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Stride Loses Husband & 2 Children

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Stride Loses Husband & 2 Children

Post by Karen on Sat 9 Oct 2010 - 17:56

This article states that Elizabeth Stride lost her husband and two of her children in the Princess Alice disaster of 1878, and inquest testimony after the ship's demise confirmed that she had even testified at the inquest, to that effect.


The Whitechapel tragedies have established a reign of terror in the East of London. We shall search criminal records in vain for a parallel to the atrocities with which the whole country is ringing, and before which even the arm of authority itself seems paralysed. Here we have a miscreant who goes forth stealthily and takes his victims when and where he pleases, and when he has accomplished his infamous purpose escapes with ease and impunity. If he be insane, there is a fearful method in his madness; but if he be sane, then it is an awful reflection that in this great centre of civilisation there should exist a fiend in human shape capable of deeds which we can scarcely associate with a Nero or a Caligula.
It is idle, perhaps, to speculate upon what would have occurred if the Whitechapel monster had taken his victims from the inhabitants of Park-lane or Belgrave-square, instead of from the poverty-stricken districts of Mitre-square and Berner-street. The poor complain that they are neither fed, housed, nor protected as they ought to be; and it is of no use for Society to blink the facts. It may be that these awful tragedies will do more to lift the veil upon the social miseries of the East End than all our philanthropic and religious efforts. But, in the meantime, the public safety is the most pressing matter for consideration; and it needs little reflection to perceive that this safety is far from being as assured as it should be.That the bodies of two murdered women can be discovered at places within a quarter of an hour's walk of each other, and at intervals of somewhat less than an hour, while the murderer has escaped scot free, is of itself an appalling fact. It may be that the perpetrator of these revolting crimes yet exists within five hundred yards of the scene of his operations. Of course it seems almost incredible that he should have accomplices; and yet it seems equally incredible that he should commit murder after murder with perfect ease, if he had not some adjacent place wherein to obtain shelter which enabled him to elude the vigilance of the police. Whoever the miscreant is, and whatever may be his haunts, there is a universal feeling that the authorities are at fault in grappling with the situation. The police have made arrests, but one by one the suspects have been released, and the capture of the real murderer is apparently as far off as ever. Disguise the truth as we may, the police do not inspire the public with that confidence which is essential. The fault is not wholly theirs, but the fact cannot be gainsaid, and it is that with which we have to deal. The rigid military system, for which Sir Charles Warren is in some degree responsible, tends to reduce the usefulness of the police to a minimum. A martinet is necessarily out of touch with a system which demands elasticity, and, on the occurrence of great crises, independent action. Then the Home Secretary's conduct has been both unwise and shameful. While the whole community has been stirred to the very depths, he has remained callous and supine. He pursued exactly the same policy in the notorious Cass case, and from that time to the present he has been a serious source of weakness to the Government. It is most unfortunate that at such a juncture as this there should be at the Home Office a Minister who is indifferent to the feelings of the people, and who sees nothing in the unparalleled series of crimes which have moved the nation to the quick, to justify him in departing from the ordinary course, and in offering a reward. The approval which the Lord Mayor's action has met with is a severe rebuke to Mr. Matthews. Even should the offer of a reward produce no result, it is some earnest of a determination to get to the bottom of this terrible condition of things. The public recognise it as such, and applaud also the spontaneous offers of reward made by less responsible individuals. Anything is better than the unsympathetic negative attitude of our blundering Home Secretary.
The discovery of a fearfully-mutilated corpse at Westminster has in all probability nothing to do with the Whitechapel tragedies, but it will whet the public demand for action. A hundred theories have been started to account for the crimes, most of which agree that the murderer must be a monomaniac, possessing some amount of surgical knowledge. But theories, however ingenious, are now secondary matters; detection of the guilty person or persons, and the prevention of further horrors, are the most urgent needs. The use of bloodhounds has been recommended; but although they could undoubtedly get on the scent of blood, it might prove to be the wrong trail. Another suggestion is that every court, street, and alley should be brilliantly lighted; and certainly this might have saved some of the fearful acts all are now lamenting. Light is one of the most potent foes to criminal deeds and immorality, and the condition of many of the London thoroughfares after nightfall is a direct premium upon vice and crime. The police are aware of this, and it is with their aid, and upon their reports, that the evil can and must be remedied.
These crimes are not only unprecedented in character, but their worst feature is that no motive can be assigned for them. Murders generally may be accounted for by passion, jealousy, or revenge; but this is war against a class, and is therefore all the more terrible. If the criminal cannot be tracked, his shadowy hand will remain as a kind of sword of Damocles over the community; no one knows where the blow may fall next. But it surely cannot be that, with all the resources which the metropolis possesses, one sanguinary being can continue to defy it. People are already beginning to ask how many more women must be killed at the East End before the authorities can be roused to action. Delay or inefficiency can only embitter feelings which it is not desirable to fan into a flame. There is a double desire; to see the murderer caught; and the authorities addressing themselves to that remedial work for which the East-end has long cried out in vain.



