The Identification of Elizabeth Stride
by Dave Yost with Stewart P. Evans
First published in Ripper Notes, Vol 1, No 4, Mar 2000
One of the more difficult aspects the contemporary authorities had to deal with during the Berner Street case was the proper identification of the victim. Numerous people viewed the body, but some only saw her that night, never knowing who she was; some only knew her as "Long Liz"; one identified her from a photo; and, another person claimed she was her sister. Each of these people (and others) knew, or thought they knew, the victim in one capacity or another. The identification of Elizabeth Stride was not an easy task for the coroner’s court, and it will be interesting to see the progression of how she was eventually and properly identified, and who might have been the first to correctly do so.
Several people viewed the body on 30 September, which was reported the next day in the newspaper:
‘The latest victims…have not as yet been identified with certainty’. ‘During the day several women of the unfortunate class saw the body, but failed to identify it’. ‘At a late hour last night…A female known as "One-armed Liz"…is said to have accompanied Sergeant Thick to St. George's Mortuary, and recognised the body as that of Annie Morris’. ‘Another account says: "The woman murdered in Berner-street has been identified as Elizabeth Stride…She was identified by a sister living in Holborn."’ (1)
As will be seen later, the ‘sister’ referred to in the latter part of this news item is Mrs. Mary Malcolm; albeit, she never associated the name, Stride, with the body. Ostensibly, this report combines the identifications from two different people. So we can easily see that someone had viewed and correctly identified the body before the start of the inquest. (2)
During the following day, the newspapers continued to name the Berner Street victim as Elizabeth Stride, but they did qualify this:
‘Sept. 30. - A woman, supposed to be Elizabeth Stride, but not yet identified, discovered with her throat cut, in Berner-street, Whitechapel.’ ‘nor has either of the corpses been conclusively identified.’ ‘The thoroughfares are as crowded as ever, even up to a late hour, and the same class of people as Annie Chapman and Elizabeth Stride can be seen flitting about the dark and ill-lighted alleys which abound in the district. As to the last-named person - who was found at Berner-street - there is some doubt as to her identification. It is believed that she is the woman known as Elizabeth Stride, or more familiarly as "Long Liz," but this identity is not definitely established. The people who saw her in the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, Commercial-road, say there is no doubt she is Elizabeth, but relatives have not been found to identify her.’ (3)
The singular items of interest here is that others from the lodging house identified the body as merely Elizabeth, and that no relative had been found who could identify her. Doubts have already been cast on Malcolm’s identification. And as we will see from the first day of the inquest, the identification from the other lodgers was not satisfactory either:
‘Yesterday [1 Oct], at the Vestry Hall in Cable-street, St. George-in-the-East, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, opened an inquest on the body of the woman who was found dead, with her throat cut, at one o'clock on Sunday morning, in Berner-street, Commercial-road East. At the outset of the inquiry the deceased was described as Elizabeth Stride, but it subsequently transpired that she had not yet been really identified. A jury of twenty-four having been empanelled, they proceeded to view the body at the St. George's Mortuary.’
‘The Coroner: The body has not yet been identified? - Not yet.
The Foreman: I do not quite understand that. I thought the inquest had been opened on the body of one Elizabeth Stride.
The Coroner: That was a mistake. Something is known of the deceased, but she has not been fully identified. It would be better at present to describe her as a woman unknown. She has been partially identified. It is known where she lived. It was thought at the beginning of the inquest that she had been identified by a relative, but that turns out to have been a mistake.’ (4)
Coroner Baxter adds to the doubts regarding Malcolm’s identification before she even testified despite claims of being a sister of the victim. With 110 years of 20-20 hindsight regarding Elizabeth’s real name, it might be difficult for us to understand why Malcolm was still permitted to offer her evidence at the inquest. To explain this, I defer to Stewart Evans. "At a Coroner's inquest proper identification of the deceased is only recognized when it is a proper LEGAL Identification of the body, by someone who was related in some way to the person TO the Coroner's officer and a written statement is taken to that effect." Hence, at this early stage in the case, since Malcolm claimed a blood relation to the victim, the court was compelled to hear her testimony. It should also be pointed out that Michael Kidney was only Stride’s lover (and did not testify till 3 October). Hence, Malcolm’s identification took precedence (till disproved) and was given on 2 October, which is presented here in full. (5)
Mary Malcolm was the next witness, and she was deeply affected while giving her evidence. In answer to the coroner she said: I live at No. 50, Eagle-street, Red Lion-square, Holborn, and am married. My husband, Andrew Malcolm, is a tailor. I have seen the body at the mortuary. I saw it once on Sunday and twice yesterday.
