Much younger than the other Ripper victims, Mary Jane was twenty-five and pretty. She was sophisticated enough to work the East End of London, but she chose to work in a West End brothel. She was a frequent patron at the Britannia pub.
The grim streets of Whitechapel were no place for a pretty young woman, but Mary Kelly had to earn a living. She lived in one of the worst slums in London, at Miller's Court on Dorset Street. Christ Church, Spitalfields was directly across the street.
On the evening of November 9, 1888, witnesses observed that Mary Jane was drunk. According to a report in the Times on November 10th:
...the police have ascertained that she has been walking the streets. None of those living at the court or at 26 Dorset Street, saw anything of the unfortunate creature after about 8 o'clock on Thursday evening, but she was seen in Commercial-street, shortly before the closing of the public house, and then had the appearance of being the worse for drink.
No one saw Mary Jane Kelly alive after that.
When she was found dead, in her home at 13 Miller's Court, her manner of death shocked even the most hardened police official. Her remains made the effects of the other Ripper murders look mild by comparison.
Unbelievably gruesome pictures of the crime scene were widely published in the London papers. Victorian England, with its double standards and restrictive lifestyles, had produced citizens who couldn't read enough about this horrible story with its prurient twists.
Mary Jane Kelly's murder will be forever remembered as one of the most shocking and infamous in the history of crime.