Post by Graveyardbride on Sept 30, 2014 3:26:16 GMT -5
September 30, 1888: Two in One Night
Almost three weeks had passed since the murder of Annie Chapman, when, on Thursday, September 27, 1888, the Central News Agency received a letter that read:
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I’m a doctor now. ha ha
The letter was quickly dismissed as a hoax.
The killing of Annie Chapman eight days after that of Mary Anne Nichols had unnerved the inhabitants of Whitechapel, particularly “working women” who sold their favors on the streets, but after three weeks, even the most cautions of the street strumpets had grown somewhat complacent. On the evening of Saturday, September 29, Elizabeth Stride, known as “Long Liz,” overcame her fears and took to the dark, dank byways of Whitechapel. Stride earned her nickname because at 5'5", she was exceptionally tall for a working class woman of 19th century England. Because of diets low in protein, the average English woman of that era was no more than around 5-feet in height. In fact, Queen Victoria herself was only 5-feet even though she, as royalty, was obviously well-fed and if there was protein lacking in her diet when she was a girl, it was more than likely the result of her penchant for eschewing hearty cuts of beef, pork and mutton in favor of desserts, in which she was known to overindulge. Elizabeth Stride, who was born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter November 27, 1843, on a farm in Sweden. was obviously better-fed than the women in England during that time period.
Liz had a pale complexion, light grey eyes, curly dark brown hair and had probably been considered attractive as a young woman, but by 1888, she was 45-years-old and had lost all the teeth in her lower left jaw. She made her living sewing and charring and Michael Kidney, with home she lived intermittently, gave her a little money now and then, however, during those times she had no money – usually because she had spent it all on booze – she didn’t hesitate to work the streets for a little extra income.
On a Certificate of Change notice, it was indicated she could read “tolerably well,” but her religious training was sadly lacking. She had a less than sterling past even before leaving Sweden, where she was registered as a prostitute and gave birth to a stillborn baby in 1865. Later that same year, she was treated for a venereal disease. The following year, she submitted an application to relocate to the Swedish parish in London, England, and is described as an unmarried woman in the London registry of July 10, 1866. According to Charles Preston, who lived at the same lodging house as Liz, she arrived in London in the service of a “foreign gentleman.” Michael Kidney, her partner, said she told him she worked for a family in Hyde Park when she first arrived in England and he believed she had relatives in London.
On March 7, 1869, at the age of 25, Elizabeth Gustafsdotter married John Stride at the parish church of St. Giles in the Fields. At that time, she gave her address as 67 Gower Street. Shortly after the marriage, Liz and her husband relocated to East India Dock in Poplar, where they kept a coffee shop on Chrisp Street. They later moved to 178 Poplar High Street, where they continued to operate the coffee shop until 1875.
Elizabeth Stride resurfaced in 1878. On the evening of September 3 of that year, the Princess Alice, a steamboat, was returning from Sheerness carrying around 700 passengers, most of whom were enjoying the band as the steamer approached Woolwich. As the steamer Bywell Castle approached en route to Newcastle, the two vessels collided. The death toll was between 600 and 700 and Elizabeth Stride claimed her husband and children were among those who lost their lives in the disaster. According to Mrs. Stride, she was also injured during the explosion when she was kicked in the mouth, injuring her palate, while attempting to escape by climbing the mast. No one could corroborate her injuries and her husband was still very much alive in 1878.
From December 28, 1881, through January 4, 1882, Elizabeth was treated for bronchitis at the Whitechapel Infirmary, from which she was transferred to the Whitechapel Workhouse. Beginning in 1882, she began lodging intermittently at the common lodging house located at 32 Flower and Dean streets. According to Charles Preston, a barber, who lived in the same address for 18 months, Liz Stride had been arrested one Saturday night for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct at the Queen’s Head Public House on Commercial Street. She was released on bail the following day.
There is no evidence she lived with John Stride from 1875 onward, so the marriage had apparently fallen apart. On October 24, 1884, John Stride died of heart disease.
In 1885, Liz took up with Michael Kidney, seven years her junior. The two lived together for three years, though she often left him for days (perhaps weeks) at the time, telling him she was going “out on the town,” which meant she was going out drinking and partying. The two initially lived at two different addresses on Devonshire Street, but by the time of Liz’s death, Kidney was residing at 33 Dorset Street. The relationship was stormy and according to Kidney, she was frequently absent. Shortly before her death, he went so far as to padlock her inside their lodgings, but she was able to get out.
