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James Kelly Was the Broadmoor Escapee Jack The Ripper?

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Old January 2nd, 2010, 09:37 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default Prisoner 1167 At The Old Bailey: 1883

JAMES KELLY, Killing > murder, 30th July 1883.


Reference Number: t18830730-724
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Death > no_subcategory
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724. JAMES KELLY (23) was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with, the wilful murder of Sarah Ann Kelly.
MESSRS. POLAND and LLOYD Prosecuted; MESSRS. MONTAGU WILLIAMS and CAVENDISH BENTINCK Defended.
SARAH ANN BRIDER . I am the wife of John Charles Brider; he is a bricklayer—we have been living for some time at 21, Cottage Lane, City Road, with my daughter, Sarah Ann—she was 22 years of age on Monday, 18th June—she was working for De la Rue, the stationers', in Bunhill Row, for nine years and a half, and used to go day by day to her employment there—another daughter was living with us, younger than Sarah—the prisoner has been lodging with us a little over a year—he became acquainted with my daughter, and they were married at St. Luke's early in June—after the marriage they returned to 21, Cottage Lane, and both of them went to their employments—in the evening they both slept at our house, but not in the same room; they did not sleep in the same room at all after the marriage—they continued to go regularly to their respective employments—on Monday evening, the 18th, she came home about 8 o'clock, and brought a small parcel with her—she spoke a few words to me, and went out to meet her husband on Pentonville Hill—I think I have made a mistake about this; on the Monday the prisoner came home first—she went on business in the Hackney Road for her father, and she was late when she came in—she said she was very ill—the prisoner was there; he never attempted to go and meet her as usual—she went into the front parlour and sat in an arm-chair—he stood a few minutes when he heard her sobbing; he went in and pulled her out—I went in to him and told him he must not do that—he rushed past me and flew to the table-drawer—she heard the noise of the knives and she flew past me and flung her arms past her own neck and said, "He is either going to murder me or himself"—I begged of him to lay the knife down; he had taken a large carving-knife out of the drawer—I then felt faint and fell back in a chair—he fixed the carving-knife to her breast and said he would run it through her if she did not tell him where she had been—she said she had been to Fox's in the Bethnal Green Road to fetch some bark to gargle his throat—he then sat down on the sofa and cried bitterly—I cannot tell what became of the knife, whether he laid it down; I think it was placed in the drawer again by my daughter—she wanted me to give my word not to tell her father, and I did so—the prisoner said, "I am mad"—I said, "I think you are"—this was about half-past 9 to 10 o'clock—on Thursday, the 21st, they had been at work as usual during the day—the prisoner came home first between 8 and 9 o'clock, his usual time—he was very fidgety as she had not returned—he said, "I can't think where she has got to"—she came home about 9 o'clock, her usual time was 8—I am a little confused, I was thinking of the Monday; on the Thursday she came home at 8 o'clock; the prisoner was not there at that time—she laid a small parcel on the table and went to meet her husband—she was in the habit of going to meet him—she was away about an hour and a half—the prisoner came in about 9 o'clock while she was away—he asked if Sarah had returned—I said, "No, have you not seen her?"—he said, "Yes, coming down the hill, but she was walking in such an upright style I did not cross directly to her"—he said that no woman should master him, and he went out—he was perfectly sober—he was out about 20 minutes, and returned with my daughter—they both
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Walked into the kitchen coolly and quietly—she left the kitchen hurriedly and rushed into her bedroom; that was the left-hand parlour—it is a double-fronted house—the parlour is on the same floor as the kitchen—the lock of the door springs twice; she sprang it twice; she shut the door, and locked it—that seemed to arouse the prisoner, and he rushed and burst the door open, and went into the room—I heard them talking very loudly—I did not hear what was said—I then went in—my daughter was sitting by the bedside crying very much—the prisoner was standing up—she held her hand up, and said "You will have something to answer for before your God"—he snapped his fingers in her face, and said "And so will you"—she said "You have called me a whore"—he said "I did not"—she repeated it a second time—he said nothing then, but he gave a jeering laugh—she then removed her seat, and sat on an ottoman at the foot of the bed—he said "I will stop you from going to De la Rue's"—I said "You can't, her character is too well known"—he said "We will see"—she said "You are cruel and unkind; oh, mother, you can't tell what I have had to go through; I wish I had taken your and Mr. Machonicie's advice; I will not live with him; did I ever tell you anything of James, mother?"