In reply to the petition to her Majesty sent by Mr. George Lusk, the President of the Whitechapel Vigilance committee, the following reply was last night received by Mr. Lusk through one of the Queen's messengers: -

"Whitehall, Oct. 6, 1888. - Sir, - The Secretary of State for the Home Department has had the honour to lay before the Queen the petition signed by you, praying that a reward may be offered by the Government for the discovery of the perpetrator of the recent murders in Whitechapel, and he desires me to say that though he has given directions that no effort or expense should be spared in endeavouring to discover the person guilty of the murders, he has not been able to advise her Majesty that in his belief the ends of justice would be promoted by any departure from the decision already announced with regard to the proposal that a reward should be offered by Government. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant. (Signed), E. LEIGH PEMBERTON. - George Lusk, Esq., 123, Alderney-road, Mile-end-road, E."


Down to this (Sunday) morning no clue to the mysterious murderer had been discovered. The numerous persons arrested on suspicion in London during the week were released; but a man who gave himself up at Birmingham is under remand until Monday. His name is Alfred Napier Blanchard, a canvasser, from London, but as he now pleads that he became excited by reading about the murders, no importance is attached to his confession.
A letter was received at the Commercial-street police-station by the first post yesterday morning. It was addressed to the "Commercial-street police-station," in blacklead pencil, and the contents were also written in pencil, and couched in ridiculous language, the police believing it to be the work of a lunatic. It was signed "Jack the Ripper," and said he was "going to work" in Whitechapel on Friday night. He added that he was going to commit another murder in the Goswell-road, the next night, and spoke of having "bottles of blood underground in Epping forest," and frequently referred to "Jack the Ripper under the ground."
The public have frequently asked why bloodhounds have not been employed to track the murderer or murderers; but so high an authority as Mr. Percy Lindley this week effectually dispels all idea of any good being now derived from bloodhounds. He says: I have little doubt that had a hound been put upon the scent of the murderer while fresh, it might have done what the police have failed in. But now, when all trace of the scent has been trodden out, it would be quite useless.
Sir Charles Warren has, it is stated, been making inquiries as to the practicability of employing trained bloodhounds in special cases, in the streets of London, and is making immediate arrangements for their use in London.
The impression that the Whitechapel murderer is a homicidal maniac is strengthened by a story told in the Times yesterday of a French Whitechapel case. The French criminal mutilated his victims in much the same fashion with which we have of late become familiar; there was the same "reign of terror;" the same apparent impossibility of detection. At last a girl one night was accosted in the street by a workman, who asked her to take a walk with him. When, by the light of a lamp, she saw his face, it inspired her with a strange feeling of fear and aversion. She therefore gave him in charge of the police, who, on inquiry, found that her woman's instinct had accomplished what had baffled the skill and the exertions of all their detectives. He was convicted and executed, to the great relief of the public.
With reference to the identity of Elizabeth Stride, the Woolwich newspapers of the time of the Princess Alice disaster have been referred to, and it has been found that a woman of that name was a witness at the inquest, and identified by body of a man as her husband, and of two children then lying in Woolwich dockyard. She said she was on board at the time and saw them drowned, her husband picking up one of the children and being drowned with it in his arms. She was saved by climbing the funnel, where she was accidentally kicked in the mouth by a retired Arsenal police inspector, who was also clinging to the top of the funnel. The husband and two children are buried in Woolwich cemetery.