On May 20 and 23, 1886, during the time she was living with Kidney, Elizabeth Stride received alms from the Swedish Church. On July 10, 1886, the church listed her as a “single woman” and the clerk recalled she was “very poor.” She gave her address as Devonshire Street off Commercial Road. On March 21, 1887, Mrs. Stride was registered as an inmate at the Poplar Workhouse and in April of that same year, she charged Kidney with assault, but failed to appear in court. In July 1888, Kidney was charged with drunkenness, disorderly conduct and using obscene language. The Swedish Church again helped Elizabeth Stride financially on September 15 and 20, 1888. During the 20 months prior to her death, Mrs. Stride appeared before the magistrate eight times on alcohol-related charges.
Michael Kidney saw Long Liz for the last time Tuesday, September 25, 1888. He expected her to be home when he returned from work, but wasn’t concerned that she wasn’t there. “It was drink that made her go away,” he insisted. “She always returned without me going after her. I think she liked me better than any other man.”
The following day, Liz appeared at the lodging house at 32 Flower and Dean after a three-month absence, telling Catherine Lane she had words with Kidney. Her presence at the house was confirmed by no less a personage that Dr. Thomas Barnardo, a medical doctor who had taken up street-preaching and ultimately opened a home for destitute boys. Barnardo was conducting research on how children might be saved from “the contamination of the common lodging houses and the street” and upon entering the kitchen, he observed a woman and some girls who appeared “thoroughly frightened” by the Whitechapel murders. One woman, whom he assumed was drunk, cried: “We’re all up to no good, no one cares what becomes of us! Perhaps some of us will be killed next!” Later, he identified the woman as Elizabeth Stride. Liz was still at the lodging house Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28, and according to Elizabeth Tanner, the lodging house deputy, she appeared following a quarrel with Kidney, however, Kidney later denied they had quarreled. On the afternoon of the 29th, Liz spent the afternoon cleaning two rooms at the lodging house for which Mrs. Tanner paid her 6d (sixpence).
There were intermittent showers and the wind was blowing the night of Saturday, September 29, 1888. At 6:30, Mrs. Tanner saw Liz at the Queen’s Head Public House where they drank and then walked back to the lodging house together. From 7 to 8 p.m., Charles Preston and Catherine Lane spoke with Liz as she prepared to go out. She showed Preston the sixpence she had been paid by Mrs. Tanner and asked to borrow his clothes brush, which he had mislaid. She asked Mrs. Lane to hold a large piece of green velvet fabric until she returned. Thomas Bates, the watchman, saw her leaving the house and later remarked that she had looked “quite cheerful.”
At 11 p.m., J. Best and John Gardner, two laborers entering the Bricklayer’s Arms Public House saw Long Liz leaving the house with a man they described as short with a dark moustache and sandy eyelashes. He was wearing a billycock hat (similar to a derby), morning suit and coat. “They had been served in the public house and went out when me and my friends came in,” Best later testified. “It was raining very fast and they did not appear willing to go out. He [the man] was hugging and kissing her and as he seemed a respectably dressed man, we were rather astonished at the way he was going on at the woman.” The two stood kissing and groping each other in the doorway and the workmen asked the man if he would like to come inside for a drink, but he declined. The two called out to Liz: “That’s Leather Apron getting ‘round you,” as the pair headed toward Commercial Road and Berner Street. “He and the woman went off like a shot soon after 11,” Best said.
Another laborer, William Marshall, saw Liz at 11:45 on Berner Street as he was standing in the doorway of No. 64 on the west side of the street between Fairclough and Boyd streets. He noticed she was talking to a man in a short black cutaway coat and sailor’s hat across the street outside No 63. They were kissing and carrying on and Marshall heard the man say, “You would say anything but your prayers.” Yet another witness, Matthew Packer, claimed to have sold grapes to Elizabeth Stride and a male companion around midnight.
At 12:35 a.m., Police Constable William Smith observed Liz and a young man on Berner Street opposite the International Working Men’s Educational Club. He described her male companion as around 28-years-old and wearing a dark coat and deerstalker hat. He noticed the man was carrying a parcel wrapped in newspaper, measuring approximately 6 x 18 inches.
