The Victims (Jack the Ripper) Part 5

Susan Ward

Ca. Saturday, 15 September 1888

On 3 October 1888 the Daily Telegraph carried a report that about 10 days earlier, around 23 September, a drunken prostitute had been attacked as she turned off Commercial Road. Fortunately for her, her screams scared the man off and she sustained only minor injuries to her arm.

In fact, the only person who was given treatment at the London Hospital during this period was a woman named Susan Ward, who was admitted on 15 September suffering from a cut upper arm, though there is no guarantee that her injury had been sustained on that same day. It did, however, fit the Ripper’s pattern of attacking on or about weekends, and it has been suggested that this case was an unsuccessful attack on his part.

Elizabeth Stride

Sunday, 30 September 1888

Louis Diemschutz, a peddler in cheap jewelry, had spent most of Saturday, 29 September, selling his wares at the Westow Hill Market near Crystal Palace and was returning home in the early-morning hours of 30 September with the remaining unsold stock. In addition to his sales career, Louis was the steward of the International Workingmen’s Educational Club at 40 Berner Street, which ran south from the Commercial Road, and he lived at that address with his wife, who helped him in the running of the club. Once he had returned his stock to the club building, Diemschutz planned to climb back onto his cart and drive the pony to his stables in George Yard.


Diemschutz turned his pony and cart from Commercial Road into Berner Street, noticing as he passed a tobacconist’s shop that a clock in the window showed that the time was just about 1 A.M. A few seconds later he turned the cart toward the yard that divided the club from number 42. Guarding the entrance to the yard were two large wooden gates emblazoned with the names "W. Hindley, sack manufacturer, and A. Dutfield, van and cart builder." In fact, only Hindley now operated from the yard, Arthur Dutfield having moved on to Pinchin Street, but it was the latter gentlemen’s business that had given the yard its name: Dutfield’s Yard.

The two gates opened into the yard, and there was also a wicket doorway in the northernmost gate for access into the yard when the main gates were closed. However, tonight, as usual, the gates were thrown back against the side walls of the club building and number 42. There was little light in the yard except that cast down by the upper windows of the club, but Diemschutz knew the layout well enough and did not hesitate as he turned his pony into the entrance.

As the cart began to move into the yard, the pony shied toward the left, and, looking down, Diemschutz saw a dark shape lying on the ground to his right, close to the wall of the club. It was much too dark to see what the object was, and Diemschutz’s first instinct was to prod it and try to lift it with the handle of his whip. When this method didn’t appear to work, he jumped down from the cart and struck a match to see what he had found. Though the flame flickered and died quickly in the wind, he saw that there was a human figure lying on the ground, and the fact that it wore a dress told him it was a woman.

Dutfield's Yard, where Elizabeth Stride was murdered. It was outside the Bee Hive that Louis Diemschutz told Edward Spooner about the murder.

Dutfield’s Yard, where Elizabeth Stride was murdered. It was outside the Bee Hive that Louis Diemschutz told Edward Spooner about the murder.

Diemschutz’s first thought was that the woman might be his wife, so he entered the club by the side entrance to look for her. Once he saw that she was safe, he told her and some club members who were standing nearby, "There’s a woman lying in the yard, but I cannot say whether she’s drunk or dead."

Diemschutz took a candle outside to get a better look, accompanied by a friend, Isaac M. Kozebrodsky. When they took a closer look, both men could plainly see that there was a good deal of blood around. It had flowed from where the woman lay almost to the side door of the club. Mrs. Diemschutz, standing at the door, saw this too and let out a scream, bringing more club members rushing out into the yard.

Louis Diemschutz and Isaac Koze-brodsky ran for the police. They turned right at the gates and headed south down Berner Street until they reached Fair-clough Street. They then turned left into Fairclough Street, dashing past Providence Street, Brunswick Street, and Christian Street, and ran as far as Grove Street, all the while shouting loudly for the police. They saw no officer, so at Grove Street they turned and began to retrace their steps. As they passed the Bee Hive public house on the corner of Fair-clough and Christian Streets they ran by a young man, Edward Spooner, and his lady friend, whom they had passed just moments before. Spooner stopped the two men and asked them what the matter was. Once they told him they had found a woman’s body, he ran with them back to Dutfield’s Yard.

