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Manchester Guardian
6 October 1888

"THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS -- The Berner-Street Case Resumed Inquest"

Mr. Wynne Baxter resumed the inquest yesterday on the victim of the Berner-street tragedy. Although on a former occasion Mrs. Malcolm expressed herself positive that the body was that of her sister, Elizabeth Watts, it will be seen by the evidence reported below that the story that the witness was mistaken and that the murdered woman was a Swede appears now to be fully established.

Dr. Phillips, re-called, stated that since the last inquiry he had, in accordance with the coroner's request, carefully re-examined the body of the deceased, particularly with regard to her mouth. He could not find any injury to it, or absence of any part of the hard or soft palate. He had also been requested to examine some handkerchiefs, and had done so. He could not find any blood upon them, and he believed the stains upon the larger handkerchief were fruit. He was convinced that the deceased had not swallowed the skin or the seed of a grape for many hours before her death. He had examined the knife which was picked up in the street by a boy. The knife had been recently blunted, and its edge turned apparently by being rubbed on the kerb-stone. It was evidently a sharp knife before. The injuries on deceased's neck could have been inflicted by such a weapon, but in his opinion the knife in question was not the one used. From the position of the body he thought the deceased was seized by the shoulder and placed on the ground, and the perpetrator of the deed was on her right side when he inflicted the cut. He seemed to have knowledge as to where to inflict a deadly wound on the throat. There was a great dissimilarity between Chapman's case and this. In the former the neck was severed all round down to the vertebral column. The perpetrator of the deed, assuming that he was to the right of the deceased, might have kept clear of blood-stains. The chief injury to the neck was away from him, and the stream of blood would not flow in his direction. The deed would only take a few seconds to commit. He could not find any traces of an anaesthetic. If deceased did not utter any cry he could not account for it.

Sven Olsen said he was clerk to the Swedish Church in Princess Square. He had known the deceased for about 17 years. She was a Swede. Her maiden name was Gustafsdotter, and she was born at Forslander, near Gothenburg, in 1843. She was the wife of a carpenter named John Thomas Stride. Witness got these particulars from the church register. The woman's husband was drowned in the Princess Alice disaster.

Dr. Blackwell, recalled, said he agreed with Dr. Phillips that the knife found, although it might have inflicted the injury, was a most unlikely weapon. There were pressure marks on the shoulder, as if the victim had struggled--faint at first, but which had since become quite distinct.

William Marshall, 64, Berner-street, Commercial Road, said he saw the deceased on Saturday night at a quarter-past 11 talking to a man between Fairclough-street and Boyd-street. The man was about 5ft. 6in. in height, middle-aged, and rather stout, and had the general appearance of a clerk. He was not like a man who did work, or a sailor, and he spoke as if he were well educated. Witness heard him say "You'd say anything but your prayers." He was wearing a black cutaway coat, dark trousers, and a cap with a peak. He could not say if the man had whiskers, as he could not see his face. They stayed talking about ten minutes, and the man had his arms round her neck.

James Brown, of 39, Fairclough-street, deposed that he saw a woman in company with a man standing at 12.45 at Fairclough- street, at the Board School. He was certain it was the deceased. She was dressed in dark clothes, and the man had a long coat on. He went in and finished his supper, and then heard cries of "Police!" and "Murder!" That would be about a quarter of an hour after he saw the couple, but he had not looked at any clock.

Constable Smith, 452 H, said: On Saturday last I went on duty at 10 p.m. My beat, which included Berner-street, took from twenty-five minutes to half an hour. I was last in Berner- street before the murder at half-past twelve. When I returned in the ordinary course at one o'clock I found a crowd of people outside the gates of No. 40. Two policemen were on the spot. When I was in Berner-street at 12.30 I saw a man and woman together. The woman was like the deceased, and I have no doubt that the body in the mortuary is that of the person I saw. The two stood a few yards up Berner-street on the opposite side to where she was found. I noticed the man. He had a parcel done up in a newspaper in his hand. It was about eight inches long and six or eight inches wide. As near as I could see, the man was about 5ft. 7in. high, and was wearing a hard felt deerstalker hat of a dark colour. His clothes were dark, and he wore a cutaway coat. I did not overhear any conversation. Both persons appeared to be sober. I did not see the man's face very clearly, but I noticed he had no whiskers. He seemed to be about 28 years of age, and had a respectable appearance. I observed that the woman had a flower in her dress.

Michael Kidney, the man with whom deceased lived, identified the Swedish hymn-book as having belonged to the deceased, who gave it to a Mrs. Smith on the previous Tuesday, saying she was going away. She gave it to Mrs. Smith to take care of.

The inquiry was adjourned until October 23.

Saturday, October 6, 1888
"Mysterious Affair in the East End"

Shortly before midnight last night a cab containing two men and a woman was observed to stop near a dark railway arch in Brick Lane, in the East End of London. The men alighted and deposited upon the ground the woman, who was insensible. Three men who observed these movements raised an alarm, whereupon the men drove off in the cab. One of them, however, returned, was recognised, and was taken to the Commercial Road Police Station, where he is detained. He gives the name of Johnson. The affair has caused great excitement in the neighbourhood.

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 
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       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 
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       Official Documents: Berner Street - Census Listings 
       Official Documents: Elizabeth Stride's Inquest 
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       Ripper Media: Jack the Rippers Tredje Offer 
       Victims: Elizabeth Stride 
       Victorian London: Berner Street 
       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick William Blackwell 
       Witnesses: J. Best and John Gardner 
       Witnesses: James Brown 
       Witnesses: Thomas Bates 

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