Just 15 minutes later, at 12:45 (according to the file): “Israel Schwartz of 22 Helen Street, Backchurch Lane, stated that at this hour, turning into Berner Street from Commercial Road, and having gotten as far as the gateway where the murder was committed, he saw a man stop and speak to a woman, who was standing in the gateway. He tried to pull the woman into the street, but he turned her round and threw her down on the footway and the woman screamed three times, but not very loudly. On crossing to the opposite side of the street, he saw a second man lighting his pipe. The man who threw the woman down called out, apparently to the man on the opposite side of the road, ‘Lipski,’ and then Schwartz walked away, but finding that he was followed by the second man, ran as far as the railway arch, but the man did not follow so far.” Schwartz could not say whether the two men were together or if they were known to each other, but later identified Elizabeth Stride as the woman he had seen.
Around the same time, James Brown was headed home with his supper along Fairclough Street when he saw Liz with a man, whom he described as around 5'7" and “stoutish.” According to Brown, the man was wearing a long black coat that reached to his heels. As he passed, he heard Stride, who was leaning against the wall, say “No, not tonight, some other night.”
At approximately 1 a.m., Louis Diemschutz, a jewelry salesman, attempted to drive his pony cart into Dutfield’s Yard, however, at the entrance, his pony shied and refused to proceed. Diemschutz suspected something was blocking the way, but the yard was pitch black and he could not see anything on the ground. He used his whip to probe the earth and soon discovered a female whom he assumed was either drunk or asleep. He wasn’t able to rouse the woman and went into the International Working Men’s Educational Club to get help. Isaac Kozebrodsky and Morris Eagle obtained a lantern and returned with him to the yard, where the three saw the woman’s throat had been cut and she was dead.
It is generally believed that Diemschutz’s arrival frightened the assailant, causing him to flee before he was able to mutilate his victim. Diemschutz himself believed the Ripper was still in the yard when he entered because the body was warm and his pony continued to behave oddly.
Someone fetched Dr. Frederick Blackwell, who lived at 100 Commercial Road. He described the scene as follows: “The body was lying on the near side with the face turned toward the wall, the head up the yard and the feet toward the street. The left arm was extended and there was a packet of cachous (small aromatic mints) in the left hand. ... The right arm was over the belly; the back of the hand and wrist had on it clotted blood. 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 deceased had a silk handkerchief round her neck, and it appeared to be slightly torn. I have since ascertained it was cut. This corresponded with the right angle of the jaw. The throat was deeply gashed and there was an abrasion of the skin about one and a quarter inches in diameter, apparently stained with blood, under her right brow.” He pronounced Elizabeth Stride dead at 1:16 a.m.
Catherine Eddowes, aka “Kate Kelly,” was 5-feet-tall with hazel eyes, dark auburn hair and she had the initials “TC” tattooed in blue ink on her left forearm. Friends described her as an intelligent, scholarly woman, but one who was possessed of a fierce temper. In 1888, she was 46-years-old and suffering from Bright’s Disease (chronic nephritis), the symptoms of which are severe back pain, elevated blood pressure, fever, vomiting and edema (including puffiness of the face).
She was born April 14, 1842, in Wolverhampton, the daughter of George Eddowes, a tin plate worker, and Catherine (née Evans). She had at least two siblings, Elizabeth and Eliza, and an uncle, William Eddowes. Around 1848, George and William walked with their families and belongings to London, where they eventually found employment, however, William soon returned to Wolverhampton. Catherine and the other children attended St. John’s Charity School on Tooley Street, but after Mrs. Eddowes died in 1855, some of the children entered Bermondsey Workhouse and Industrial School. Catherine was placed with her aunt and continued her education at Dowgate Charity School. According to one report, family members described Kate as “a good looking and jolly sort of girl.”
At the age of 21, Kate took up with a pensioner of the 18th Royal Irish named Thomas Conway. He wasn’t old and was presumably injured while on active duty. He drew his pension under the name Thomas Quinn. The pair relocated to Birmingham where they made their living selling cheap books written by Conway. According to the Black Country Bugle, Conway specialized in gallows ballads and Kate hawked such a ballad at the execution of her own cousin, Christopher Robinson, hanged at Strafford in January 1866.