On visiting the East-end at a late hour last night a representative of Lloyd's found that police precautions of a most extensive and extraordinary character had been taken. At the head-quarters at Leman-street at eleven o'clock the large yard was completely filled with constables in uniform drawn from almost every division of the metropolis. In addition to these hundreds of plain clothes men and detectives were out, and others were waiting for their orders before proceeding to the posts and duties which had been or were to be alloted them. In the station a consultation of inspectors was going on with Colonel Monsell, the chief of this large and important district, as to the best course to be pursued through the night. Scarcely ever before has there been seen such a congregation of the detective force, and as one passed among the men and heard their conversation it was evident that every officer was filled with indignation against the secret monster, and resolved to do his utmost to bring him to justice if the opportunity offered. Before midnight numbers marched out, and patrolled the Eastern district with unwonted activity. It was exactly 12 o'clock when the last long file of constables paraded for orders. One inspector then, as before, read out the place allotted to each man. Among the posts assigned to the men were heard George-yard, Wellclose-square, Buck's-row, and other places which brought to recollection the crimes of the past few weeks. The public-houses were now just closing, and the streets began to fill with a motley passing crowd. The majority were going quietly along, but here and there might be seen gangs of youths partly drunk, reeling, shouting, hooting, and jostling wherever they went. An incident which occurred a little earlier may be recounted to show the excited condition of the people. In the Whitechapel-road a cab knocked down a man and a woman. They escaped with a severe shaking, but the frantic cries of the woman caused a crowd of several hundreds to gather in a few seconds.
Between one and two o'clock this (Sunday) morning George-yard and Flower and Dean-street were exceptionally quiet; Buck's-row was perfectly still. In Whitechapel-road a scare was caused by a woman who had been standing for some time suddenly pouncing upon a man and screaming out that he had threatened to rip her up. The accusation was altogether false and base. But the woman kept on shouting that no police were to be had when they were wanted. After a little the man walked away, and quiet reigned once more. On proceeding to Berner-street dancing was found to be going on at the Socialist club. At two minutes past one o'clock Diemshitz, the club steward, drove in at the gate with his pony and barrow, as he stated he did about the same hour last week, when he discovered the unfortunate murdered woman Elizabeth Stride. Proceeding back along the Whitechapel-road the next incident which attracted attention was a man leading a large mastiff, which went smelling along the road as if on the trail. As several policemen, serjeants, and inspectors were near, the people along the road and at the coffee stalls jumped to the conclusion that this was the first appearance of one of Sir Charles Warren's bloodhounds. They were eventually undeceived, and the owner of the dog quietly led him home. From two to three o'clock this morning, excepting the large number of detectives and police, there were few persons in the streets, save women who were walking about apparently without money or a home.
Among the many places the police were closely watching were the narrow streets round the warehouse where Wainwright murdered Harriet Lane. One solitary policeman was on point duty, but on going up the passage a signal was given and out came a detective from underneath the buildings of the Jewish Working Men's club opposite. There was a strong reserve there out of sight. Just after three o'clock one of our reporters in Whitechapel-road found he was being dodged everywhere by a rough-looking fellow, followed by several others. Our reporter then complained to a policeman on point duty at the corner of Commercial-street. The man informed the constable that he had been watching the reporter about for the last half-hour, and had seen him under the most suspicious circumstances wandering about and going up and down all the lonely places he could find. At last the man, who seemed to belong to a self-constituted vigilance committee, made off. About a quarter to four a man and woman were taken to the Commercial-street police-station by some members belonging to the Vigilance committee, who alleged that they had been watching them during the night under very suspicious circumstances in the neighbourhood of Flower and Dean-street. They were detained for inquiry. It was apparent that a most dangerous hour in this locality was between three and four. The regular passers of the streets had reached their homes, and those remaining were mostly outcast and homeless women. At Leman-street police station the police who had come on duty early were returning to the yard about five o'clock when they were paraded, their names read over and then discharged from their duties for the day. At six the great body of men came back. There was no clue heard of, and the men went off duty, no murder or capture being then reported from any source. At Mitre-square the City police were on duty, and on inquiry at the Metropolitan and City police stations we were informed that there had been no arrest and that there was nothing in the nature of a clue. The morning broke cold and cheerless, the streets after five o'clock being comparatively free from the numerous "Vigilant committees" that up to that hour had thronged the thoroughfares - by no means to the satisfaction of the police; some of whom declared to our reporters that the night had been the quietest they had ever known in Whitechapel.