—I said "No, that has been your fault"—I don't think he said anything then—she threw her hands away from him, and said "Go away from me, go away, I never want to see you any more"—she said to me, "Did you ever catch me out in one lie, mother, until I knew him?"—I said "No"—she was a most truthful child—he then sat down by the side of her, and begged of her to forgive him—he said "Pray forgive me, Sarah, do forgive me"—she said "I can never forgive you for the name that you called me"—she told him to go away, she never wished to see him any more—he said "Will you forgive me?"—she said "No, I can never forgive you for the name you called me"—he then moved his position from the front of the fireplace, and sat by her side—for one minute he seemed to sit still, and then in an instant I saw the poor creature on the floor, and he digging something into her—I thought it was his thumb, but she halloaed "He is murdering me, mother; he is murdering me"—I rushed and pulled him off by the hair of his head, and said "You villain, what are you at? what are you doing?"—he never spoke—he threw me over the bed, which injured my arm, and ran out at the door—my daughter got up and fell on her wound by the side of the bed—after I recovered consciousness, she threw up her head and said "Mother, I am dying"—I afterwards saw that she was wounded—I rushed to the water, but got a towel and wipe her face—I then rushed into the street and got assistance and spoke to the police, and a doctor saw her—I went with her in a cab to St. Bartholomew's Hospital—I was present when the police came and picked up the blade of a knife—it had blood on it—I did not see any knife in the prisoner's hand—I never saw this brown-handled knife till it was found by the police—he had a white-handled knife, this produced is it—I found this on Friday, 28th July, on the top of a safe, just outside the kitchen in a small lobby, I had to get a chair before I could reach it—it was shut up as it is now—I had seen the prisoner using that knife in his work, but I had lost sight of it for two months—I went to the hospital and saw my daughter there; I was there on the 23rd when the Magistrate came, and the inspector, and the prisoner was brought there—my daughter was sworn and her deposition was taken in my presence—she died on
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the 24th about—these letters 10.30 in the evening—I know the prisoner's writing—these letters (produced) are his writing—he went to Liverpool on the first Monday after their marriage, I think on the 11th: "Euston Station. My dear Wife,—Through the trouble between your father and mother and I, I feel I can never live with them more. You and I must leave them soon, and to do so we want money. When you read what I am going to do, do not fret, as it will only make things worse. I am going down to Liverpool to see the solicitors, but shall come back late to-night. Dear Sarah, don't fret, but be quiet and let them all at home see how you can trust me. God knows that they have distrusted me, which is one of the things which has upset us. Dear Sarah, it is hard to go away from you, but it is for the best; rather let me be away from you one day than for ever. Dear Sarah, if you have not been examined to-day do not be so. I say again, it will make no difference between you and I. I am afraid the friendship between your mother and I is ended. Dear Sarah, it is strange, but before I married you I thought it would turn out like this; I shall always believe your mother knew you; but never mind, we shall both be happy when living alone. The fault is not yours. Dear Sarah, believe me, I love you with all my heart, although I have acted funny at times. Remember, allow no one to come between us. Dear Sarah, I cannot say more at present. I go at 9.30. Please not to go near Smith's. I shall telegraph to you when I arrive. Dear Sarah, believe me to be your ever loving husband, James K."—"From James Kelly, H. M. Prison, Clerkenwell, 24th June, 1883. My dear Wife,—I scarcely know how to write a few lines to you, I feel so wretched, and have such pains in my head that I have no power to think, so if I omit anything you must forgive me. Dear Sarah, before I say more, I must ask you to write and let me know how you are; tell me if you are getting better. Dear Sarah, I am so sorry and repent to the utmost for what I have done, and I want you to write and say that you forgive me and love me still. I love you, dear girl, and I never meant to stab you as I sat by you asking you to forgive me and you answered no. I took out my penknife and meant to frighten you, but something seemed to come over me and I went mad and stabbed you. Dear Sarah, we have both been mistaken; I thought you did not love me, and you seemed to be sure that I did not love you. Dear Sarah, if it had been so, would not I have taken the opportunity to leave you when you told me to go? but, no, I could not leave you, Sarah. I loved you too much, and you drove me mad. Dear Sarah, I shall be tried next Wednesday. I shall not mention your faults, not even to save myself; you are too good for the world to know you. My dear Sarah, if you had trusted me and given way to me for a few days I feel sure this awful affair would not have happened. Dear Sarah, I am obliged to finish my letter now as I am wanted at Court. So goodbye for the present. Believe me to be, my dear wife, your ever loving and affectionate, but unfortunate, husband, James Kelly. ******** P.S. Dear Wife,—Please send Mr. Stan ton to me; I should so like to see him, and also your father." Envelope addressed, "Mrs. Sarah Kelly, Bartholomew Hospital."—"From James Kelly, H. M. Prison, Clerkenwell, 9th July, 1883. Dear Mrs. Brider,—I feel I must write to yourself to say that I forgive you from my heart for any words you have said or anything you have
