London’s East End has changed dramatically since 1888, when Jack the Ripper stalked the streets. Henriques Street was known as Berner Street then. The houses above have long since been replaced by the school playground below.
On 30 September 1888, a Swedish prostitute named Elizabeth Stride was seen here just after midnight with a respectable-looking man of about 28. ‘Complexion dark, small dark moustache; dress, black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, collar and tie.’ The man was carrying a parcel.
Twenty minutes later, Elizabeth Stride was dead. A man was driving his pony and trap into Dutfield’s Yard (gate at right of picture) at 1 a.m. when his horse shied at a heap of clothing just inside the gate. The man lit a candle to see what was happening. It promptly blew out, but not before he had spotted Elizabeth Stride’s body, still clutching a packet of cashew nuts.
Help arrived within ten minutes: ‘1.10 a.m. Body examined by doctors who pronounced life extinct, the position of the body was as follows: – lying on left side, left arm extended from elbow, cachous lying in the hand, right arm over stomach, back of hand and inner surface of wrist dotted with blood, legs drawn up, feet close to the wall, body still warm…’
Elizabeth Stride was the third of Jack the Ripper’s five known victims and the only one he didn’t mutilate. He had almost certainly been disturbed by the arrival of the pony and trap. Frustrated, he then headed off towards Mitre Square and Goulston Street.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 90. How did the police know where Jack the Ripper went after killing Elizabeth Stride?
‘Riveting’ – Daily Mail
‘Fascinating’ – The Times
‘Outstanding’ – Midwest Book Review
‘Utterly absorbing’ – Macleans