Who is it? - It is the body of my sister, Elizabeth Watts.
You have no doubt about that? - Not the slightest.
You did have some doubts about it at one time? - I had at first.
When did you last see your sister alive? - Last Thursday, about a quarter to seven in the evening.
Where? - She came to see me at No. 59, Red Lion-street, where I work as a trousermaker.
What did she come to you for? - To ask me for a little assistance. I have been in the habit of assisting her for five years.
Did you give her anything? - I gave her a shilling and a short jacket - not the jacket which is now on the body.
How long was she with you? - Only a few moments.
Did she say where she was going? - No.
Where was she living? - I do not know. I know it was somewhere in the neighbourhood of the tailoring Jews - Commercial-road or Commercial-street, or somewhere at the East-end.
Did you understand that she was living in lodging-houses? - Yes.
Did you know what she was doing for a livelihood? - I had my doubts.
Was she the worse for drink when she came to you on Thursday? - No, sober.
But she was sometimes the worse for drink, was she not? - That was, unfortunately, a failing with her. She was thirty-seven years of age last March.
Had she ever been married? - Yes.
Is her husband alive? - Yes, so far as I know. She married the son of Mr. Watts, wine and spirit merchant, of Walcot-street, Bath. I think her husband's Christian name was Edward. I believe he is now in America.
Did he get into trouble? - No.
Why did he go away? - Because my sister brought trouble upon him.
When did she leave him? - About eight years ago, but I cannot be quite certain as to the time. She had two children. Her husband caught her with a porter, and there was a quarrel.
Did the husband turn her out of doors? - No, he sent her to my poor mother, with the two children.
Where does your mother live? - She is dead. She died in the year 1883.
Where are the children now? - The girl is dead, but the boy is at a boarding school kept by his aunt.
Was the deceased subject to epileptic fits? - Witness (sobbing bitterly): No, she only had drunken fits.
Was she ever before the Thames police magistrate? - I believe so.
Charged with drunkenness? - Yes.
Are you aware that she has been let off on the supposition that she was subject to epileptic fits? - I believe that is so, but she was not subject to epileptic fits.
Has she ever told you of troubles she was in with any man? - Oh yes; she lived with a man.
Do you know his name? - I do not remember now, but I shall be able to tell you to-morrow. I believe she lived with a man who kept a coffee-house at Poplar.
Inspector Reid: Was his name Stride? - No; I think it was Dent, but I can find out for certain by to-morrow.
The Coroner: How long had she ceased to live with that man? - Oh, some time. He went away to sea, and was wrecked on the Isle of St. Paul, I believe.
How long ago should you think that was? - It must be three years and a half; but I could tell you all about it by to-morrow, even the name of the vessel that was wrecked.
Had the deceased lived with any man since then? - Not to my knowledge, but there is some man who says that he has lived with her.
Have you ever heard of her getting into trouble with this man? - No, but at times she got locked up for drunkenness. She always brought her trouble to me.
You never heard of any one threatening her? - No; she was too good for that.
Did you ever hear her say that she was afraid of any one? - No.
Did you know of no man with whom she had relations? - No.
Inspector Reid: Did you ever visit her in Flower and Dean-street? - No.
Did you ever hear her called "Long Liz"? - That was generally her nickname, I believe.
Have you ever heard of the name of Stride? - She never mentioned such a name to me. I think that if she had lived with any one of that name she would have told me. I have heard what the man Stride has said, but I think he is mistaken.
The Coroner: How often did your sister come to you? - Every Saturday, and I always gave her 2s. That was for her lodgings.
Did she come to you at all last Saturday? - No, I did not see her on that day.
The Thursday visit was an unusual one, I suppose? - Yes.
Did you think it strange that she did not come on the Saturday? - I did.
Had she ever missed a Saturday before? - Not for nearly three years.
What time in the day did she usually come to you? - At four o'clock in the afternoon.
Where? - At the corner of Chancery-lane. I was there last Saturday afternoon from half-past three till five, but she did not turn up.
Did you think there was something the matter with her? - On the Sunday morning when I read the accounts in the newspapers I thought it might be my sister who had been murdered. I had a presentiment that that was so. I came down to Whitechapel and was directed to the mortuary; but when I saw the body I did not recognise it as that of my sister.