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done to satisfy yourself, and as you thought my poor wife Sarah, but which to me did and has made me unhappy. I know I have been very gay and reckless, but for what I have done to my dear wife I can say truthfully I never have or wished to ruin any girl's life. My dear Sarah and I had many troubles, and although I was a stranger and at liberty to do and go as I pleaded, my love for your daughter was such that I could not leave her. Dear Mrs. Brider, concerning my darling's illness, I did often ask Sarah to go to a doctor for her own sake, but she would not. I got wild and asked her to speak to you, which she did; then after Mr. Brider spoke to me, and I said more than I wished about Sarah because I thought you had deceived me at the risk of making Sarah unhappy. I always felt more for her than myself on that point, and I never did or would allow myself to think that it was her own fault (I shall say no more), but I can see now I had not the sense to inquire in a quiet and proper manner, because I was out of my mind. I had no one to comfort or advise me, not even my only love Sarah. My dear wife seemed to me like a dead person, she either could or would not speak. I cannot say more, as I wish you to get this to-night, Tuesday. I should much like to know how you are all getting on. I have seen my solicitor this afternoon, but I would give no statement, as I wish to hear from you first. Please write soon. I hope that you and Mr. Brider and all at home will accept my best wishes for your happiness, because I sincerely wish it. I remain, Mrs. Brider, your forgiving but unfortunate son-in-law, James Kelly. P.S.—You have been much mistaken in me concerning a certain thing." Envelope addressed. "Mrs. Brider, 21, Cottage Lane, City Road, London." "From James Kelly, H.M. Prison, Clerkenwell, 13th July, 1883. Dear Mrs. Brider,—If it would not be asking you too much, I should much like to speak to you privately here; (if you will) please say when you can come. If you are going to the Clerkenwell Court to-morrow, I should thank you much if you would bring with you those slippers dear Sarah worked for me. Please send them to me in my cell. Hoping that you and all at home are bearing up, I remain yours sincerely, James Kelly. P.S.—Dear Mrs. Brider,—I am terribly afraid I shall have to tell all I know, but if you come and tell me any words my dear wife said which will comfort me, I will, with God's help, do what I think is right. I feel I would rather die than say a word against poor Sarah and cause you more trouble. I cry often and say to myself 'What shall I do? is there nothing to save me, and shall I have to tell all?' I have seen the solicitor again this afternoon, but I will not write out my defence till I have seen you. As you know, I gave poor Titty 10l., which she put in the bank, and as I shall want all the monies as I can get I am asking my solicitor to get it. I should be very thankful for a letter from you, so good-bye from your sincere but unfortunate son-in-law, James Kelly." My daughter never got the letter of 24th June; it came to my house—she had nothing the matter with her so far as I know—before Christmas the prisoner told me that he had the upholsterer's itch, and he had medicine and ointment—he had a great many marks round the hips and between the fingers; I did not particularly notice his throat—on one occasion I saw things in his bedroom that were used for an immoral purpose, a syringe, a small phial, and ointment, with directions—a lodger slept in the room, but never washed there—I used the washstand—the prisoner spoke to me about those things—I can't tell the
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exact words he used, but he said he hoped I did not think they were his—I said I had not seen them there before.
Cross-examined. My daughter was 22, and the prisoner is 23—they were married on 4th June—she had always been an excellent daughter to me, a truthful, pious girl, a thoroughly good living girl; she was very reserved, she never spoke to a person in the street—she had never misconducted herself in any way—she had not given him the slightest provocation on this day, nor on any occasion; she was always modest and proper, and was very fond of him—when she begged me not to tell her father, the prisoner cried bitterly, and begged me to forgive him—he was perfectly sober on the Thursday—he was a strictly sober man—there is not the smallest suggestion for saying that she kept bad company with girls, or anything of the kind—her church was her God—the prisoner is a Liverpool man—he went to Liverpool to get some money from some solicitors; he was entitled to a share in a ship—he complained very much at one time of an abscess in the head, and running at the ears very badly—I had known him about 13 or 14 months before the marriage—he has been very different since Christmas last—he was very much beloved by the whole family until that time—he had conducted himself very properly till after his return from Liverpool; after he came back he said his head was very bad—he continued to complain of that up to this day.