In 1865, Kate and Conway returned to Wolverhampton where she gave birth to a child she named Annie. At some point, “after running away from the pensioner,” Kate attempted to return to her aunt’s home, but the aunt turned her away and she moved into a lodging house. There is no evidence Catherine and Conway ever married, but they had two more children, George, born around 1868, and another son born around 1873. The two split for good in 1881 and Conway took the boy (or boys) and Kate kept Annie. Following her separation from Conway, Catherine moved to Cooney’s Lodging House at 55 Flower and Dean streets where she met John Kelly, who worked odd jobs at the markets, but was more or less a regular employee of a fruit salesman named Lander. Around this time, Annie married Louis Phillips and she and her husband moved around Bermondsey and Southwark in order to avoid Kate’s constant scrounging for money.
Frederick Wilkinson, the deputy at Cooney’s Lodging House said Kate was usually in for the night between 9 and 10 o’clock and “was not often in drink and was a very jolly woman, often singing.” He claimed she wasn’t in the habit of walking the streets and he had never heard of or seen her carrying on with anyone other than John Kelly. Kelly himself denied Kate was a prostitute, but admitted she sometimes drank to excess. Her sister, Eliza Gold, insisted Catherine was sober in her habits.
Every year, during the hop-picking season (September) Kelly and Catherine went hop-picking and in 1888, they traveled to Hunton near Maidstone in Kent. “We didn’t get along too well and started to hoof it home,” Kelly said. “We came along in company with another man and woman who had worked in the same fields, but who parted from us to go to Cheltenham when we turned off towards London.” While they walked with the other couple, the woman, more than likely Emily Birrell, told Kate: “I’ve got a pawn ticket for a flannel shirt. I wish you’d take it since you’re going up to town. It is only for 2d, and it may fit your old man.” Kate took the ticket and the two continued on their way. “We did not have money enough to keep us going till we got to town,” Kelly related, “but we did get there and came straight to this house (55 Flower and Dean). Luck was dead against us ... we were both done up for cash.” They reached London Friday, September 28, and John managed to earn 6d. Kate took 2d and told Kelly to take the remaining money and get a bed at Cooney’s, indicating she would get a bed at the casual ward in Shoe Lane. Eddowes was well known at the casual ward and she explained to the deputy she had been hop-picking in the country. Then she allegedly said, “I have come back to earn the reward offered for the apprehension of the Whitechapel murderer. I think I know him.” The superintendent warned her to be careful she wasn’t murdered, too. “Oh, no fear of that,” she replied.
At 8 o’clock on the morning of Saturday, September 29, Catherine Eddowes told John Kelly she had been turned out of the casual ward for some unspecified trouble. Kelly decided to pawn a pair of boots and Kate took them to a pawnbroker on Church Street and pawned them under the name “Jane Kelly.” She and Kelly used the money to purchase food, including tea and sugar. Frederick Wilson, who was eating breakfast in the lodging house kitchen, saw them between 10 and 11 o’clock. Unfortunately, by that afternoon, they were out of money again and Kate said she was going to see if her daughter in Bermondsey could spare a little. She and Kelly parted in Houndsditch at approximately 2 p.m., at which time she promised to return by 4 o’clock. “I never knew if she went to her daughter’s at all,” Kelly said later. “I only wish she had, for we had lived together for some time and never had a quarrel.” (Even if she went to Bermondsey, Kate did not see her daughter for Annie Phillips and her husband had moved to another location.)
At 8 o’clock that evening, Police Constable Louis Robinson came upon an extremely intoxicated female lying on the footway outside 29 Aldgate High Street. She had attracted a crowd and Robinson asked if anyone knew where the woman lived, but no one seemed to know. He pulled her to her feet and she was able to stand by leaning against the shutters of the building, but then slipped sideways. At this point, PC George Simmons came on the scene and the two officers were able to get the drunk woman to Bishopsgate Police Station.
Sergeant James Byfield noted a woman (later identified as Catherine Eddowes) arrived at the station at 8:45 p.m. When she was asked her name, she replied “Nothing.” When PC Robinson checked on her at 8:50 p.m., she was fast asleep in her cell and smelled of alcohol. At 9:45, PC George Hutt took charge of the prisoners and visited every cell.