By now there were a number of people gathered in the yard, and one of them struck a match. Spooner bent down and lifted the woman’s chin, finding it slightly warm to the touch. He noticed that the woman’s throat had been cut and that blood still flowed from the wound. About five minutes later two constables arrived and one took charge of the scene.

When Diemschutz and Kozebrodsky had turned right out of the gates, another member of the club, Morris Eagle, had also run for help, but he had turned left and run to the junction of Berner Street and Commercial Road. Turning right into Commercial Road, he had found Constable Henry Lamb with Reserve Constable Albert Collins between Batty Street and Christian Street, walking toward Berner Street. Those two officers had dashed back with Eagle. When they arrived at Dutfield’s Yard, Lamb told his brother officer to fetch the doctor and Morris Eagle to run for help to the police station in Leman Street. As they left, Lamb placed his hand against the woman’s face and found that it was slightly warm. He also held her wrist to see if he could detect a pulse but found none.

Constable Collins arrived at the surgery of Dr. Frederick William Blackwell of 100 Commercial Road between 1:05 A.M. and 1:10 A.M. While the doctor dressed and collected his things, he sent his assistant, Edward Johnston, back with Collins. They arrived at Dutfield’s Yard at about 1:13 A.M., and Johnston’s initial examination showed that the woman had an incision in her throat, which by now had stopped bleeding. Her body felt warm, with the exception of her hands, and Johnston now unfastened her blouse to see if her chest was also warm. He noted that her knees were closer to the club wall than her head and that her bonnet was lying on the ground 3 or 4 inches from her head. At about this time the gates to the yard were closed.

Dr. Blackwell arrived at the yard at 1:16 A.M., consulting his watch to confirm that time. He noted that the woman lay on her left side, close to and facing the right side of the passage, which was the club wall. Her feet were some nine feet from the gates and almost touched the wall. Dr. Blackwell also found her neck and chest quite warm and her legs and face slightly less so. Only her hands were cold.

The woman’s right hand lay on her chest and was smeared inside and out with blood. This hand was open, but her left hand, lying on the ground, was partially closed. Upon examination, Dr. Blackwell found that this hand held a small packet of cachous wrapped in tissue paper, and some had spilled out onto the ground.

The woman’s face was placid, with the mouth slightly open, and she wore a checked silk scarf around her neck. The bow was turned around to the left side and pulled very tight, possibly indicating that her assailant had grabbed it to pull her to the ground. There was a large incision in her neck that corresponded with the lower border of the scarf. Indeed, though Dr. Blackwell originally thought that the bottom edge of this scarf was frayed, he would later conclude that it had been cut when the killer drew his knife across the woman’s throat. The single incision started on the left side of the neck and did not quite divide the vessels on that side. It then cut the windpipe in two and stopped at the right side, where the vessels were not cut. In Dr. Blackwell’s opinion, the woman had been dead for 20 to 30 minutes, putting the time of death somewhere between 12:46 and 12:56 A.M.

Twenty or 30 minutes after Dr. Black-well’s arrival, the police surgeon, Dr. George Bagster Phillips, attended and after making his own examination estimated that the woman would have bled to death relatively slowly, taking about a minute and a half to die. This calculation would put the time of the actual attack somewhere between 12:44 and 12:54 A.M. This detail will prove to be important in my later explanation of the timetable.

Though the dead woman carried no identification, the police soon put a name to her, though even this would prove to be problematic owing to the evidence given by a woman called Mary Malcolm. However, when the inquest opened on Monday, 1 October, before Coroner Wynne Edwin Baxter in the Vestry Hall, Cable Street, the victim had tentatively been given a name: Elizabeth Stride.