FORBES JAMES (Policeman G 260). On the evening of 21st June I went to 21, Cottage Lane, and there found the prisoner and Mrs. Brider, the deceased, and Jones 166—the deceased was sitting on a chair, attended by the doctor—I said "What is the matter?"—Mrs. Brider said "My daughter has been stabbed"—I looked on the floor by the bottom of the bedstead and found this part of a knife; the large blade was deficient—I held the knife up and said "What is this?"—Mrs. Brider said "That is what the villain must have used"—the knife was covered with blood, and on the floor close by there was a pool of blood—the prisoner said "I don't know what I am about, I must be mad"—I made a further search, and found this blade close by where I had found the handle—I said to the prisoner "I shall have to take you into custody on the charge of stabbing your wife"—he made no reply—I took him to the station.
THOMAS MAYNARD (Police Inspector G). About 10 o'clock on the night of 21st June I saw the prisoner at the police-station in Old Street—I noticed blood on his hands, and also on his shirt front—the last witness handed me the knife and blade, and I saw blood on them—the prisoner seemed very calm and collected—he did not pay anything; he was perfectly sober—I went to the hospital, and returned to the station and charged him with stabbing his wife with intent to murder—the charge was read to him—he made no reply—on the 23rd June I took him to the hospital, and the Magistrate was there, and took the deceased's deposition—she was sworn, and her evidence was taken in the usual way—the prisoner had an opportunity of cross-examining her, and he did ask her questions—the deposition was read over to her, and she put her cross to it. (The deposition was read as follows: "The man now present, the prisoner, is my husband. The night before last he stabbed me. I was sitting over in the back room. I am so insensible I cannot remember much. We had a few words about some boots, and he told me he would pay me when he got me home. I did not have time to make him an answer in the kitchen. He got the knife out of his pocket, and he
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stuck it into me two or three times. We had the words about the boots in the street, and we came home together. The kitchen and the back room are the same room. We were not 10 minutes in the house before it happened. I cannot remember the words he used at the time. The knife stuck in my throat two or three times. This is the third time he has threatened my life, and this time he stabbed me. I told him in the street I would not live with him, and he said, 'When we get home we'll see.' I did not see the knife at all.
Cross-examined by the Prisoner. You did stab me two or three times. My mother was there too. You asked me to forgive you, and you told me you would let me see when you got me home.
Re-examined. He did not say he would stab me when he got me home.")
FREDERICK ALFRED HAMMOND . I am a coachman, and live at 17, Old Ford Road—about 9 o'clock on the evening of 21st June I was in the City Road walking towards Cottage Lane, and saw the prisoner just by Duncan Terrace; be was alone—he came across and met a young woman—he said to her "You b—cow, I will give you something for walking Upper Street when I get you home"—she said "No you won't," and ran across the road; he ran after her and caught her at the corner of Old Street—I followed them; I was going the same way—I saw them go in to 21, Cottage Lane—I went on home.
HUGH RAYNER . I am house-surgeon at Bartholomew's Hospital—I attended to the deceased when she was brought there at half-past 10 at night—she was in a state of collapse, and in a dangerous state—she had a wound about two inches below the left ear—she died on the 24th, at half-past 10 at night—I made a post-mortem examination—the wound was about three inches deep, it nearly divided the spinal cord; it was just such a wound as might have been inflicted by a stab with this blade—it passed between the cervical vertebra—considerable violence must have been used—she died from the injury.
The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. "I can say that I did it in my madness; I did not know what I was doing, I was led to do it by certain things that was said and done. I loved my wife and I love her still; she had many faults which I was not going to mention for my wife's sake, and as I had caused great trouble in the family I did not wish to cause more. I shall tell all now, as I can see a great many lies have been told, and a false witness brought up. That is all I have to say."
OLIVER TREADWELL . I am assistant surgeon to Her Majesty's prison, Clerkenwell—the prisoner was in that prison from 22nd June up to the present time—I have seen him from time to time about three or four times a week—during the whole of the time I have seen him he has always conducted himself as a rational and sane man—I have not noticed any symptoms of insanity about him.
Cross-examined. I have had conversation with him for five or ten minutes at a time; I never heard till to-day of his suffering from abscess in the head—an abscess in the head before bursting might probably cause pain—I suppose in the interior is meant—a running abscess might discharge through the ear if in that region.
Q. In your opinion might it temporarily affect the brain at times? A. It depends upon the position of the abscess, and whether it is acute or chronic.
GUILT.—Recommended to mercy by the Jury. — DEATH
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