Showing posts with label Long Liz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Long Liz. Show all posts

Friday, September 27, 2013

125 Years Later - A Look Back at the Double Event - Elizabeth Stride & Catherine Eddowes

Rainy Street
It had been a dark rain-swept evening in Whitechapel when just before 1:00 a.m. on September 30, 1888 the alarm was raised; another prostitute had been found with her throat cut. After three weeks of an uneasy quiet, Jack the Ripper had struck again. Forty-five year old Elizabeth Stride was considered, by police, to be his third victim.
Elisabeth Gustafsdotter was born on November 27, 1843 in Torslanda, Sweden, the daughter of Swedish parents. She was shown to be working as a domestic for Lars Frederick Olofsson in 1860, and moved to the Gothenburg district in 1862. By 1865, Elizabeth was registered with the police as a prostitute and had given birth to a stillborn girl. In 1866, she moved to London for work.

Elizabeth Stride
Elizabeth was said to be an attractive woman with dark brown hair, grey eyes, and an angular face. And at five-foot-five, she was considered to be a tall woman. On March 7, 1869 she married John Thomas Stride. Stride was a ship’s carpenter, well over a decade older than her. Together, they operated a coffee room in East London for six years.

Women in a workhouse
By March 1877, Elizabeth Stride, nicknamed “Long Liz”, was living at the Poplar Workhouse. She and John made attempts at reconciliation but by the end of 1881 they had permanently separated. She was known to embellish her stories concerning her husband and her former life with him. John died of heart disease in October 1884.

Michael Kidney
Elizabeth received some charitable aid from the Church of Sweden and spent most of her life at a common lodging house in Whitechapel. In 1885 she moved in with a local dockworker, Michael Kidney, on Devonshire Street.

Elizabeth earned some money by cleaning houses and sewing. People who knew her said she had a good temperament but could become unruly when drunk.

Flower & Dean Streets in Pink, Murders in Red
Stride and Kidney continued to live together, on and off. In the spring of 1887, Elizabeth filed an assault charge against him but never showed up for  court. She and Kidney were again on the outs in the autumn of 1888, and she moved out just a few days before her death. She found lodging at a common house at 32 Flower and Dean Streets in Spittalfields, her last address.

Liz Talking with a Man
Elizabeth spent most of the evening of Saturday the 29th walking the streets and talking with men. She was dressed all in black with a kerchief tied around her neck. Police Constable William Smith last saw her at 12:35 a.m., talking with a man across from the International Working Men’s Educational Club, a Jewish socialist club on Berner Street. PC Smith later reported that the man had been carrying a package wrapped in newspaper about 18 inches long.

Finding Liz Stride
Concerned Crowds
It was just before 1:00 a.m. when Louis Diemschultz, a peddler and the club’s steward, discovered Stride’s body in the darkness of Dutfield’s Yard. Dr. Frederick W. Blackwell was called to the scene and kept order until Dr. George Bagster Phillips arrived. Phillips had also been called to the scene of Annie Chapman’s murder.

Elizabeth Stride's Death Certificate
Phillips reported that Elizabeth was found lying on her side with her face turned toward the wall. According to Phillips, “The legs were drawn up with the feet close to the wall. The body and face were warm and the hand cold. The legs were quite warm… The throat was deeply gashed.”

Elizabeth Stride
But the body had not been mutilated. Police began to wonder if this was the same murderer who had killed the other Whitechapel prostitutes. Did Diemschultz startle the Ripper and he fled before mutilating the body, or was this a different murderer?

Wynne E. Baxter
The inquest into Stride’s death began on Monday, October 1 at the Vestry Hall, conducted by coroner Wynne Edwin Baxter, who had also presided over Annie Chapman's and Polly Nichol’s inquests.

Headlines About the Murder
It was suggested that the murderer grabbed the scarf Stride was wearing around her neck, and pulled her backward with it before cutting her throat. The fact that she was still holding a packet of cachous (breathe mints) showed that she had not had time to defend herself and had not suspected anything was amiss.

Testimonies were conflicting and descriptions of the man she was last seen with differed from witness to witness with each telling. Investigators decided that this was another victim of the Whitechapel murderer because of the many similarities to the other two murderers, which had occurred just a few weeks earlier.

