Joseph Barnett was the one-time boyfriend of Ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly. He is the only suspect who is known to have a direct link with one of the victims.
Born on 25th May 1858 at 4 Hairbrain Court, Whitechapel, Barnett’s parents were John and Catherine Barnett who had originally moved from Ireland to settle in Britain, where John took up work offloading ships by the London docks. Some years later, John would become a licensed fish porter in Billingsgate Market.
By 1871, Joseph Barnett followed in his father’s footsteps and gained his fish porter licence. Joseph was also registered on the census as living at number 4 Osborn Street, in the heart of what later became known as Jack the Ripper’s stomping ground.