Elizabeth was Swedish and had been born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter on 27 November 1843 in Torslanda, near Gothenburg. At the age of almost 17 she 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 7 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. Perhaps her greatest lie, told to all and sundry, was that she had lost her husband and two of her children in the Princess Alice disaster, during which she claimed she had received injuries to the roof of her mouth. The Princess Alice was a pleasure steamer that collided with a steam collier on the river Thames on 3 September 1878. The pleasure boat went down, and 527 lives were lost, but the only instance of a father and two children dying was a man named Bell and his two sons. In fact, the truth about Elizabeth Stride was much more mundane: her husband died at the Poplar Union Workhouse on 24 October 1884, six years after the sinking of the Princess Alice.

The body of Elizabeth Stride in the mortuary. Many authors hold Elizabeth to have been the first victim on the night of the so-called double event of 30 September 1888. The only injury Elizabeth suffered was a cut throat, and it is possible that her killer was disturbed by the arrival of Louis Diemschutz and his horse and cart.

The body of Elizabeth Stride in the mortuary. Many authors hold Elizabeth to have been the first victim on the night of the so-called double event of 30 September 1888. The only injury Elizabeth suffered was a cut throat, and it is possible that her killer was disturbed by the arrival of Louis Diemschutz and his horse and cart.

What is known with accuracy is that Elizabeth herself was an inmate of the Poplar Union Workhouse in March 1877. She spent a brief period from 28 December 1881 to 4 January 1882 in the Whitechapel Infirmary, suffering from bronchitis, and that same year began lodging intermittently at 32 Flower and Dean Street. From 1885 onward she lived with a man named Michael Kidney. Beginning in mid-1888, she and Michael lived at 35 Devonshire Street, later moving to number 36. (Many authors have incorrectly named these latter addresses as Dorset Street. This error leads to many interesting possible connections with some of the other victims but has no basis in fact.)

The first witness at the 1 October inquest was William West, who described the layout of the club and the adjacent yard. West worked on a newspaper named Der Arbeter Fraint (The worker’s friend), which was produced from offices in Dutfield’s Yard. According to West, there was a front door to the club in Berner Street itself that led to a passage through the rest of the building. At the midpoint of this passage was a staircase that led to the second floor. There was also a window facing Berner Street. The front room on the ground floor of the club was used as a dining room, and behind this room was the kitchen, from which a door led directly into the yard. Behind the kitchen, but not actually connected to it because there was no way to pass into it from the kitchen, was the printing office of Der Arbeter Fraint, consisting of two rooms. The one actually adjoining the kitchen was the composing room, and the other was for the editor’s use.

On the second floor of the club was a large room used for entertainments. It had three windows that faced the yard, and on Saturday night, 29 September, there had been a lively discussion titled "Why Jews Should Be Socialists." Ninety to 100 people had attended, and the meeting had broken up between 11:30 and midnight. Most people then left the club by the Berner Street door, but between 20 and 30 remained in the large room, and another dozen or so went downstairs.

Turning to Dutfield’s Yard, West said that directly opposite the doorway of the kitchen were two water closets. To the left of the two wooden gates was a house occupied by two or three tenants that had three separate doors, all of which led into the yard. Opposite the gates were the workshops occupied by Messrs. Hindley and Co., and next to the workshops was a stable. There were only two exits from the yard: through the wooden gates or through the door that led into the club kitchen.

On Saturday West had been in the club until 9 P.M., when he went out briefly. He returned at 10:30 P.M. and at 12:30 A.M. on Sunday took some literature to the printing office. At that time he went into the yard by the kitchen door and returned to the club the same way. As he walked back to the club he noticed that the wooden gates were open and pushed back against the walls. Though he admitted he was rather nearsighted, West was sure he would have noticed anyone standing inside the gates, or the body of Elizabeth Stride had it been there at the time. Soon afterward West, his brother, and another club member named Louis Stanley left the club by the street door and went home, turning right and walking past the gates. The three men strolled together down Fairclough Street and Grove Street as far as James Street.

