A Slowly Dying Soul

November 23, 2009
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This Journal Belongs to: Mary Jean Kelly ~ Marie Jeanette Kelly

August 31, 1888

My heart beats in my throat, chills grow on my frail arm, and shivers race up my spine. To my terror I notice a tall dark man passes by appraising me, but I must remember that this is the life I have chosen. I parade myself on the street for all to see. My pride has long ago vanished into the damp night air. I have lived my 25 years wasting away in a pitiful existence. To think I traveled from Limerick in hopes of a better life, only to find myself living in the depths of poverty in the hell called Whitechapel. My scarlet hair flows in the wind as I look at my pathetic arctic blue-eyed reflection in a passing window.

Yesterday, there was a brutal murder, and it has made the entire city go into a frenzy. Usually, I wouldn’t be put off by a murder in Whitechapel, but this one feels different. Her name was Mary Ann Nichols, and in one aspect we were alike; she too had reached her wit’s end, and she too had turned to being a prostitute. They found her early this morning with her throat violently slit in two places, and her abdomen was torn open. It makes me shiver in fear just thinking that I too wander these streets at night. Am I to befall the same unfortunate fate?

September 8, 1888

It is my duty to inform you of the terrors that have once again occurred on this sinister night. Another one of “us” has been murdered in cold blood. Annie Chapman was her name, I’m told. These murders are haunting me, leaving me alarmed and breathless. The police are telling us that they expect to catch the criminal. The same gruesome crime was done to her, but what was most unpleasant about this one was that the murderer removed her uterus. How could someone be so heartless? Lately, this paranoia has driven me to the brink of insanity. I could swear that I keep seeing this same man everywhere. His elongated body that seems to move gracefully even for his height, his dark toned skin, with almost black eyes and hawk-like features. At first I thought that he was just too nervous to approach me, not that any of these hypocritical men are. But as soon as I started to approach him, he quickly made his exit.
I have been dwelling much too long on these two slaughters of the innocent that I barely remember the last time that my mind was not occupied by fear. But the police say that they are searching for the killer’s trail. It is my deepest wish that they are right. I must go, for I am drawn back into this disgusting place by Mr. McCarthy’s knock on the door as his voice interrupts my sanctuary by demanding this month’s rent.

September 30, 1888

When will this slaughtering of the weak and feeble end? Elizabeth Stride’s corpse was discovered on a busy road that I walk on nearly every day. In a place that’s always populated with people, someone managed to cut her throat. The killer wasn’t able to do the same vile deed to her midsection probably because someone walked past. How is anyone to feel safe if a harmless woman is killed in a dark alley from blood loss? It wasn’t enough that these women gave up their pride, their dignity, their womanhood to strangers just so that they could barely make it by. Their lives have to be stolen from them? It literally makes me sick to my stomach. What’s next? Is one to be murderer in her own bed, the one place that she should be at peace?
An Hour Later
My God, please help us. Another one has been found not an hour after the first. They say her name was Catherine Eddows, and on top of the unspeakable events that the man did to the others, he took her left kidney. The police have started to call him Jack the Ripper, so that they can identify him. Tears stream down my face and add to the chaotic and revolting information that you now hold. Your pages are plagued with the most sickening and filthy affair I am to ever know. To think, that these unfortunate prostitutes could have been me.
My pulse is in my throat, for I am seeing that man again. Perhaps it is my imagination thriving on all this terror, trying to overwhelm me. But I do not feel like I am hallucinating. I keep seeing the same cold eyes, the long thin nose, his long straggly black hair, and every time our eyes meet, he suddenly leaves my sight. It is as if he fears my gaze. As much as I may regret this in the near future, I have temporarily left my pathetic existence I called a life. I quit working at the brothel because, as cowardly it is, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of it happening to me, although death wouldn’t be much of a change for me. I’m already living in my nightmares. I think I will retire to bed, for I feel rather worn and exhausted.

November 1, 1888
I have anxiously waited for another murder for a month hoping to reassure myself that I made a wise decision, but nothing has happened. People are starting to ease back into their lives as fear loosens its deathly grip. I need to make my rent, and I can not afford to live this life anymore. There is no real choice. I must go back to work. As much as the thought terrifies and pains me, I can not go on like this. Tonight will be my first night back, and I can already feel the dread rising in me. Sometimes, I wish that I had been one of the ill-fated women to be killed. To be free of this agony; to finally go somewhere better. Even though my life is beaded with sins, I can feel that my future is bright. It may not be in this life, but perhaps the next. So I will keep going like this, slowly dying inside. This is my final resignation. I want to be unchained from this prison. Please God, let me leave this horror they call life. Please.

“Mary Jean Kelly is the fifth murder in the mysterious ‘Jack the Ripper’ Case. She was found by a young man with the name of Thomas Bowyer in a single room where she lived at 13 Miller’s Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields at 10:45 on Friday, November 9, 1888. Poor lad, he was horrified by the time we made it here, sitting in the corner sobbing loudly. Dr. Thomas Bond has informed me completely of her current condition. He said that he throat was severed all the way down to the spine, and her abdomen was virtually emptied of its organs. Her heart was missing. I am not aware what I can do. All around me I am surrounded by deaths, murders. Yet the station hasn’t so much a clue; not a name, but perhaps this journal. Belonging to this mutilated corpse of a woman will aid in our cause. No one can say for sure. I merely had to document this tragedy on paper, a paper plagued with the sorrow of the past. Let us hope and pray that these slaughters cease…immediately”

- Inspector Walter Beck

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