Brutal killings began to take place one right after the other, as prostitutes were found dead in the small section of London called, Whitechapel. In the back alleys, they had been carved up cleanly and precisely, as if a professional had performed surgery under the cover of night. The clues were simply not adding up, and the panic and fear that ran through Whitechapel was immense…as everyone wondered where exactly ‘Jack The Ripper’ would strike next.
As the case went on and the murders kept adding up, the police became more and more stumped. Scotland Yard had no idea who the man was - focusing their investigation mainly on butchers in the area because they had the background of being able to “carve” flesh. The police explored every lead until the river of evidence simply ran dry. Then, out of nowhere, Mary Jane Kelly took over the front page of every newspaper across the globe.
This was the woman who would go down in history as being the very last victim of Jack the Ripper; she was his official swansong, leaving his most gruesome kill for his final curtain call. To this day Mary Jane Kelly’s figure - lying on the bed inside the small apartment located at 13 Miller’s Court - remains the bloodiest crime scene ever photographed. Not to mention, the one scene left behind by the only serial killer in history who was never identified.
The story of Mary Jane Kelly was far different than The Ripper’s other victims. From 1888 to 1891, some say The Ripper was responsible for six slayings – others say eleven – but nobody will ever really know. All the women he preyed upon were poor, homeless and, in most cases, had no family or friends to speak of, but Mary Jane Kelly did not fit that mold.
With her auburn hair and sparkling blue eyes, Mary Jane was seen as extraordinarily beautiful, and came from the “upper-crust” of British society. She was smart as a whip, and even though her situation involved getting “orphaned and shunned” by her well-to-do family, Mary Jane still looked at life as though there was a stellar future out there for her, once she got through the “low-point” she’d found herself stuck in.
Up until Mary Jane’s discovery, Jack The Ripper had always killed in back alleys at night. But the corner building located at 13 Miller’s Court was quite a busy place back in the day…and every evening. The one-room house had two fairly large windows that faced on to the street, and the seedy bars as well as the girls waiting to give their ‘all’ for money, flooded the street in front of the building at all hours.
After the body of Mary Jane was found, The Ripper simply disappeared - just like that. People say that Miss Kelly was The Ripper’s true statement, and that he saved the most gruesome for last. Jack’s kills were certainly horrible, but Mary Jane was a downright massacre. Law enforcement reported (and a very famous picture exists) that the interior of 13 Miller’s Court looked like gallons of blood had been used to paint the walls. The Ripper didn’t just kill her - he butchered her. Before Mary Jane the other victims had been dissected - their bodies were left ‘in a fairly clean and orderly state’ - like a surgeon had simply opened them up to study their organs. But with Mary, Jack didn’t want just her body and blood, he was quite literally digging for her soul.
A man by the name of Barnett came forward after the body had been found; a man who had been living on and off with Mary Jane at the time of her murder. It seems he’d gotten upset that she always let her friends live with them and not pay any rent, so Barnett had left about a week before Mary Jane was found dead. The other women who had been friends with Mary - most notably, a prostitute by the name of Mary Cox - said she’d seen Miss Kelly at her home around midnight, and that she was singing while standing at the open door. There were lights in the big window, even though a large sheet had been hung up for privacy.
Although Mary’s singing was heard by others, a scream was not. A man named Hutchinson said he saw her around two a.m. and told the constable that she’d asked him for a loan, but he was flat broke. He testified that when he was leaving, a very elegant man came walking down the street dressed all in black. He had on a top hat and gloves, like he’d just come from the opera, and was calmly strolling the sidewalk carrying a polished cane in one hand and a black leather bag in the other.
Hutchinson also told the police that Mary Jane led this man into 13 Miller’s Court where they stood talking for a time with the door wide open. Miss Kelly was upset about losing her handkerchief, and he said that the mystery man pulled a bright red one from his pocket and gave it to her. Although Hutchinson saw an amicable meeting, as the door closed behind Mary, the elegant man apparently transformed into the monster all the world was talking about.
During the investigation, a woman came forward who lived down the street from Mary Jane and said that around four a.m. she heard someone scream, Murder! But no one else heard a thing…not one.
After that, the hideous Ripper simply disappeared into the night. Some say his master called him back to Hell, as Mary Jane Kelly became the largest unsolved mystery in the history of the world.
As conclusions have been made over time, many stories have arisen about who ‘The Ripper’ actually was. Not only does the legend increase with every telling, but there are now ‘puzzles’ being put together that link Jack The Ripper with yet another dark and monstrous being. There are some who say that in the early 1900’s the self-proclaimed Devil, Aleister Crowley, had found a way to hide a true treasure under the floor that ‘The Ripper’ once walked across. Although Mary Kelley's walls at 13 Miller’s Court had been torn down, another building was put up in its place. The location is still shrouded in mystery - knowing that this ‘ground’ was where the most notorious serial killer of all time had given his final performance.
Did ‘The Ripper’ leave something behind that would lead to solving the biggest question that all of humanity is still debating? Or, did Aleister Crowley find a way to speak to his and ‘The Ripper’s’ followers from beyond the grave?
No matter what may be discovered or investigated in the future, which will happen considering ‘The Ripper’ will always carry the mystique that others will never attain, the death of Mary Jane Kelly will remain the most heinous crime in history. After all, the legend of ‘Jack The Ripper’ is the Cold Case of monumental proportions.
To find out what exactly what was discovered at the location of ‘Jack The Ripper’s’ final kill, read 13.
Until Next Time, Everybody,Amy