The following was received through Reuter's agency this (Sunday) morning: -
NEW YORK, Saturday.
The New York Herald declares that the seaman named Dodge, who recently stated that a Malay, whom he met in London, threatened to murder a number of Whitechapel women for robbing him, said that he knew the street where the Malay stayed, but that he would not divulge the name until he learned what chance there was of a reward. He stated, however, that the street was not far from the East India-dock-road, but he was not certain about the house where the man lived. Another seaman said he thought the Malay was now on a vessel plying in the North Sea.


As yet the police have not been able to trace the identity of the female whose mutilated trunk was found on the site of the new police headquarters on the Thames embankment at Whitehall on Tuesday. On Friday Detective-inspector Marshall proceeded to Guildford to bring to London some remains discovered near the railway line there on Aug. 24 in a brown paper parcel, thinking they might belong to those found in London. Yesterday when the remains arrived in London, however, it was found that they were not human at all, but those of some animal.
The parts discovered at Whitehall have been lying in a disinfectant bath, but are now taken out to be dried, and reduced as far as possible to the natural size and shape. It is understood that the hands and the fingers are of long and delicate construction on the right arm that was lately recovered. The police are searching in all directions for the missing portions of the body - namely, the head; the lower part of the trunk, the left arm, the two legs and feet. The head, of course, the authorities are most anxious to find; and the Thames will be closely watched and dragged.
With reference to any clue, the police state that they have very little at present. Since the publication of the shocking discovery they had received up to yesterday over 500 applications and inquiries about missing friends. Dr. Bond and Dr. Hebbert made a further examination yesterday, but it is understood they cannot yet form a very definite opinion as to the age, size, and general complexion of the deceased.
As in former Thames mysteries, any new discovery will be awaited with great interest. It will be recollected that in the case of the Richmond murder the head of Mrs. Thomas was never found. Kate Webster was entreated to say what she had done with it, and it is asserted that she kept the secret till just before she was executed, when she stated that she carefully dropped it between some supports of Old Battersea-bridge, down which it slid till it got to the bottom of the Thames. The secret was kept for several years, and we believe has never yet been published. It will be well, therefore, to search for any missing remains in this case in unsuspected nooks and corners.


A man named Dunhill, a plumber, attempted to murder Margaret Cooper, a single woman, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, yesterday. Dunhill formerly lived with Cooper, and yesterday afternoon went to Cooper's house to ask her to come and live with him again. He asked a neighbour who was in the house at the time, to leave. Shortly afterwards screams were heard, and Dunhill was seen escaping from the house by a window. The door, which had been locked, was broken open, and Cooper was found on the floor, bleeding from wounds in the throat, a table knife covered with blood being near. She was taken at once to the infirmary. Dunhill has not yet been arrested.


At about half-past eight yesterday morning the Thames police found in the river, near Pimlico pier, the body of a woman, apparently between 40 and 50 years of age. She was respectably dressed in black, and looked as if she might have been the wife of an artisan. She had evidently only been in the water for a period of about three or four hours, so that the time of her death would be in the small hours of yesterday morning. On searching one of her pockets were found pawntickets, indicating that she had pledged articles as late as seven o'clock on Friday evening. The cause of her death was undoubtedly drowning, a fact indicated by the quantity of water in the stomach, but as there were no external marks of injury on her body it is impossible to say whether she came by her death suicidally, accidentally, or by being pushed into the water. She was a strong, healthy woman, and apparently well nourished. The body was subsequently identified as that of Miss Judson, of Ebury-street, Pimlico.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, Sunday October 7, 1888, No. 2,934

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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