East London Cemetery
Elizabeth Stride was buried on Saturday October 6, 1888 in the East London Cemetery in grave 15509, square 37. The local parish paid for her burial.

Police Station
Michael Kidney reportedly appeared drunk at the Leman Street police station on the day after the murder, claiming police incompetence. Kidney told police that if he had been a policeman on duty that night in the area where Liz was murdered, he would have shot himself (for incompetence.)  Kidney was considered a suspect in Stride’s murder but was later eliminated from the inquiry.

Meanwhile, the same night – 

Catherine Eddowes had spent part of her rainy Saturday night in custody at the Bishopsgate Police Station. She had been picked up around 8:30 p.m. drunk and lying in the middle of Aldgate High Street. Eddowes remained at the station until around 1:00 a.m. when she was sober enough to walk out. She was last seen alive at 1:35 a.m.

Streets of London
Catherine “Kate” Eddowes was born on April 14, 1842 to George Eddowes, a tinplate worker and his wife, Catherine, in Graisley Green, Wolverhampton, England. She was their eleventh child. Kate’s parents moved to London the next year and she grew up in the city.

Flower & Dean Streets
In the early 1860’s, Kate left home and moved in with an ex-soldier, Thomas Conway. They had three children, and worked together selling cheap books and ballads. By 1881, she had left Conway and was living at Cooney’s Lodging House on Flower and Dean Streets with John Kelly.

Catherine Eddowes
Kate was known as a friendly woman, always singing, except when she had been drinking, and then she was known to have a raging temper. At five feet tall, with auburn hair and hazel eyes, she was considered to be a handsome woman.

Her former partner, Thomas Conway, and her children kept their addresses secret from her to discourage her from seeking them out for money or assistance.

During the summer of 1888, Kate and John Kelly went hop-picking in Kent. They returned to London when the harvest was over but their money was soon spent. That Saturday morning, the 29th, Kate and Kelly split the last of their funds. Eddowes decided to go see her daughter, Annie Phillips in Bermondsey, and plead for money. Kate did not know that her daughter had moved, yet again, leaving no forwarding address.

Cooney's Lodging House
Kelly pawned his boots that rainy evening and bought a bed at the lodging house. The lodging keeper reported that he did not leave again that night.

Map of Aldgate
Kate was not reportedly seen again until that evening when she imitated a fire engine to the delight of the crowd gathered on Aldgate High Street. She then passed out in the street and a city police constable took her to the station to sober up.  She was heard singing to herself around 12:15 a.m. and released about 1 a.m.

Eddowes's Body Found
Three men saw Kate leave the Imperial Club at 1:35 a.m. She stopped and talked with a man at the corner of Duke Street and Church Passage. One of the men, Joseph Lawende, describes the man with Eddowes in detail, stating that he was possibly a sailor.

Eddowes Face
It was less than 15 minutes later that Catherine Eddowes body was discovered in Miter Square by Police Constable Edward Watkins. Kate had been severely mutilated, and her throat had been cut.

London police surgeon, Dr. Fredrick Gordon Brown was called to the murder scene and arrived around 2 a.m. Brown reported that “The body was on its back, the head turned to left shoulder… The intestines were drawn out to a large extent and placed over the right shoulder… Body was quite warm. No death stiffening had taken place. She must have been dead most likely within the half hour.”

Wentworth Model Dwellings
Police also found a couple of clues this time. At about 3 a.m., a piece of the apron Eddowes had been wearing was discovered lying in the doorway to rooms at Wentworth Model Dwellings on Goulston Street in Whitechapel. The apron piece had blood and feces on it and it appeared that something had been wiped with it. 

Police also discovered written on the wall above the apron piece was graffiti that read, “The Juwes are the men that Will not be Blamed for nothing". There was some debate as to the exact wording since Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren had the chalked words quickly washed away, afraid they would incite an anti-Jewish riot.

Morgue Photo of Catherine Eddowes
Eddowes body was taken to the City Mortuary. Brown continued his postmortem there and reported that her face had been mutilated, and a piece of ear and the tip of her nose cut loose. Brown later testified that the cause of death was a hemorrhage from the left common carotid with death occurring immediately.