The discussion at the club on the night of Saturday, 29 September, that West had referred to had been chaired by the next witness, Morris Eagle, who said that after the discussion broke up he left the club by the front door to escort his young lady home. It was then 11:45 P.M. Eagle returned at 12:35 A.M., and found the Berner Street door closed, so he walked through the gateway and into the club through the kitchen door. It was rather dark, and Eagle was unable to swear that there was nothing on the ground, though he doubted it.

When he went inside he heard a friend of his singing in Russian. Eagle went upstairs and joined his friend and had been there about 20 minutes when he heard that a woman had been found in the yard. Going outside, Eagle struck a match and saw her near the gates, lying in a pool of blood. He saw two men run for the police, going in the direction of Fairclough Street, so he turned the other way and headed for Commercial Road, where, at the corner of Grove Street, he found the two constables. He described how one of the constables later sent him to the police station to tell the inspector what had taken place.

Another witness was Joseph Lave, who had only recently arrived in London from the United States and was actually living, temporarily, at the Workingmen’s Club. He testified that he had walked out into Berner Street to get some fresh air about 12:30 A.M. and had then walked into Dutfield’s Yard itself. The yard was extremely dark, and Lave had to find his way by groping along the club wall. He swore that there was no body lying on the ground at that time and estimated that it was around 12:40 A.M. when he went back into the club.

The next witness was Louis Diemschutz, who told of his discovery of Elizabeth’s body when he returned to the club at 1 A.M. on 30 September. He told of his search for a policeman and of meeting Edward Spooner in Fairclough Street. Soon after they had returned to Dutfield’s Yard Morris Eagle had appeared with the two police constables. After Diemschutz’s story had been told, the coroner adjourned the inquest until the following day.

On Tuesday, 2 October, the second day of the inquest, Constable Henry Lamb told his story. He estimated that he had been at the scene about 10 minutes before Dr. Blackwell arrived, putting the time of his own arrival at around 1:06 A.M. It was Constable Lamb who closed the gates, and he said that he had been able to do so without disturbing the position of Elizabeth Stride’s body.

Once the gates were closed, Lamb saw that there were some men still in the yard, and he warned them to stay back in case they got blood on themselves and so drew suspicion. Later he went into the club and checked every room, finding another 15 or 20 people still inside. He also examined the water closets and the houses whose front doors led into Dutfield’s Yard. He found nothing and confirmed that all the occupants of the cottages were in bed when he knocked on their doors. Finally, Lamb outlined details of his beat, stating that the closest it brought him to the murder scene was when he walked across the top of Berner Street on Commercial Road. He had passed that spot six to seven minutes before he was called to the scene.

The next witness was Edward Spooner, the man who had been standing outside the Bee Hive public house in Fairclough Street. He said he had arrived at Dut-field’s Yard about five minutes before the two constables, which would put the time of his arrival, according to his own estimate, at just one minute past 1 A.M. Spooner had helped Constable Lamb close the yard gates.

Next came a most contentious witness. Mary Malcolm lived at 50 Eagle Street, Red Lion Square, and she had viewed the body now lying in the mortuary and swore that it was that of her sister, Elizabeth Stokes, whom she said she recognized by a black mark on her leg. Malcolm went on to thoroughly assassinate her own sister’s character, and indeed wasted a good deal of police time until the real Elizabeth Stokes appeared, alive and well.

The final witness on this second day was Dr. Frederick Blackwell, who gave details of the injury to Elizabeth’s throat, the position of her body, and the cachous found in her left hand. The latter detail would be mentioned again in further hearings because there would be a great deal of supposition about Elizabeth Stride having had grapes or a grape stalk in her hand. Once again the hearing was adjourned until the following day, and on 3 October more evidence of Elizabeth’s correct identity was given.

Elizabeth Tanner was the deputy keeper of the common lodging house at 32 Flower and Dean Street. She too had viewed the dead woman’s body and said that it was a woman she had known as Long Liz for about six years. She knew that Liz was Swedish and had been told the story of her husband and children going down with the Princess Alice.

