory of Mary's possessions. The second sifting of the ashes seems to have been specifically for traces of flesh. Clothing remains had been found earlier. (I well know reasons for this second sifting can lead into discussions similar in nature to Crossmere debates.) Some sources said the ashes were carefully preserved for later reference if need be.

Concerning my original thought, that the hat could have helped circulate air that facilitated burning other items of clothing, it seems reasonable, especially when the "wirework" of a woman's hat is mentioned.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 08:53 PM   #14
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I do not have anything to refute the points you make.
Please don't feel like you have to refute anything

I just posted the link to Casebook because it is a recent discussion pertinent to what you're saying, I thought you might find it helpful.


I agree that MJK would have undressed herself. Does that mean for sure they would have been folded neatly? She was by some accounts rather sloshed as she went to bed, and if she had company she/they might not have wanted to wait.

The sketch of the room does show clothes neatly arranged, but we don't know how true to life that detail is, particularly as some papers speak of clothes on the floor.


As to the Pall Mall Gazette article, I believe it is this one you're looking for. November 12th:

Quote:
At last the key was procured, and the room was surveyed in batches. The inspector, holding a candle stuck in a bottle, stood at the head of the filthy, bloodstained bed, and repeated the horrible details with appalling minuteness. He indicated with one hand the bloodstains on the wall, and point with the other to the pools which had ebbed out on to the mattress. The little table was still on the left of the bedstead, which occupied the larger portion of the room. A farthing dip in a bottle did not serve to illuminate the fearful gloom, but I was able to see what a wretched hole the poor murdered woman called "home". The only attempts at decoration were a couple of engravings, one, "The Fisherman's Widow", stuck over the mantelpiece: while in the corner was an open cupboard, containing a few bits of pottery, some ginger-beer bottles, and a bit of bread on a plate. The rent was 4s. a week. In twenty minutes the jury filed out again and marched back
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Old September 19th, 2017, 09:23 PM   #15
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Please don't feel like you have to refute anything

I just posted the link to Casebook because it is a recent discussion pertinent to what you're saying, I thought you might find it helpful.


I agree that MJK would have undressed herself. Does that mean for sure they would have been folded neatly? She was by some accounts rather sloshed as she went to bed, and if she had company she/they might not have wanted to wait.

The sketch of the room does show clothes neatly arranged, but we don't know how true to life that detail is, particularly as some papers speak of clothes on the floor.


As to the Pall Mall Gazette article, I believe it is this one you're looking for. November 12th:
Yes. I found that article. It didn't have what I thought it did.

This was a good exercise to track down fact from fiction and have a good look at sources. There isn't much there and tying the skirt to a piece of velvet to the supposedly missing black velvet jacket Mary was alleged to have worn is tenuous. At best it looks like there was an unnamed police source and Abberline and it looks like a bit of guessing by the press was thrown in at times. My idea of laundry + skirt + hat in the fire works out but is not explicitly stated by any named source. And we are still left wondering if a hat and skirt = Abberline's "quantity of women's clothing."
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