The inquiry into Catherin Eddowes death opened on October 4 by City Coroner Samuel F. Langham. According to Dr. Brown’s report at the inquiry, “…the left kidney carefully taken out and removedI believe the perpetrator of the act must have had considerable knowledge of the position of the organs in the abdominal cavity and the way of removing them… I think the perpetrator of this act had sufficient time ... It would take at least five minutes. ... I believe it was the act of one person.”

On Monday, October 1 police received a post card that referred to “Saucy Jack” and claimed responsibility for Stride and Eddows murders. The postcard read:

“I was not codding dear old Boss when I gave you the tip, you'll hear about Saucy Jacky's work tomorrow double event this time number one squealed a bit couldn't finish straight off had not the time to get ears for police. thanks for keeping last letter back till I got to work again.”

Jack the Ripper

But upon later consideration, authorities and many Ripper historians believe that the postcard was actually the work of a local journalist, trying to stir up the police and the public, making for good headlines.

Crowds Line Street
Catherine Eddowes was buried on Monday October 8, 1888. It seemed that all of Whitechapel turned out to walk Kate to the cemetery. Thousands lined the streets as the funeral procession passed. Hundreds more gathered at the burial site along with four of Kate’s sisters, two nieces and John Kelly.

Catherine Eddowes was buried in an elm coffin in an unmarked grave at the City of London Cemetery in Manor Park Cemetery. Her grave number was 49336, square 318. Kate’s burial was paid for by a Mr. G.C. Hawkes, a vestryman from St. Luke’s. In 1996, the City Cemetery placed a plaque in remembrance of her.

~ Joy

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Victims of Jack the Ripper

Tonight marks the 124th anniversary of the first of the ‘official’ murders attributed to an unidentified serial killer, given the monikers, "Leather Apron, "The Whitechapel Killer," and “Jack the Ripper.”  Almost a century and a quarter later, the five murders remain unsolved.  Many suspects have been identified, but no one has been undeniably determined to have been “Jack the Ripper.”

The “Official” Five
Nichols Body Discovered
Mary Ann Nichols
It was in the middle of the night on August 31, 1888, when 43-year-old Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols was found murdered in the Whitechapel district of London.  Nichols, a local prostitute, was found lying in front of a stable on Buck’s Row, with her skirts raised.  Her throat had been cut twice and her abdomen slashed deeply several times.  The coroner placed the time of death around 3 A.M.

Marker for Mary Ann Nichols
City of London Cemetery
Nichols’ body was held at the Whitechapel Mortuary until the following Thursday.  She was buried on September 6, 1888 at the City of London Cemetery in Ilford.  Nichols death was the first police officially attributed to “Jack the Ripper.”

Annie Chapman
Where Chapman was found
About 1:45 on the morning of Saturday, September 8, 1888, 47-year-old Annie Chapman found herself without money for lodging.  Worse for drink, she headed out into the streets to earn the necessary funds. Her body was discovered around 6 A.M. Her throat had been severed by two cuts, and her abdomen had been laid open.  It was later discovered that her uterus had been taken. 

Manor Park Cemetery
Annie Chapman was buried at Manor Park Cemetery on Friday, September 14, 1888. Her funeral was kept secret by her family in order to avoid crowds. Chapman’s grave no longer exists; it has since been buried over.  

Searching for suspects
Headlines of the Day
It was after Chapman’s death that the police realized the same person could have committed both her murder and that of Mary Ann Nichols.  The two crimes were so similar that the investigations were merged into one and officials began searching for one suspect.

Police News Headlines
After Chapman’s murder, the public, panicked by the thought that a murderer was loose on the East End, began observing curfews, careful to travel in groups.  The police began investigating any lead that came their way, many hoaxes dreamed up by those wanting to trick the local police.  But after three weeks without a murder, it seemed that maybe the worst was over…. 

Elizabeth Stride
Discovery of Stride
The night of September 29th was wet and cold.  Forty-four-year-old Elizabeth Stride had been drinking with friends that Saturday evening, spending the money she’d earned earlier in the day, cleaning rooms.   Around 11 P.M. she was seen working the streets.  At 12:45 A.M. on September 30th, Stride’s body was discovered. She was lying by a fence in the yard near the International Workers Educational Club.  Her throat had been gashed deeply, but it appeared the murderer had left quickly.