Elizabeth Tanner had last seen Long Liz at 6:30 P.M. on Saturday, 29 September, in the Queen’s Head public house on Commercial Street, and again at 7 P.M. in the kitchen of the lodging house. The dead woman had been at the lodging house on both Thursday and Friday nights and on Saturday had cleaned Tanner’s private rooms, for which she had been paid sixpence.

Catherine Lane was a fellow lodger at the house in Flower and Dean Street. She and her husband, Patrick, had lived there since 11 February and had known Long Liz for six or seven years. Catherine had spoken to Elizabeth on Thursday night, sometime between 10 and 11 A.M., and Elizabeth had told her that she had argued with her man and left him. Catherine also saw Elizabeth on Saturday, when the latter had cleaned Tanner’s rooms, and the two women last met between 7 and 8 P.M. that same evening, in the kitchen of the lodging house.

Another lodger at 32 Flower and Dean Street was Charles Preston. He had lived there for 18 months and knew the dead woman as Long Liz. He had last seen her between 6 and 7 P.M. on Saturday, 29 September, in the kitchen. Preston too had heard the story of the Princess Alice, but he knew that Long Liz’s surname was Stride and that her husband had once run a coffee stall in Upper North Street, Poplar.

The time had come for the man in Elizabeth’s life to give his testimony. Michael Kidney was a waterside laborer who had lived with Elizabeth for three years. He denied that there had been any quarrel between them and said he had last seen her on Tuesday, 25 September, in Commercial Street as he was going to work. There had been no bad words between them, and he fully expected her to be there when he got home that night. He added that she had left him from time to time before, but it had always been because of drink. They had been apart a total of about five months in their three years together.

Kidney was obviously deeply upset at Elizabeth’s demise. He said that if he had a force of detectives at his command he could catch the killer himself, but when pressed as to whether he had any concrete information that might lead to the apprehension of the man, Kidney had to admit he didn’t know anything.

After Edward Johnston, Dr. Black-well’s assistant, had given his testimony, Thomas Coram was called. Although he lived at 67 Plummers Road, Mile End, he had been visiting friends near Brady Street and was walking home along Whitechapel Road toward Aldgate at around 12:30 A.M. on 30 September. As he drew near number 253, he noticed a knife on the doorstep. There was a blood-stained handkerchief wrapped around the handle, but Coram did not touch it. Instead he pointed out the knife to a constable who was walking toward him.

That policeman was Constable Joseph Drage, who picked up the knife and saw that it was smothered in dried blood. He and Coram took the knife to Leman Street Police Station, and it was later handed over to Dr. Phillips for examination.

Dr. Phillips was then called to give his testimony both on that knife and on the death of Elizabeth Stride. Dr. Phillips and Dr. Blackwell had performed the postmortem on Monday, 1 October. In addition to the wound already described, the two doctors had found mud on the left side of the dead woman’s face and a bluish discoloration over both shoulders, under her collarbone and on her chest. They inferred that these marks had been caused by the assailant seizing Elizabeth and forcing her down onto the ground, where he then cut her throat. Dr. Phillips also referred to the cachous that Elizabeth had held in her hand; he had also found some in the gutter that presumably had fallen from the tissue paper as her hand relaxed after the attack. Finally, he stated that although the knife found in Whitechapel Road might have caused the injuries, it was unlikely because it would have proved unwieldy.

This discussion of the knife was of course superfluous. It had been found at 12:30 A.M., and the medical evidence had shown that Elizabeth Stride had been attacked later than that. However, the issue was discussed at length, and the inquest was then adjourned again until Friday, 5 October.

When the inquest resumed, both doctors were recalled. Dr. Phillips was the first to give his testimony, and he stated that he had examined Elizabeth’s body again and found no old injury to her mouth, thus laying to rest once and for all the story of the Princess Alice disaster. Dr. Phillips had also examined two handkerchiefs found in Elizabeth’s possession and said that he believed the marks on the larger one were possibly fruit stains. He was certain that Elizabeth had not swallowed either the skin or seeds of grapes within many hours of her death. This point was confirmed by Dr. Blackwell.