How was that? Why did you not recognise it in the first instance? - I do not know, except that I saw it in the gaslight, between nine and ten at night. But I recognised her the next day.
Did you not have some special presentiment that this was your sister? - Yes.
Tell the jury what it was? - I was in bed, and about twenty minutes past one on Sunday morning I felt a pressure on my breast and heard three distinct kisses. It was that which made me afterwards suspect that the woman who had been murdered was my sister.
The Coroner (to the jury): The only reason why I allow this evidence is that the witness has been doubtful about her identification. (To witness) Did your sister ever break a limb? - No.
Never? - Not to my knowledge.
The Foreman: Had she any special marks upon her? - Yes, on her right leg there was a small black mark.
The Coroner: Have you seen that mark on the deceased? - Yes.
When did you see it? - Yesterday morning.
But when, before death, did you see it on your sister? - Oh not for years. It was the size of a pea. I have not seen it for 20 years.
Did you mention the mark before you saw the body? - I said that I could recognise my sister by this particular mark.
What was the mark? - It was from the bite of an adder. One day, when children, we were rolling down a hill together, and we came across an adder. The thing bit me first and my sister afterwards. I have still the mark of the bite on my left hand.
The Coroner (examining the mark): Oh, that is only a scar. Are you sure that your sister, in her youth, never broke a limb? - Not to my knowledge.
Has your husband seen your sister? - Yes.
Has he been to the mortuary? - No; he will not go.
Have you any brothers and sisters alive? - Yes, a brother and a sister, but they have not seen her for years. My brother might recognise her. He lives near Bath. My sister resides at Folkestone. My sister (the deceased) had a hollowness in her right foot, caused by some sort of accident. It was the absence of this hollowness that made me doubt whether the deceased was really my sister. Perhaps it passed away in death. But the adder mark removed all doubt.
Did you recognise the clothes of the deceased at all? - No. (Bursting into tears). Indeed, I have had trouble with her. On one occasion she left a naked baby outside my door.
One of her babies? - One of her own.
One of the two children by her husband? - No, another one; one she had by a policeman, I believe. She left it with me, and I had to keep it until she fetched it away.
Inspector Reid: Is that child alive, do you know? - I believe it died in Bath.
The Coroner: It is important that the evidence of identification should be unmistakable, and I think that the witness should go to the same spot in Chancery-lane on Saturday next, in order to see if her sister comes.
Witness: I have no doubt.
The Coroner: Still, it is better that the matter should be tested.
Witness (in reply to the jury): I did not think it strange that my sister came to me last Thursday instead of the Saturday, because she has done it before. But on previous occasions she has come on the Saturday as well. When she came last Thursday she asked me for money, stating that she had not enough to pay for her lodgings, and I said, "Elizabeth, you are a pest to me."
The Coroner: Has your sister been in prison? - Witness: Yes.
Has she never been in prison on a Saturday? - No; she has only been locked up for the night.
Never more? - No; she has been fined.
A Juror: You say that before when she has come on the Thursday she has also come on the Saturday as well? - Always.
The Coroner: So that the Thursday was an extra. You are quite confident now about the identity? - I have not a shadow of doubt. (6)
It is not difficult to see why there are doubts about Malcolm’s testimony. She had to view the body three times. And, she eventually identified the body from a mark on the leg, instead of facial features, despite her claims that she saw her ‘Last Thursday, about a quarter to seven in the evening,’ or that they met every week for ‘nearly three years’. Plus, she seemed to be guessing at quite a bit and despite offers to obtain further information, this was, at least, not publicly given in court if at all, adding to the idea that the court did not "trust" her testimony, but was merely compelled to hear it. It is also easy to see why there was confusion between the victim and Malcolm’s real sister given Malcolm’s answers to Coroner Baxter’s questions: Husband and two children, living with a man (not her husband) for about the past three years, nickname of ‘Long Liz’. And of course the first name, Elizabeth. All very similar to Elizabeth Stride, as will be seen later in Coroner Baxter’s summation on 23 October.
From the inquest of 3 October, we learn the following:
Elizabeth Tanner: ‘I am deputy of the common lodging-house, No. 32, Flower and Dean-street, and am a widow. I have seen the body of the deceased at St. George's Mortuary, and recognise it as that of a woman who has lodged in our house, on and off, for the last six years.’
