Mary Jane (Jeanette) Kelly was born in County Limerick, Ireland circa 1863. During the time that Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London's East End, she was about 25 years old. This image, purporting to depict a sketch of Mary Kelly, was published in The Penny Illustrated Paper on November 24, 1888.


Mary Kelly knew too much and talked too much. Her friends in Whitechapel agreed that she should try to sell her silence about what she knew. At least ... that’s how one (far-fetched?) version of the Ripper tale is told.

What information did Mary supposedly have?

  • Knowledge about the secret royal baby, Queen Victoria’s great-granddaughter Alice Margaret Crook;
  • Knowledge about the child’s mother, Annie Crook; and
  • Knowledge about the baby's alleged father, Prince Eddie.

The women concocted a scheme—so the story goes—to blackmail the royal family through Prince Eddie’s friend and mentor, Walter Sickert (the famous artist). What did they risk their lives for? The sum of 10 pounds sterling.

According to the story, Sickert received a blackmail note from Mary Kelly. That note found its way into the hands of Dr. William Gull who then supposedly used his hands for the most gruesome work of his career.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jul 20, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"THE ALLEGED BLACKMAIL" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2001. Dec 07, 2019.
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