The debate over the possibility of Elizabeth having eaten grapes had been fueled by a man who would not be called to the inquest to give evidence. Matthew Packer ran a greengrocer and fruiterer’s shop from number 44 Berner Street. These premises were just south of the murder spot, separated from Dutfield’s Yard only by one other house, number 42.

As a matter of routine, the police had spoken to every householder in Berner Street. At 9 A.M. on 30 September, Sergeant Stephen White had spoken to Matthew Packer, who said he had closed his shop at 12:30 A.M. on 30 September. Asked whether he had seen anything, he replied, "No, I saw no one standing about, neither did I see anyone go up the yard. I never saw anything suspicious or heard the slightest noise, and knew nothing about the murder until I heard of it this morning." Living in the same house were Mrs. Packer, Sarah Harrison, and Harry Douglas, and when Sergeant White spoke to them, they also said they had seen or heard nothing.

Matthew Packer, however, changed his story fairly rapidly. On 2 October two private detectives, Grand and Batchelor, who had been employed by the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, spoke to Packer, who now swore that at 11:45 P.M. on 29 September he had sold half a pound of black grapes to a man and a woman who were standing outside his shop. He said the couple continued to loiter about the street for another half hour or so. Packer described the man as being middle-aged but then qualified the estimate to age 25 to 30. He described the man as about 5 feet 7 inches tall, stout, squarely built, and wearing a wideawake hat and dark clothes. The man had the appearance of a clerk.

Further inquiries about this story of the grapes led Grand and Batchelor to Mrs. Rosenfield and Miss Eva Harstein of 14 Berner Street. The two women claimed that on Sunday morning, after the body had been moved, they had noticed some white flower petals and a blood-stained grape stalk in Dutfield’s Yard. The two detectives now visited the yard for themselves and amidst the rubbish there found a grape stalk. They decided to test the veracity of Packer’s story by taking Packer to the mortuary in Golden Lane where the body of Catherine Eddowes (whose murder is described in the next entry) had been taken and asking if this was the woman he had seen in Berner Street. Packer replied that he had never seen her before in his life. They went on to the St. George’s-in-the-East mortuary, where Elizabeth Stride lay.

The story of the grapes was made public by the Evening News on 4 October, causing Inspector Moore to ask Sergeant White to see Packer again. The sergeant visited number 44 once more, only to find that Matthew Packer was not there; his wife said two detectives had taken him to the mortuary to view the body. Sergeant White immediately went to St. George’s-in-the-East and found Packer there with one of the detectives. Packer now confirmed that he had sold grapes to a man at around midnight; as he was speaking, the other detective came up and asked Packer to leave with them. At 4 P.M. that same day, Sergeant White again visited 44 Berner Street in time to see a hansom cab appear and take Packer to Scotland Yard to see Sir Charles Warren, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

What is to be made of Matthew Packer’s story? It is true that he changed his tale to fit the facts of the case, though he managed to incorporate some errors, for example, stating that Elizabeth had worn a white flower pinned to her dress when in fact it had been a red one. It is possible that during his initial statement to Sergeant White, Packer forgot his grape-buying customer and only realized the significance of the incident later, but surely that is unlikely. What is certain is that eventually the police came to believe his testimony was unreliable, and Packer was not called to give evidence at the inquest.

Two other witnesses who might have given crucial testimony were not called before the inquest either. The first was Fanny Mortimer, who lived at 36 Berner Street. When she was interviewed by the police as part of their door-to-door inquiries, Mrs. Mortimer said she had been standing at her front door for most of the half hour from 12:30 until 1 A.M. She stated that she first went outside after hearing the measured tread of a policeman passing her house. Later testimony from the officer on the Berner Street beat would put this time at 12:30 A.M.

