ELIZABETH STRIDE - THIRD RIPPER VICTIM
Elizabeth or “Long Liz” Stride spent the last afternoon of her life cleaning rooms in the lodging house at number 32 Flower and Dean Street, where she had lived on and off for the previous six years.
The deputy keeper, Elizabeth Tanner, paid her sixpence for the chores and by 6.30pm Elizabeth was slaking her thirst in the nearby Queen’s Head pub at the junction of Fashion and Commercial Streets.
By 7pm she had returned to the lodging house, and was, according fellow resident Charles Preston - from whom she borrowed a clothes brush - dressed “ready to go out” Having chatted briefly with another lodger, Catherine Lane, Liz Stride left the lodging house at around 7.30pm.
It rained heavily that night and the next sighting of her was at eleven o’clock when J. Best and John Gardner were certain that they saw her sheltering in the doorway of the Bricklayer’s Arms on Settles Street.
She was in the company of a man who was about 5’ 5 inches tall. He had a black moustache, sandy eyelashes and was wearing a black morning suit together with a billycock hat.
According to Best “... they did not appear willing to go out. He was hugging and kissing her, and as he seemed a respectably dressed man, we were rather astonished at the way he was going on with the woman.”
The two men couldn’t resist a little light-hearted banter at the couple’s expense and remarked to the woman “Watch out, that’s Leather Apron getting round you” Embarrassed by the chaffing the couple “went off like a shot” and best and Gardner watched them hurry off through the rain towards Commercial Road.
At around 11.45pm, William Marshall, a labourer who lived at number 64 Berner Street, was standing outside his lodgings, when he noticed a man and woman outside number 63. They both seemed quite sober, and as he watched them began to kiss. Marshall heard the man remark to the woman, “You would say anything but your prayers.” The couple then moved off heading in the direction of Dutfield’s Yard. Marshall described the man as being middle aged and stout, and had the appearance of a clerk. He was around 5 feet 6 inches tall clean shaven, and respectably dressed. He wore a Small, black, cutaway coat, dark trousers, and a round cap with a small sailor-like peak.
At 12.30am PC William Smith proceeded along Berner Street on his beat and noticed a man and a woman on the opposite side of the road to Dutfield’s Yard, where Elizabeth Stride’s body was later discovered. The man was approximately 28 years old, with a dark complexion and a small dark moustache. He was about five foot seven inches tall, had on a dark overcoat, a hard, felt, deerstalker, dark hat, and ark clothing. The woman, whom Smith later identified as Elizabeth Stride, had a flower pinned to her jacket. However, the couple were doing nothing that aroused Smith’s suspicions, so he continued on his beat keeping ahead onto Commercial Road.
At number 40 Berner Street was the International Working Men’s Educational Club, which had been founded in 1884 by a group of Jewish Socialists. Member Morris Eagle had left the club at around 12.15am to walk his “young lady” home. Returning to the club at 25 minutes to one, he found the front door locked, so went through the gates into Dutfield’s Yard, and entered the club via its back door. He noticed nothing on the ground by the gates as he passed through them and was sure he would have noticed if a man and woman had been in the yard at the time. However, since the yard itself was pitch-black, he was not able to say for certain if the body of Elizabeth Stride could have been there at that time.