Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

 Search:


Most Recent Posts:
Maybrick, James: 25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith - by caz 1 minute ago.
Witnesses: Israel Schwartz - new information - by Sam Flynn 3 minutes ago.
Scene of the Crimes: Slaughter houses near murder sites - by MrBarnett 5 minutes ago.
Maybrick, James: 25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith - by Sam Flynn 7 minutes ago.
Annie Chapman: Annie's scarf - by Sam Flynn 11 minutes ago.
Maybrick, James: 25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith - by caz 12 minutes ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Maybrick, James: 25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith - (49 posts)
Goulston Street Graffito: The GSG - Did Jack write it? POLL - (26 posts)
Feigenbaum, Carl: A Likely Suspect? - (9 posts)
Annie Chapman: Annie's scarf - (7 posts)
Annie Chapman: Annie's memorial to be removed - (6 posts)
Witnesses: Israel Schwartz - new information - (4 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.
   More Ripper Blogs »

Unmasking Jack the Ripper
"Perhaps the best Jack the Ripper documentary produced in recent years." North American and European DVD formats both available.
Buy now!

J. Best and John Gardner

J. Best (sometimes referred to as John Best in modern sources) and John Gardner, both laborers, together claimed to have seen Elizabeth Stride with a man outside the Bricklayer's Arms pub on the night of her death. J. Best was a resident of 82, Lower Chapman Street. John Gardner lived at 11 Chapman Street.

Best and Gardner were interviewed by the Evening News, which published their story on 1 October 1888. Both men noticed a woman they later identified as Elizabeth Stride with a man who was "hugging her and kissing her." Best noted that, "as he seemed a respectably dressed man, we were rather astonished at the way he was going on with the woman."

After a while the two workmen asked Stride's man to come inside for a drink. He refused, at which point they called to Stride, "That's Leather Apron getting round you". Then Stride and her companion "went off like a shot soon after eleven."

The man seen with Stride was described as "5ft 5ins. in height. He was well dressed in a black morning suit and coat. He sported a thick, black moustache, but was otherwise clean shaved. He also did not have any eyelashes. He wore a black billycock hat." (Begg, Uncensored Facts p.98)

John Gardner apparently corroborated Best's story in every respect, though Gardner did mention that he also noticed a flower pinned to the woman's dress. This was an essential detail, as Stride did in fact have a flower (some sources pinned to her outer garment. Witness descriptions of Stride from earlier in the evening do not mention this flower, so it may very well have been given to her by the man seen with her outside of the Bricklayer's Arms.

Neither J. Best nor John Gardner were called to testify at the Stride inquest. (Note that several modern books claim they were both inquest witnesses - this is a modern error that has been repeated many times.)

The relevant extract from the Evening News of 1 October 1888 reads as follows:

J. Best, 82, Lower Chapman-street, said: I was in the Bricklayers' Arms, Settles-street, about two hundred yards from the scene of the murder on Saturday night, shortly before eleven, and saw a man and a woman in the doorway. They had been served in the public house, and went out when me and my friends came in. It was raining very fast, and they did not appear willing to go out. He was hugging her 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, who was poorly dressed. We "chipped" him, but he paid no attention. As he stood in the doorway he always threw sidelong glances into the bar, but would look nobody in the face. I said to him "Why don't you bring the woman in and treat her?" but he made no answer. If he had been a straight fellow he would have told us to mind our own business, or he would have gone away. I was so certain that there was something up that I would have charged him if I could have seen a policeman. When the man could not stand the chaffing any longer he and the woman went off like a shot soon after eleven.

I have been to the mortuary, and am almost certain the woman there is the one we saw at the Bricklayers' Arms. She is the same slight woman, and seems the same height. The face looks the same, but a little paler, and the bridge of the nose does not look so prominent.

THE MAN

The man was about 5ft. 5in. in height. He was well dressed in a black morning suit with a morning coat. He had rather weak eyes. I mean he had sore eyes without any eyelashes. I should know the man again amongst a hundred. He had a thick black moustache and no beard. He wore a black billycock hat, rather tall, and had on a collar. I don't know the colour of his tie. I said to the woman, "that's Leather Apron getting round you." The man was no foreigner; he was an Englishman right enough.

John Gardner, labour, 11 Chapman-street, corroborated all that Best said respecting the conduct of the man and the woman at the Bricklayers' Arms, adding "before I got into the mortuary to-day (Sunday), I told you the woman had a flower in her jacket, and that she had a short jacket. Well, I have been to the mortuary and there she was with the dahlias on her right side of her jacket.

I COULD SWEAR

She is the woman I saw at the Brickayers' Arms and she has the same smile on her face now that she had then.

Contemporary Sources

The Evening News - 1 October 1888

Secondary Sources

Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts (Begg)

Jack the Ripper A-Z (Begg, Fido and Skinner)


Related pages:
  Elizabeth Stride
       Home: Timeline - Elizabeth Stride 
       Dissertations: Anything But Your Prayers: Victims and Witnesses on the N... 
       Dissertations: Blackwells Testimony An Estimation of How Stride Was Ly... 
       Dissertations: Double Trouble: Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes 
       Dissertations: Elisabeth Gustafsdotters Last Stride 
       Dissertations: Elizabeth Stride: Her Killer and Time of Death 
       Dissertations: Piecing it Together - A Possible Scenario of the Death of... 
       Dissertations: Reinvestigating Murder: How Did Long Liz Die? 
       Dissertations: Reinvestigating Murder: The Mystery of the Knife 
       Dissertations: So Long, Liz: Was Elizabeth Stride a True Ripper Victim? 
       Dissertations: The Identification of Liz Stride 
       Message Boards: Elizabeth Stride 
       Official Documents: Berner Street - Census Listings 
       Official Documents: Elizabeth Stride's Inquest 
       Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 26 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Atchison Daily Globe - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: British Daily Whig - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 24 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 24 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 27 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Observer - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Eastern Post - 27 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 23 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Frederick News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 1 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 2 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 3 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 4 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 5 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 6 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 30 September 1888 
       Press Reports: London Evening News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Macclesfield Courier and Herald - 27 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Macclesfield Courier and Herald - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manchester Guardian - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manitoba Daily Free Press - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 10 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 24 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Munster News - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: New York Times - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: New York Tribune - 03 October 1888 
       Press Reports: North Eastern Daily Gazette - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: North Eastern Daily Gazette - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 01 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 03 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Penny Illustrated Paper - 27 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Penny Illustrated Paper - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: People - 14 October 1888 
       Press Reports: People - 28 October 1888 
       Press Reports: People - 7 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Police Gazette - 19 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 24 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Weekly Herald - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Woodford Times - 5 October 1888 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Rippers Tredje Offer 
       Victims: Elizabeth Stride 
       Victorian London: Berner Street 
       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick William Blackwell 
       Witnesses: James Brown 
       Witnesses: Thomas Bates