Julia Venturney

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Witness at Mary Jane Kelly's inquest.

In various contemporary sources she is also called Vanturney[1] and Van Teurney[2] and Vanternie[3]

Born Julia Cook in Kensington, London, c.1841, daughter of Richard Cook, carpenter.

In 1871, she is listed as living with her widowed father at 2 Little John's Place, Fulham, by which time she appears to have (possibly) married and had two children, Rosina (b.1864) and Charlotte (b.1868). There is no record of a Mr Venturney.[4][5]

Julia Venturney was a charwoman living at 1 Miller's Court with a man named Harry Owen. In her initial statement taken on 9th November 1888, she stated:

"I was awake all night and could not sleep. I have known the person occupying No.13 for about 4 months.I knew the man who I saw downstairs [[[Joseph Barnett]]] he is called Joe, he lived with her until quite recently. I have heard him say that he did not like her going out on the streets, he frequently gave her money, he was very kind to her, he said he would not live with her while she led that course of life, she used to get tipsy occasionally. She broke the windows a few weeks ago whilst she was drunk, she told me she was very fond of another man named Joe and he had often ill-used her because she cohabited with Joe [Barnett]. I saw her last about ["1.40" - deleted] pm yesterday. Thursday about 10 A.M"

In her inquest statement (12th November) there were some additions and discrepancies - she said Mary Jane Kelly was married and that she was somebody who frequently got drunk. She said that Kelly was also fond of another man named Joe who used to come round and and visit and give her money. This possibly sounds like a mixing of facts about Barnett and the other Joe.

She last saw Kelly alive at about 10.00am on 8th November 1888 having breakfast with another woman in No.13. Venturney went to bed that night at about 8.00pm and only dozed, but she heard no one in the court, nor did she hear a scream or singing. She added that Kelly often sang Irish songs.[6]

Later press reports appear to highlight further inconsistencies in Venturney's story, claiming that "on the night of the murder, witness felt strange, thinking that she heard noises. The deceased was singing some Irish songs during the night."[7]

Julia Venturney attended Mary Jane Kelly's funeral on 19th November.[8]


  1. Daily Telegraph, 12th November 1888
  2. The Times, 13th November 1888
  3. East London Advertiser, 17th November 1888
  4. A Cast of Thousands, Chris Scott (Apropos Books, e-book 2004)
  5. Census reports 1871
  6. Kelly inquest papers - MJ/SPC, NE1888, Box 3, Case paper 19 (London Metropolitan Archives)
  7. East London Advertiser, 17th November 1888
  8. Jack the Ripper: The Facts, Paul Begg (Robson 2006)