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James Kelly Was the Broadmoor Escapee Jack The Ripper?

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Old October 6th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #1
admin tim
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Default The Real Face Of Jack The Ripper , James Kelly


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Old June 18th, 2014, 09:52 PM   #2
Ryan Miller
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I have always been curious how and why this picture became associated with James Kelly. He spent a large portion of his life on the run, and I doubt he would have, at any point, wanted his picture floating around, as he always seemed to be paranoid that he would be caught. The man in the picture doesn't appear to resemble the picture of James Kelly from his return mugshot, which can be found on the cover of James Tully's book.

Born in, 1860

Murdered his wife, 1883, 23 years old

Escapes Broadmoor, 1888, 28 years old

Travels to NYC, 1892, 32 years old

Turns himself in at NO, 1896 , 36 years old

Living in Vancouver, 1901, 41 years old

Living near Caledonian Market, 1906, 46 years old

James goes deaf, 1917, 57 years old

Health Fails, 1924, 64 years old

unemployable, 1925, 65 years old

Shows up at Broadmoor, 1927, 67 years old

Dies, 1929, 69 years old

Last edited by Ryan Miller; June 18th, 2014 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Easier to read
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Old June 18th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #3
Chris G.
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Help! My historian's suspicion is being sorely tested. I don't think the James Kelly in the photograph is James Kelly the Ripper suspect. Once again we have someone with a very common name. Neither does the caption inspire any confidence that the man and woman in the picture had anything to do with James Kelly who died in Broadmoor in 1929, viz:

"Is the man setting down in this photo the infamous Jack the Ripper. If so his real name is James Kelly. This photo was in with papers I purchased in 1991 at a London Street Market. There was a note identifying the man as James Kelly and Wife."


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Old June 18th, 2014, 10:51 PM   #4
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The likelihood that that is the James Kelly is the same as my ability to throw a baseball 5 miles.
It's an example of newbie Ripperology, where someone who believes in the guilt of one of the numerous suspects convinces himself of the man's guilt....then the guy who owns the site finds a photo of a man named Kelly and shazam !....he's halfway solved the case.

Read what the fellow says beneath the photo....

The most obvious mistake is that he claims the woman in the photo was the wife Kelly murdered.
Make that to the Moon, not 5 miles.
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Old June 19th, 2014, 12:52 AM   #5
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As you said, a name like James Kelly, ain't exactly the most unique name in the world. To make matters worse his alias was John Miller. Good luck tracking dow particular individual with that name in a census. You might as well be looking for a Mary Kelly. Either way, I'm glad the individual who found the photo was able to break the case in a matter of minutes, based on a photo, a generic name, and zero research.
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Old June 19th, 2014, 01:12 AM   #6
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Now for one of my stupid observations~please keep in mind that before I got the internet in 2012 I mostly worked from whatever books I could scrounge or buy and I had lots of time to think about things. (Where I used to live now has 3 books on JtR~a hard backcopy of Cornwell's book and two tattered paperback versions of the same book that were obtained at a garage sale.)

That said, I think the elderly gentleman in Walter Sickert's famous painting 'Ennui' very much resembles the mugshot of the elderly James Kelly. I have thought about the possibility that Sickert could have known who Jack was and the painting is kind of a joke on the world. Cornwell seemed to find all sorts of symbolism in the painting, re Jack, but we all know the point of her book so that is to be expected.

Thinking a little deeper though I think upholsterers sometimes stretched canvases for artists. I wondered if Kelly ever worked for Sickert or Whistler in this capacity, or if he did any general upholstery work for any of them. I think it is possible Sickert MAY have known who Jack was or had a good idea about it. Or maybe as some have suggested Sickert was just a very early Ripperologist. If he was he certainly lived at the right time, in the right place.

I bought James Tully's book years ago and it is one of my favourites. Since I have the internet and can read all the things on there, I feel James Kelly is unlikely to be Jack except for one thing I have never seen covered in the forums. I'm going to have to work from memory here so forgive me if I am not exactly accurate.

There was a JtR letter sent to someone, police or press, I believe about 1896. According to Tully this coincided with James Kelly returning to England to give himself up. Kelly waited around for awhile, the police didn't show up so he walked off. The letter as I recall was the usual about "commencing work", etc. There was a restatement of the Ghoulston Street graffito which read, "The Jewes are the men who will be blamed for nothing." I found this intriguing and the only commentary I have ever read about this letter was in Tully's book. Does it mean anything, I wonder?
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