While she was at her door, Mrs. Mortimer saw no one except a man with a shiny black bag in his hand. Though some authors have seized on this sighting as a view of the archetypal Gentleman Jack killer, the man in fact was Leon Goldstein of 22 Christian Street, who reported to the Leman Street Police Station after the murder to say that he had passed down Berner Street after leaving a coffee house in Spectacle Alley. His shiny black bag had contained empty cigarette boxes.

Of more significance was the other witness, Israel Schwartz of 22 Ellen Street, Back Church Lane. He had made a statement to the police as early as 30 September indicating that he might have seen the murderer attack Elizabeth and that the killer might have had an accomplice.

According to Schwartz’s statement, he had turned into Berner Street from Commercial Road at 12:45 A.M. on 30 September. As he drew closer to the entrance to Dutfield’s Yard, Schwartz saw a man stop and speak to a woman who was standing in the gateway. Schwartz could not hear what was said between them, but the man tried to pull the woman into the street, turned her around, and threw her down onto the pavement. The woman screamed three times, and in order to avoid this scene, Schwartz crossed to the other side of the street. As he passed the couple Schwartz saw a second man lighting his pipe. The first man then called out, "Lipski," apparently addressing the man with the pipe, and Schwartz found himself being followed by the second man. Schwartz ran as far as the railway arch, by which time the man with the pipe had vanished.

Israel Schwartz was taken to view the body of Elizabeth Stride and swore that she was the woman he had seen in Berner Street. He went on to describe both men. The first one, the man who had thrown the woman down and later called out "Lipski," was aged about 30. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall with a fair complexion, dark hair, and a small brown mustache. He had a full face, was broad-shouldered, and wore a dark jacket and trousers. He also wore a black peaked cap and carried nothing in his hands.

The second man was a little older, about 35. He was 5 feet 11 inches tall with a fresh complexion, light brown hair, and a brown mustache. He wore a dark overcoat and an old black hard felt hat with a wide brim and, of course, had a pipe in his hand.

There was some discussion between various police officers as to why the first man had called out "Lipski." Israel Lip-ski was a Pole who had lived in the attic room of 16 Batty Street, which ran parallel to Berner Street. The room below Lip-ski’s was home to a young married couple, Isaac and Miriam Angel, and on 28 June 1887 Miriam Angel and Israel Lip-ski were found in the house, both having been poisoned with nitric acid. Miriam died, but Lipski recovered and was subsequently charged with murder. He was tried at the Old Bailey, convicted, and hanged at Newgate Prison on 22 August 1887.

One possible interpretation was that the man had called out in the sense of "I am going to Lipski this woman," though this theory was never given any real credence. More widely accepted was the notion that the man with the pipe was named Lipski, so a search for a man with that name was launched, without success. It was also suggested that Schwartz might have misheard an instruction for the second man to follow Schwartz.

Inspector Abberline himself gave the most likely explanation. He knew that the term Lipski was used as a derogatory label for Jews, and Israel Schwartz had a Jewish appearance. Abberline believed that the man who called out had noticed Schwartz and was using the word to warn him off. It was likely that the man with the pipe was in the same position as Schwartz, an innocent bystander who had seen the assault and walked away to avoid trouble.

It is puzzling that Israel Schwartz was never called to testify at the inquest. The police gave the highest credence to his statements and believed there was a very good chance that he had seen Jack the Ripper. though that sobriquet had not yet been given to the nameless killer. One likely explanation is that the police wished to keep secret a man whom they believed to be a crucial witness.

To return to the 5 October inquest, the next witness was Sven Olsson, who was clerk to the Swedish Church in Princes Square. He had known the dead woman for 17 years but added little to the evidence beyond saying that she had registered with the church on 10 July 1868.

