12.35am, September 29, 1888: Liz Stride last seen by Constable Wm Smith in Berner-st
PUBLISHED: 18:55 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 18:55 01 October 2013
Lizzie Stride, known as ‘Long Liz’, wears a black jacket and skirt with a posy of a red rose in a spray of maidenhair fern leaves and a black crêpe bonnet the last time she is seen alive, on September 29, 1888.
She is living in a common lodging-house at 32 Flower & Dean-street, Spitalfields, a notorious criminal rookery, and is seen with a short man with a dark moustache in a morning suit and bowler hat at around 11pm near Berner-street, off the Commercial Road, and again at about 11.45pm with another man wearing a peaked cap.
Constable William Smith sees her at 12.35am with a man wearing a hard felt hat opposite the International Working Men’s Educational Club, a socialist club at 40 Berner-street (today’s Henriques Street), who is carrying a package about 18ins long.
Elizabeth Stride was the daughter of a Swedish farmer, Gustaf Ericsson, and his wife Beata Carlsdotter, born near Gothenburg on November 27, 1843.
She worked as a domestic, but was registered by the Gothenburg police as a prostitute in March, 1865, and treated twice for a sexually-transmitted disease.
Stride gave birth to a stillborn girl on April 21, 1865, then emigrated to London the following year, possibly in domestic service with a family.
She marries ship’s carpenter John Thomas Stride from Sheerness, on March 7, 1869, who is 13 years older.
The couple run a coffee room in Poplar for a time. But they separate shortly after and Liz is admitted to Poplar Workhouse in March, 1877. John Stride dies of consumption (tuberculosis) in the Poplar & Stepney Sick Asylum on October 24, 1884. They had no children.
Lizzie next turns up in a common lodging-house at 32 Flower & Dean-street, with charitable assistance from the Swedish Church in London.
Much of the time Lizzie lives with a dock labourer, Michael Kidney, in Devonshire-street, from 1885, earning money from sewing and house-cleaning, but appearing numerous times at Thames Police Court for being drunk and disorderly—giving her name as ‘Anne Fitzgerald’.
She lays an assault charge against Kidney in April, 1887, but fails to pursue it in court. The couple part just days before her murder.