East London Cemetery
Grave of Elizabeth Stride
Elizabeth Stride was buried on Saturday, October 6, 1888 in the East London Cemetery at Plaistow.  The local parish provided for her short funeral and burial.

Catherine Eddowes
The police had just arrived on the scene of the Stride murder when yet another murder was occurring nearby. Forty-six-year-old Catherine Eddowes had spent her Saturday evening in a cell for drunks at the Bishopsgate police station. She was released at 1 A.M. when she was able to stand and walk out of the station unaided.  At 1:45 A.M. Eddowes mutilated body was found by a beat cop in the corner of Mitre Square.  Her throat had been cut, her face disfigured, her abdomen laid opened, and the intestines pulled out and laid over a shoulder. Her left kidney and most of her uterus had been taken.

Marker for Catherine Eddowes
City of London Cemetery
Catherine Eddowes was buried on Monday October 8, 1888 in the City of London Cemetery in an unmarked grave.  A plaque was placed by cemetery officials in 1996.

Kelly's Room
The last murder officially attributed to Jack the Ripper occurred sometime during the early morning hours of November 9, 1888.  Twenty-five-year-old Mary Jane Kelly had gone out about 11 P.M. on Thursday, November 8th.  She returned to her room in Miller Court around 11:45 with a man.  She was heard singing in her room around 1 A.M. and was reportedly seen taking another man to her room sometime after 2 A.M.  A neighbor reported hearing the cry of “Murder” about 4 A.M. and someone leave the room close to 6 A.M.

Mary Jane Kelly
It was almost 11 A.M. Friday morning when a man sent to collect Kelly’s rent, looked through her window and saw what was left of her mutilated body on the bed.  Police determined that she had been killed by a slash to the throat before the mutilations were performed.  It was reported that her heart was missing.  Kelly’s body was the most maimed and disfigured of the five.

St Patrick's Catholic Cemetery
Marker for Mary Jane Kelly
Mary Jane Kelly was buried on Tuesday, November 19, 1888 at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Leytonstone.  No family attended her funeral.  During the 1950’s, the cemetery reclaimed Kelly’s grave.  A small plaque was placed in the cemetery in the 1990’s.

Murder Location for Emma Smith
Other murders might have been committed by Jack the Ripper, beginning with 45 year old Emma Elizabeth Smith on April 3, 1888 in Whitechapel.  She was attacked, sexually assaulted, and died the next day of peritonitis at London Hospital.   Her killing was the first recorded of the “Whitechapel Murders.”

Surgery Implements
Although the M.O. (modus operandi) does not follow the Ripper’s later actions, it could be that he had yet to settle on a technique.  It is considered more likely that the media made the connection for added interest to the Ripper murders during the autumn attacks.

Martha Tabram
The other murder, prior to the “Autumn of Terror”, involved 39-year-old Martha Tabram.  She was murdered August 7, 1888 in Whitechapel.  She died from 39 brutal stab wounds.  Police thought that the closeness of the date to the five attributed murders, along with the savagery of the attack, a lack of motive, and the location warranted it to be considered as a Ripper murder. 

Discovering Another Body
It is worth noting that both women fit the victim profile; dark hair, single, heavy drinker, prostitute.  No one was ever arrested in either murder.  The other “Whitechapel Murders” included Rose Mylett, Alice McKenzie, Frances Coles, and a woman who was never identified.

The Murders
Location of 1888 Murders
The “Whitechapel Murders” occurred from April 3, 1888 to February 13, 1891. A total of eleven women, all prostitutes in the Whitechapel area, were brutal murdered. Five were attributed to Jack the Ripper, the others were considered to likely be Ripper victims.

Police questioned over 2,000 people during and after the murders. Of those, over 300 people were investigated; eighty were taken in and detained.  Although scrutinized, most were not believed to be seriously involved. Some were considered but had alibis, and a few have remained top suspects for well over 100 years.  But no one was ever charged with any of the murders.   
After 124 years, it is doubtful that the identity of Jack the Ripper will ever be known.  It appears the murders of this serial killer will remain part of a historical whodunit for all time.

~ Joy