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James Kelly Was the Broadmoor Escapee Jack The Ripper?

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Old August 23rd, 2009, 11:07 PM   #1
Roy Corduroy
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Question Who Knew ? James Kelly & The News Of The World

When James Kelly escaped from Broadmoore in 1888, the alert was put out to police and ports. A reward notice was placed in the Police Gazette.

At that time, did the general public know of his escape? Was it reported in the regular press then?
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Old August 24th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #2
Howard Brown
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Dear Roy:

When I get home from work, I'll throw his name in the American newspaper search engine. I doubt that I'll locate anything there....because I think I've already looked for Kelly there last year...but it won't hurt to look again.

Anyone up to looking for references to what Roy mentions in British papers?
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Old August 24th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #3
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Roy:

I had a little time this morning and examined the 191 excerpts with the name James Kelly for 1888, but none were relevant. Sorry.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Howard, thank you for your prompt response.

Why does it matter? Because to me it goes to Kelly's freedom of movement. Of course he knew the police were looking for him, but if the general public was unaware of the escape, if there was no reporting of it in the British papers, or any papers for that matter, it could give him somewhat more freedom of movement. Somewhat. I am most interested to know if the British papers carried the story right then in 1888. This would be the most germane to a discussion of his possible involvement in the Whitechapel Murder series.

Author James Tully quoted from a News of the World article which gave some details of the escape, but gave no date for said article. It may have been a retrospective written years later. I just don't know.

Again, any help is appreciated.

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Old August 24th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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Roy: My first post of the night was intended for you and it was to mention the N.O.T.W. excerpt mentioned on page 61 of Mr. Tully's book. Obviously, if the excerpt was contemporaneous of his escape, we'd need to find someone who has access ( if that is possible at this point in time ) to N.O.T.W. from early in 1888. I can't help out there,Roy...I'm sorry. This looks like a challenge...Maybe some British archivist has some old copies floating around somewhere. I don't know about you, Roy, but the excerpt gives me the impression as though it was written retrospectively, not contemporaneously, and somehow relative to the reemergence of Kelly at the Gates of Broadmoor.I'll try looking later on buddy...good luck on your end too.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Dear Roy:

Two things:

Stephen Ryder has this in his Press Report section ( That 1929 Bottomley article...which you probably have seen )

http://www.casebook.org/press_report...ly/291216.html

I put it here in case you hadn't and it might shake a few cobwebs loose...

However...I have just stumbled upon what I think might be the right avenue to pursue to determine the date of the N.O.T.W. article which you mentioned in your first post.

Look on page 91 of Tully's book. Look at the reference to February 11th, 1927 and the following bit..."as the N.O.T.W. described him..."

This may mean that Mr. Tully probably used a 1927 N.O.T.W. article that described his return to the institution.

Now, if this is so, and we cannot locate any newspaper article or excerpt from January 24th, 1888 ( the morning of the following day of his escape ) until 1927...then it may mean that no public alert was issued via the Press....at least in London.

Tell me Roy...is there a newspaper in the Broadmoor Institution vicinity which may have alerted those Brits, not necessarily Londoners, of his escape?

Hard to believe there would be a 39 year gap between the time of his escape and the first reference to him in the papers...an escaped lunatic murderer...after that escape...isn't it?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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A search of the London Times online archive yields articles about Broadmoor over the years but not about this escape. If newspapers in Berkshire had carried the story, it would have hit the London papers, too. Bottom line, the escape was treated as a police matter only. The public didn't know. Otherwise, the author would have mentioned it in his book, or there would be other research finds since its publication.

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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for that Roy.

In your research, is this precedence for this sort of thing? If individuals escaped asylums was there this sort of blackout in the media as it appears happened in the case of James Kelly?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #9
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No, there was no precedent for the secrecy. In an 1878 McMillan's Magazine article penned after a visit to Broadmoor, Daniel Hack Tuke, MD* wrote:

I find in regard to escapes that, from the opening of the asylum (1863) up to the end of 1877, there have not been more than twenty-three. During the last three years there have been none. The majority were recaptured on the next, or following day; one not till three months, and four were never discovered.

And indeed, during 1873-74 the London Times had five articles about Broadmoor escapes.

Roy

* no relation to the Chiswick Manor House Tukes
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Old August 31st, 2009, 05:40 AM   #10
Debra Arif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
When James Kelly escaped from Broadmoore in 1888, the alert was put out to police and ports. A reward notice was placed in the Police Gazette.

At that time, did the general public know of his escape? Was it reported in the regular press then?
Hi Roy,
I think your later conclusions are right, in that it wasn't reported in the regular press and remained a police matter only.
I've checked the British Library newspaper archives and there is no mention of the escape in 88 that I can see, only the escape and recapture of the murderer Frederick Marshall in Nov. 88.
I also checked for other reports of escaped Broadmoor inmates and noticed several papers reporting an escape incident only after an inmate had been safely recaptured again, as in Marshall's case. Perhaps this was the policy?

Debs
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