‘She was known by the nick-name of "Long Liz."’ ‘Do you know her right name? - No.’ ‘Did you see her again? - No, until I saw the body in the mortuary to-day.’ ‘By the jury: I do not know of any one else of the name of Long Liz. I never heard of her sister allowing her any money, nor have I heard the name of Stride mentioned in connection with her.’
Catherine Lane: ‘I live in Flower and Dean-street, and am a charwoman and married. My husband is a dock labourer, and is living with me at the lodging house of which the last witness is deputy. I have been there since last February. I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary.’
‘The Coroner: Did you recognise it? - Yes, as the body of Long Liz, who lived occasionally in the lodging-house.’
‘I first saw the body in the mortuary on Sunday afternoon, and I recognised it then.’
‘I am satisfied the deceased is the same woman.’
Charles Preston: ‘I live at No. 32, Flower and Dean-street, and I am a barber. I have been lodging at my present address [32 Flower and Dean Street] for eighteen months, and have seen the deceased there. I saw the body on Sunday last, and am quite sure it is that of Long Liz.’ ‘She always gave me to understand that her name was Elizabeth Stride.’
Michael Kidney: ‘I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary.’
‘The Coroner: Is it the woman you have been living with? - Yes.’
‘You have no doubt about it? - No doubt whatever.’
‘What was her name? - Elizabeth Stride.’
‘How long have you known her? - About three years.’
‘How long has she been living with you? - Nearly all that time.’
‘A Juror: Do you know of any sister who gave money to the deceased? - No. On Monday I saw Mrs. Malcolm, who said the deceased was her sister. She is very like the deceased.’
Mr. George Baxter Phillips: ‘On Oct. 1, at three p.m., at St. George's Mortuary, present Dr. Blackwell and for part of the time Dr. Reigate and Dr. Blackwell's assistant’
‘By a Juror: I did notice a black mark on one of the legs of the deceased, but could not say that it was due to an adder bite.’ (7)
Even though some people who testified associated the name Elizabeth Stride with the victim, including Michael Kidney, this was still unsatisfactory for the coroner’s court, as pointed out by Stewart Evans. Despite the very doubtful testimony given by Malcolm, her evidence and relationship with the victim had yet to be disproved.
On 4 October, Mathew Packer claimed to have identified the body as a woman to whom he might have sold grapes at midnight that morning, but he was unaware of any name associated with the victim except perhaps from what he might have read in the papers. (8)
When the inquest resumed on 5 October, we see further glimpses as to who the deceased might have been, but we really learn a great deal about Elizabeth from Mr. Ollsen whose testimony is given here in full.
Mr. Sven Ollsen: ‘I live at No. 23, Prince's-square, St. George's-in-the-East, and am clerk of the Swedish Church there. I have examined the body of the deceased at the mortuary. I have seen her before.’
The Coroner: Often? - Yes.
For how many years? - Seventeen.
Was she a Swede? - Yes.
What was her name? - Her name was Elizabeth Stride, and she was the wife of John Thomas Stride, carpenter. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Gustafdotter. She was born at Torlands, near Gothenburg, on Nov. 27, 1843.
How do you get these facts? - From the register at our church.
Do you keep a register of all the members of your church? - Of course. We register those who come into this country bringing a certificate and desiring to be registered.
When was she registered? - Her registry is dated July 10, 1866, and she was then registered as an unmarried woman.
Was she married at your church? - No.
Then how do you know she was the wife of John Thomas Stride? - In the registry I find a memorandum, undated, in the handwriting of the Rev. Mr, Palmayer, in Swedish, that she was married to an Englishman named John Thos. Stride. This registry is a new one, and copied from an older book. I have seen the original, and it was written by Mr. Frost, our pastor, until two years ago. I know the Swedish hymn book produced, dated 1821. I gave it to the deceased.
When? - Last winter, I think.
Do you know when she was married to Stride? - I think it was in 1869.
Do you know when he died? - No. She told me about the time the Princess Alice went down that her husband was drowned in that vessel.
Was she in good circumstances then? - She was very poor.
Then she would have been glad of any assistance? - Yes.
Did you give her some? - I did about that time.
Do you remember that there was a subscription raised for the relatives of the sufferers by the Princess Alice? - No.
I can tell you that there was, and I can tell you another thing - that no person of the name of Stride made any application. If her story had been true, don't you think she would have applied? - I do not know.
Have you any schools connected with the Swedish Church? - No, not in London.
Did not ever hear that this woman had any children? - I do not remember.
