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James Kelly Was the Broadmoor Escapee Jack The Ripper?

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Old April 5th, 2012, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default Mr James Kelly.. A Serious Jack the Ripper Candidate?

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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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Ex CID Chief Inspector, Thomas Divall, had this to say in a 1929 book entitled, Scoundrels, Scallywags and Some Honest Men :

'The much lamented and late Commissioner of the CID, Sir Melville Macnaghten, received some information that the murderer had gone to America and died in a lunatic asylum there. This perhaps, may be correct, for after this news nothing was ever heard of any similar crimes being committed.'

This certainly didn't refer ("gone to America") to Tumblety...but Kelly did come to America.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #3
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Default Walter Lamb

Thanks Howie, and thank you Tim for the link, which contains the "Jack the Ripper in America" documentary on Youtube. Richard Jones made an appearance in that one, when he sat down for coffee and a chat with the detective.

James Tully wrote of Kelly's friend Walter Lamb of 37 Collingwood Street, which he noted was near Buck's Row (Durward St). The star is the site of the Nichols murder.


A Lamb family in the 1881 census at 19 Collingwood. Walter Lamb was two years younger than James Kelly, so would be about the age to be his pal I suppose. This part of Bethnal Green reaches almost to Whitechapel there.

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Old June 18th, 2014, 10:12 PM   #4
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Kelly did spend a great deal of time in America. He says in his letter to Dr. Harry Percival Foulerton, the Broadmoor Superintendent, at the time:

"Referring to my travels again I may say that I have been backwards and forwards across the Atlantic about seven times."

He then later writes:

"It seems that I have quite forgotten to write my experience at New Orleans. I suppose it necessary to refer to it as to make this statement complete. Touching what happened at New Orleans I can say that it all happened after I had roamed over California, viz - San Fransisco, Los Angeles, El-Paso on the desert and Dallas Texas, where I worked. Then I got down to New Orleans where I got fed up with the insecurity of life, etc and also the lack of English home life."

While he did spend a lot of time in America, it seems that he couldn't stay in one place for too long. He was quite the traveler. And though he visited Paris, Canada, and America, he always seemed to want to find a way back home to England.

The two statements in his letter to HP Foulerton that really got my attention are as follows:

"When I left the terrace I, with much trouble and danger, managed to get over the wall into the Kitchen Garden. This exploit I cannot explain without a special written space or words of speech. And I feel that I cannot miss the opportunity that I have now of saying that -- I -- did not do it. I know you will understand what I mean and that I am writing in a religious mood." (My bold)

"Now to conclude again I must say that I have been on the Warpath ever since I left Broadmoor Asylum. I can't explain this, but I know that I could not clique on with most people in the outside world. I had to contend all the time with envy, jealousy, and malice." (These words are underlined in the letter)
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Old September 14th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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Mr Kelly interests me. He ticks the boxes of virtually all of the profile criteria & his movements around the time of the C5 killings don't seem to weaken his credibility.
Can someone please outline the main reasons that weaken his case as a prime JTR suspect?
I'm thinking that he was actually a quite widely traveled bloke for that age & I would expect The Ripper to be a more permanent resident of the Whitechapel area around Flower & Dean St rather than a transient resident in the general local area.
I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, especially anyone who is either strongly for or against Kelly as a JTR suspect.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #6
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Good morning Stephen and welcome to the Forums,

I'm pro-Kelly but I can't strengthen the case or add anything to what the late James Tully wrote. On the negative, you would think after escaping the asylum he kept a low profile and that's how me managed to stay on the outside all those years. Not going around killing people in hideous ways. Maybe it was episodic.


A former merchants house on Everton Road, Liverpool, not far from James Kelly's old patch. Recently demolished.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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Thanks Roy.
Pretty creepy building.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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Walter was still there in 1891 (in Somerford St - maybe the house was on the corner). He was a chair maker, which makes sense if Kelly was an upholsterer.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 12:13 PM   #9
Anna Morris
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Tully's book is one of my favorites. It was a solution book that simply did its best to make the point without absolutely insisting James Kelly was it.

Tully made the point that the police were looking for Kelly after MJK was killed. I have an idea the police had a number of suspects they continually tracked after that including Kelly, Bury, probably Kosminski or a Polish Jewish suspect other than Kosminski. It seems the police were looking in general for a man who looked something like Kelly.

Please forgive me for the following observation, and I am not the best person at recognising faces. I do think Patricia Cornwell may have made some valid points about Sickert some way memorializing murder in some of his paintings. Can anyone else see similarity in the old gentleman in the painting 'Ennui' and the elderly James Kelly's mug shot? I probably wouldn't think this way except for her interpretation of the painting which is probably wrong anyway. I have wondered if Kelly could have worked for Sickert at times. An upholsterer could have been hired to stretch canvases in an art studio. I DO NOT THINK SICKERT WAS JACK! I do think Sickert was interested in the murders, kind of an early Ripperologist.
If the shawl doesn't fit, you must acquit.~~Henry Flower, Casebook post
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Old September 14th, 2014, 02:57 PM   #10
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Not sure of the difference, but I ordered the 2005 edition of Tully's The Real Jack The Ripper as opposed to the 1997/98 Secret of Prisoner 1167.
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