Constable Edward Watkins commenced the first full round of his beat at approximately 10 p.m. He walked along his assigned streets leading to Mitre Square and back. At the same time, PC James Harvey began walking his beat.
Catherine Eddowes was heard singing in her cell and at 12:30 a.m., called out and asked when she would be released. “When you are capable of taking care of yourself,” Hutt replied. “I can do that now,” Kate insisted. A few minutes later, at 12:55, Sergeant Byfield instructed Hutt to check and see if any of the prisoners were fit for release. In his opinion, the woman had sobered up sufficiently and he unlocked her cell. She identified herself as Mary Ann Kelly of 6 Fashion Lane and asked Hutt for the time. “Too late for you to get anything to drink,” was his answer.
“I shall get a damn fine hiding when I get home,” she told Hutt. “And serve you right, you had no right to get drunk,” he retorted, pushing open the swinging door of the station. “This way, Missus,” he instructed, “please pull it to.”
“All right,” she said and called out, “Goodnight, old cock,” as she walked off into the night. However, she wasn’t walking in the direction of Flower and Dean where she and Kelly lived, but toward Aldgate High Street where she had been picked up by the police earlier in the evening. As she headed down Houndsditch, she would have passed the entrance to Duke Street, at the end of which was Church Passage, leading into Mitre Square.
Joseph Lawende, a commercial traveler in the cigarette trade; Joseph Hyman Levy, a butcher; and Harry Harris, a furniture dealer; left the Imperial Club on Duke Street around 1:35 a.m. At the corner of Duke and Church Passage, all three men saw Catherine Eddowes and a man talking. She was facing the man and had one hand on her chest, but not in a manner that she was resisting his advances. A big gas lamp hung at the entrance to Mitre Square and Lawnde described the man as approximately 30 years of age, around 5'7" with a fair complexion and moustache and of medium build. He was wearing a loose-fitting salt-and-pepper jacket, a grey cloth cap with a peak of the same color, and he had a reddish handkerchief knotted at his throat. Lawnde thought he had the appearance of a sailor.
Just 10 minutes later, PC Edward Watkins entered Mitre Square – which contained four large warehouses, a commercial building and a few ramshackle dwellings – some of which were unoccupied, and came upon the body of Catherine Eddowes.
Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown arrived at 2 a.m. and described what he saw: “The body was on its back, the head turned to left shoulder. The arms by the side of the body as if they had fallen there. Both palms upwards, the fingers slightly bent. The left leg extended in a line with the body. The abdomen was exposed. Right leg bent at the thigh and knee. The throat cut across. The intestines were drawn out to a large extent and placed over the right shoulder – they were smeared over with some feculent matter. A piece of about two feet was quite detached from the body and placed between the body and the left arm, apparently by design. The lobe and auricle of the right ear were cut obliquely through.
“There was a quantity of clotted blood on the pavement on the left side of the neck round the shoulder and upper part of arm, and fluid blood-colored serum which had flowed under the neck to the right shoulder, the pavement sloping in that direction,” Brown continued. “Body was quite warm. No death stiffening had taken place. She must have been dead most likely within the half hour. We looked for superficial bruises and saw none. No blood on the skin of the abdomen or secretion of any kind on the thighs. No spurting of blood on the bricks or pavement around. No marks of blood below the middle of the body. Several buttons were found in the clotted blood after the body was removed. There was no blood on the front of the clothes. There were no traces of recent connection.”
Continued at whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2575/september-30-1888-night-2
Sources: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell; The Murder of Elizabeth Stride; The Murder of Catherine Eddowes; The Complete Jack the Ripper by Donald Rumbelow; The Complete History of Jack the Ripper by Philip Sugden; Casebook: Jack the Ripper; History in the Headlines; The Whitechapel Murders, CrimeLibrary; BBC News; and Jack the Ripper - 1888.
“August 31, 1888: Slaughter in Buck’s Row”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2329/august-1888-slaughter-bucks-row
“September 8, 1888: Murder in the Backyard”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2388/september-8-1888-murder-backyard
“November 9, 1888: Murder and Mutilation in Miller’s Court”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2808/november-murder-mutilation-millers-court