Did you ever see her husband? - No.
Did your church ever assist her before her husband died? - Yes, I think so; just before he died.
Where has she been living lately? - I have nothing to show. Two years ago she gave her address as Devonshire-street, Commercial-road.
Did she then explain what she was doing? - She stated that she was doing a little work in sewing.
Could she speak English well? - Pretty well.
Do you know when she came to England? - I believe a little before the register was made, in 1866.
William Marshall: ‘I reside at No. 64, Berner-street, and am a labourer at an indigo warehouse. I have seen the body at the mortuary. I saw the deceased on Saturday night last.’
‘Where? - In our street, three doors from my house, about a quarter to twelve o'clock. She was on the pavement, opposite No. 58, between Fairclough-street and Boyd-street.’
‘How do you know this was the same woman? - I recognise her both by her face and dress. She did not then have a flower in her breast.’
James Brown: ‘I live in Fairclough-street, and am a dock labourer. I have seen the body in the mortuary. I did not know deceased, but I saw her about a quarter to one on Sunday morning last.’
‘The Coroner: Where were you? - I was going from my house to the chandler's shop at the corner of the Berner-street and Fairclough-street, to get some supper. I stayed there three or four minutes, and then went back home, when I saw a man and woman standing at the corner of the Board School. I was in the road just by the kerb, and they were near the wall.’
‘Did you see enough to make you certain that the deceased was the woman? - I am almost certain.’
William Smith, 452 H Division: ‘On Saturday last I went on duty at ten p.m. My beat was past Berner-street, and would take me twenty-five minutes or half an hour to go round. I was in Berner-street about half-past twelve or twenty-five minutes to one o'clock, and having gone round my beat, was at the Commercial-road corner of Berner-street again at one o'clock.’
‘The Coroner: Had you noticed any man or woman in Berner-street when you were there before? - Yes, talking together.’
‘Was the woman anything like the deceased? - Yes. I saw her face, and I think the body at the mortuary is that of the same woman.’
‘Are you certain? - I feel certain. She stood on the pavement a few yards from where the body was found, but on the opposite side of the street.’ (9)
From this day of this inquest, we learn a great deal about Elizabeth Stride and her life. Though only one person gave evidence as to her real name, this alone would be sufficient to corroborate the previous identifications. And while all involved most likely and readily accepted this evidence, Malcolm’s information still had to be refuted outright.
It should also be mentioned that Dr. Thomas Barnardo claimed to have seen Elizabeth the Wednesday (26 Sep) before her death in the lodging house kitchen, later identifying her as one of the women he saw. He had written a letter (dated 6 Oct) to the Times (posted 9 Oct) regarding this. From what information we have, it seems that Elizabeth did not merely hand out her full name any time the subject came up, so it is very doubtful that Barnardo would have known it. And currently, there seems to be no indication as to when he viewed the body in the mortuary, but it would had to have been prior 6 October, which was when Elizabeth was buried at East London Cemetery Co. Ltd., Plaistow, London, E13. Grave 15509, square 37. (10)
When the inquest resumed for the last time on 23 October, we are provided with one more testimony identifying the victim as Elizabeth Stride, but more importantly, we are given sufficient evidence to properly refute Malcom’s information:
PC STRIDE: Identified the body from mortuary photographs on 1 October as the woman who married his uncle, John Thomas Stride, in 1872 or 1873. His uncle was a carpenter, and the last time witness saw him he was living in the East India Dock-road, Poplar.
Elizabeth Stokes: 5, Charles-street, Tottenham, said, - My husband’s name is Joseph Stokes, and he is a brickmaker. My first husband’s name was Watts, a wine merchant of Bath. Mrs. Mary Malcolm, of 15, Eagle-street, Red Lion-square, Holborn, is my sister. I have received an anonymous letter from Shepton Mallet, saying my first husband is alive. I want to clear my character. My sister I have not seen for years. She has given me a dreadful character. Her evidence is all false. I have five brothers and sisters.
A juryman. - Perhaps she refers to another sister.
Inspector Reid. - She identified the deceased person as her sister, and said she had a crippled foot. This witness has a crippled foot.
Witness. - This has put me to a dreadful trouble and trial. I have only a poor crippled husband, who is now outside. It is a shame my sister should say what she has said about me, and that the innocent should suffer for the guilty.
The Coroner. - Is Mrs. Malcolm here?
