Jack The Ripper's third victim
Most experts consider Elizabeth Stride to be the third victim of Jack The Ripper.
Elizabeth Stride was also known as "Long Liz" by her friends.
The body in Dutfield's Yard, Berner Street
On 30th September, 1888, at approximately 12.45am, a Hungarian immigrant, Israel Schwartz, was walking along Berner Street when he witnessed a "broad-shouldered" man ahead of him attacking a woman who was standing near the entrance to a dark courtyard called Dutfield’s Yard.
Schwartz was frightened and crossed to the other side of the street, where he then noticed a second man standing at the corner lighting a pipe.
The broad-shouldered attacker noticed Schwartz and shouted out something that sounded like "Lipski!" Schwartz left the area in a hurry.
About 15 minutes later, at 1am, Louis Diemschutz was driving his costermonger’s barrow along Berner Street and turned into Dutfield’s Yard. This was where Schwartz had witnessed the woman being attacked fifteen minutes earlier.
Dutfield’s Yard was a narrow courtyard between two buildings. On the south side of the yard was a brick house, and farther back were several "terraced cottages, occupied by sweat shop tailors and cigar makers." On the north side was 40 Berner Street, the two-story building that housed the International Workingmen’s Educational Club, where Diemschutz was steward and manager.
As Diemschutz steered his cart into the dark courtyard his pony recoiled and pulled to the left. Diemschutz prodded a bundle with his whip, then got down off his cart to investigate. He lit a match and briefly saw the figure of a woman. Diemschutz rushed into the club and told his wife and several others that there was a woman lying in the alley but "that he was unable to say whether she was drunk or dead". He grabbed a candle and rushed back to the yard with a man named Isaac Kozebrodsky. In the dim candlelight, the men saw that the woman was indeed dead and lying in a pool of blood. Diemschutz and Kozebrodsky ran off for help, shouting, “Police!”
One club member, Morris Eagle, also set off with a companion and found two police constables on Commercial Road. PC Henry Lamb and PC Edward Collins immediately went to Dutfield’s Yard. When PC Lamb arrived, he shone his lantern on the body. The woman was lying on her side with her knees drawn up in a sort of foetal position, and her throat had been cut. According to PC Henry Lamb, "She looked as if she had been laid quietly down". PC Lamb sent PC Edward Collins to call for a doctor. Lamb also told Morris Eagle to report the murder at the Leman Street police station.
Dr Frederick Blackwell arrived at approximately 1.16 am. Dr Blackwell noted that the woman’s face was still slightly warm, and he estimated that she had died only twenty or thirty minutes earlier. The woman’s right hand was smeared with blood and lay across her breast, and her left hand, lying partly closed on the ground, "contained a small packet of cachous [breath fresheners] wrapped in tissue paper". She was wearing a checked scarf around her neck, the knot of which was turned to the side and "pulled tightly", which gave Blackwell the impression that the killer had pulled the woman backward with the scarf, perhaps choking her so that she couldn’t scream. As the postmortem examination would later reveal, the woman’s throat had been deeply cut from left to right. Unlike the previous victims, however, she had no abdominal mutilations. The police took down the names of the club members and then conducted inquiries at the crime scene until 5 am.
The victim was Elizabeth Stride, a forty-five-year-old occasional prostitute from Gothenburg, Sweden. Elizabeth Stride had been in an on/off relationship with a waterside labourer, Michael Kidney, who lived on Devonshire Street, Mile End. Their final separation was only five days before Stride’s murder. When Stride was not staying with Kidney, she frequently slept at 32 Flower and Dean Street - a doss house run by a woman named Elizabeth Tanner. According to Tanner, Stride was a charwoman by profession, and in the months prior to her murder, she had been "at work among the Jews" cleaning houses. Tanner claimed that Stride was a sober and quiet woman, but in reality she was an alcoholic who had been fined a number of times for drunk and disorderly behaviour at Thames Magistrate Court. Like many downtrodden women living in the East End, Stride resorted to prostitution when she couldn’t find work.
The broad-shouldered man shouting “Lipski!” at Israel Schwartz was a point of interest to the police. The use of the term “Lipski” was believed to be a reference to a widely publicised murder that had occurred a year previously in Batty Street, which was close to Berner Street. Israel Lipski was a Jewish immigrant umbrella salesman who had been convicted and hanged in 1887 for murdering a young pregnant woman named Miriam Angel by forcing her to consume nitric acid. As Detective Frederick Abberline pointed out, after the murder trial, "Lipski" was used as a sort of derogatory slang term in the East End in reference to Jews.
Elizabeth Stride was Swedish and was born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter on 27th November, 1843, in Torslanda, near Gothenburg.
At the age of almost 17 Elizabeth entered domestic service, but by March 1865 she had been registered by the police as a prostitute. She moved to London in February 1866, having previously given birth to a stillborn daughter in April 1865. On 7th March, 1869, she married John Thomas Stride. Her name was given on the marriage certificate as Elizabeth Gustifson.
By the following year John Stride was running a coffee house at Upper North Street, Poplar, but in due course the marriage broke down and Elizabeth Stride began to invent a new past for herself.
Elizabeth lied to most people saying that she had lost her husband and two of her children in the Princess Alice disaster. The Princess Alice was a pleasure steamer that collided with a steam collier on the river Thames on 3rd September, 1878. The pleasure boat went down, with the loss of 527 lives.