At 25 years of age, Mary Kelly was the youngest of Jack the Ripper’s victims. She’s also the one that we know the least about.
Researchers have been able to trace huge amounts of information about the other four victims – Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes – but Mary Kelly remains an enigma.
We don’t know where she came from. We don’t know how she came to be in the East End of London. And, in all honesty, we don’t even know if her name really was Mary Kelly. Virtually all the information we have about her comes from her own mouth, and is based upon what she told other people who knew her once she had moved into Miller’s Court – the place where her body was found on the 9th of November 1888.
Perhaps it is her elusiveness that has helped turn her into the the victim we are most curious about?
In almost all the films about Jack the Ripper, she is the one that is often the central character, played by the leading lady, and it is often around her that the many conspiracy theories – in films and in print – revolve.
But, her grave – or at least a close proximity to her grave – can be visited if you wish to. You simply need to take the Central Line out to Leyton Station and make a short five or so minute walk to St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery.
It is intriguing when you get there to discover that there are often flowers and other memorials on the grave, left by people from all over the World. Ordinary people who have made the journey to St Patrick’s to pay tribute to the last of Jack the Ripper’s victims.
And there is the intriguing thing about Mary – and, for that matter, the other victims, not to mention so many of those who played a role in this intriguing and fascinating case.
Their names would, doubtless, have been forgotten long, long ago had it not been for the fact that they were murdered by a man whose name we will, almost certainly, never truly know for sure.
If you cannot make the journey to the cemetery then here is a photo of her grave.