Inspector Reid. - No, Sir. (11)
At this point, there was no doubt as to the falsehood of Malcolm’s testimony. The victim was not her sister. Hence, Maolcolm’s claims, no matter how sincere she may have been in making them, were useless to the court in identifying the victim since she was not a blood relation; and, there was more than sufficient information showing differently. The court then turned to the other evidence offered which provided the complete name, and Coroner Baxter’s summation of the case puts into perspective the difficulties and confusions that were created:
‘The first difficulty which presented itself was the identification of the deceased. That was not an unimportant matter. Their trouble was principally occasioned by Mrs Malcolm, who after some hesitation, and after having had two further opportunities of viewing again the body, positively swore that the deceased was her sister - Mrs Elizabeth Watts of Bath. It had since been clearly proved that she was mistaken, notwithstanding the visions which were simultaneously vouchsafed at the hour of the death to her and her husband. If her evidence was correct, there were points of resemblance between the deceased and Elizabeth Watts which almost reminded one of the Comedy of Errors. Both had been courted by policemen; they both bore the same Christian name, and were of the same age; both lived with sailors; both at one time kept coffee-houses at Poplar; both were nick-named "Long Liz"; both were said to have had children in charge of the husbands' friends; both were given to drink; both had been charged at the Thames Police-court; both had escaped punishment on the ground that they were subject to epileptic fits, although the friends of both were certain that this was a fraud; both had lost their front teeth, and both had been leading very questionable lives...' " (12)
It is interesting to point out Coroner Baxter’s remarks regarding the difficulties in properly identifying the Berner Street victim with respect to some other views on the matter:
"Her inquest was inevitably protracted, as satisfactory evidence as to her identity was delayed by the need to investigate her own extraordinary lies about her past (see under Princess Alice vessel) and Mrs Malcolm’s erroneous identification of her with Mrs Elizabeth Stokes. The matter was only satisfactorily settled by the appearance of Mrs Stokes herself, and the further identification made by Police Constable Walter Stride." (13)
Based on the foregoing examination, it would seem that Elizabeth’s lies about her family’s involvement in the Princess Alice Disaster had little bearing on her proper identification. Even though the appearance of Mrs. Stokes did rightfully refute Malcolm’s information, freeing the court to legally pursue the other identification of the body (i.e. Elizabeth Stride), the inquest was not necessarily delayed because of this. Additionally, PC Stride’s testimony on the last day of the inquest merely corroborated what several other witnesses had stated. And it should be pointed out that his relationship to the deceased was by a marriage that had broke down six years earlier, and he himself had not seen Elizabeth for approximately fifteen years.
Of all those who viewed the body, we have only a few who seemed to have truly known the deceased: Charles Preston viewed the body that Sunday, identifying her as Elizabeth Stride. (Interestingly enough, he seemed to be the only lodger, who knew Elizabeth by her full and correct name, yet he wouldn’t let her borrow a clothes brush.) PC Stride (via a photograph) identified the body as that of the woman who married his uncle. Mr. Ollsen corroborated this marriage, also naming the deceased Elizabeth Stride, but he did not view the body till the Tuesday morning (2 Oct). We also heard from Michael Kidney who lived with the deceased for the previous three years, also stating she was named Elizabeth Stride. From these four people the court knew who the Berner Street victim was, especially since Mrs. Malcolm’s evidence was suspect from the start and refuted when her actual sister appeared at the inquest.
Yet, it still remains to be seen who first identified the body as Elizabeth Stride. Per Donald Rumbelow, ‘He [Kidney] didn't see her [Elizabeth] again until he identified her body in the mortuary. Afterwards he had gone away and got drunk. Later that night he had staggered into Leman Street police station...’ Kidney was at the Leman Street Police Station on Monday, 1 October. While Rumbelow does not provide a source for Kidney viewing the body, it does mean that Kidney learned of Elizabeth’s death from the papers that had already been calling the Berner Street victim, Elizabeth Stride. Hence, Michael Kidney did not learn who the Berner Street victim was till he read it in the paper, or heard the name on the street. The papers had correctly named the victim as Elizabeth Stride as early as their 1 October printings, but they had confused and/or combined two sets of viewing: Preston’s and Malcolm’s. So it would seem from what we currently know that Charles Preston was the first to correctly identify the Berner Street victim as Elizabeth Stride. (14)
(1) Daily Telegraph, Mon 1 Oct, p5
(2) Daily Telegraph, Wed 3 Oct, p3
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