William Marshall lived at 64 Berner Street, and he too had viewed the body lying in the mortuary. He was sure it was a woman he had seen at 11:45 P.M. on 29 September. Marshall had gone to his front door at 11:30 P.M. and about fifteen minutes later noticed a man and a woman on the pavement between his house and the club but on the opposite side of the road. The couple was kissing, and he heard the man say, "You would say anything but your prayers." After this the couple walked up the street toward Packer’s shop and Dutfield’s Yard.

Marshall described the man as middle aged, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, rather stout, and looking like a clerk. He wore a small black coat, dark trousers, and a round cap with a small peak.

The next witness was James Brown of 35 Fairclough Street. At 12:45 A.M. he had left home to go to a chandler’s shop for his supper. The shop was at the corner of Berner Street and Fairclough Street, and as Brown was crossing the road he saw a man and a woman standing together by the wall at the school that was opposite Dutfield’s Yard. Brown was sure that the woman was Elizabeth Stride, and he heard her say to the man, "No, not tonight, some other night." The man was stout and about 5 feet 7 inches tall and wore a long coat that reached almost to his heels.

Another sighting of a man and a woman had been made by Constable William Smith, the officer whose beat took in Berner Street itself. Constable Smith began his testimony by giving details of his beat: It began at the corner of Jower’s Walk and went down Commercial Road as far as Christian Street. From there he went down Christian Street and Fairclough Street as far as Grove Street, then back along Fairclough Street as far as Back Church Lane. From there he passed up Back Church Lane as far as Commercial Road, taking in all the interior streets such as Berner Street and Batty Street. Smith said he had last been in Berner Street at 12:30 or 12:35 A.M. on the 30th. This statement fixed the time that Mrs. Mortimer had gone to her front door.

On his 12:30 A.M. visit to Berner Street, Constable Smith had seen a man and a woman standing on the street across from Dutfield’s Yard. The woman had a flower in her jacket, which indicated that she was Elizabeth. The man had a newspaper parcel in his hand about 18 inches long and 6 or 8 inches broad. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall and wore a hard felt deerstalker hat and dark clothes. He was about 28 years old and had no whiskers.

After the murder Constable Smith was not attracted to the scene of the crime by any commotion. Rather, he was on his normal beat, and as he turned into Berner Street at about 1 A.M. he saw a crowd of people outside the gates to Dut-field’s Yard. Two policemen were already there, and after speaking to them, Smith went to fetch the police ambulance. As he was leaving, Dr. Blackwell’s assistant, Edward Johnston, was just arriving.

Philip Kranz, the editor of Der Arbeter Fraint, was the next witness. He said he had been in the back room of the printing offices from 9 P.M. until he was told that a body had been found in the yard. During that time he heard no cry for help, but there was a good deal of singing coming from upstairs in the club, and it was possible that he simply didn’t hear any sounds made by Elizabeth or her killer.

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid had arrived at Dutfield’s Yard at 1:45 A.M. on the 30th, by which time Chief Inspector West, Inspector Pinhorn, and several other police officers were already in attendance. Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Phillips were also there, as were a number of bystanders. Inspector Reid ordered that every person’s name and address be taken and that they all be examined for bloodstains. In all, 28 people were seen, questioned, and searched, but nothing related to the crime was found.

At 4:30 A.M. Elizabeth’s body was moved to the mortuary in Cable Street, and Reid followed it there to take down a description. According to his notes, the dead woman was about 42 years old, 5 feet 2 inches tall with curly dark-brown hair. Her complexion was pale, her eyes were light gray, and her upper front teeth were missing. She wore a long black jacket trimmed with black fur, an old black skirt, a dark-brown velvet bodice, two light serge petticoats, a white chemise, a pair of white stockings, a black crepe bonnet, and a pair of side-sprung boots. Her jacket was decorated by a single red rose backed by a maidenhair fern. The only possessions found in her pockets were two handkerchiefs, a thimble, and a piece of wool on a card.

There was one final adjournment of the inquest to 23 October, when the verdict of "murder by some person or persons unknown" was announced. Just over two weeks earlier, on 6 October, the body of Elizabeth Stride had been laid to rest in a pauper’s grave in the East London Cemetery.

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