Julius Lipman is a tragic example of how the Jack the Ripper scare could impact on the lives of those who, through no fault of their own, found themselves connected with the Whitechapel murders.
At the time of the murders he was, according to the newspapers, a jobbing cobbler and, although he never seems to have made a handsome living from the profession, he most certainly managed to scrape by.
Until, that is, his name became associated with the Jack the Ripper crimes.
In all honesty, we don't really know how or why he found himself suspected of the murders, since the newspapers at the time don't mention his arrest.
Indeed, he doesn't feature in the newspapers until after his death in October, 1900, when newspapers across the country reported his death and mentioned that he had been arrested in 1889 on suspicion of having been "Leather Apron."
In fact, and as far as can be ascertained from the coverage of his death, the sole reason for having suspected him was that he was known as "Leather Apron" in the district.
According to the newspapers, he was quickly able to convince the police of his innocence and was released from custody having been cleared of any involvement in the crimes.
But, as far as the local people were concerned, he was as a good as guilty, and, from that point on he was persecuted whenever he went out in public, and his business, such as it was, declined to nothing.
Forced to move to another neighborhood, he took to drink and died in the infirmary in October 1900, the cause of his death being stated as "neglect and semi-starvation."
The Tower Hamlets Independent, published the following report of his death on Saturday, 20th October, 1900
LEATHER APRON DEAD
The death has just occurred in the East-end of Julius Lipman, a jobbing cobbler. who in 1889 fell under the suspicion of being "Jack the Ripper."
Lipman was locally known as "Leather Apron", and though easily able to satisfy the world of his innocence of those crimes, the stigma of the suggestion never was overcome, and gradually the little business he had was gone.
He was shouted after in the streets by children, shunned and pointed out by elders as "That's Leather Apron": till he sought refuge in another district.
He, however, took heavily to drink, and has now died in the infirmary from neglect and semi-starvation."
Source: The Tower Hamlets Independent, Saturday, 20th October, 1900.