(November 27, 1843-September 30, 1888) The third recognized victim of Jack the Ripper. Known as "Long Liz" by friends later in life, for her last name and lanky physique.
Born Elisabeth Gustafsdottir to a peasant family west of Gothenburg, Sweden. Unlike the other victims, Liz turned to prostitution early in life and at five-foot-five, with her dark brown hair, grey eyes, and angular features, she was a striking woman. She was known among Gothenburg police and gave birth to a stillborn daughter in April, 1865. In 1866, she moved to London as a domestic servant and in 1869 she married John Thomas Stride, a carpenter 13 years older than her. Their marriage was stormy and they separated at least twice, for the last time in 1881.
After leaving Stride, Liz lived in a dosshouse and lived off of charity handouts in addition to sewing, housekeeping, and occasional prostitution. From 1885 until her death, she had an on-and-off relationship with a dockworker, Michael Kidney. While described as "calm" and "sober", Liz was arrested several times for drunk and disorderly conduct and she and Michael were often at each other's throats.
Elizabeth Stride often told acquaintances that she'd lost her husband and two of her nine children in the sinking of the "Princess Alice" in 1878 and another survivor had kicked her in the mouth as they swam to safety, causing her to stammer. While Liz was missing the teeth in her lower left jaw, Thomas Stride actually had died of tuberculosis in 1884 and they had no children. This story was most likely to elicit sympathy and financial aid from others.
At 12:35 AM, Liz was seen speaking with a man in Dutfield's Yard, next to the International Working Men's Educational Club on Berner Street. At about 1 AM, Louis Diemshutz, the steward of the club, pulled into Dutfield's Yard with his pony and cart when the pony was startled by something in the darkness and refused to go farther.
Diemshutz dismounted the cart, knelt in front of his horse, and struck a match; he saw Liz Stride lying in the dirt with her throat cut and bleeding.
Beyond the throat wound, Liz had not been injured and her clothing was undisturbed, unlike Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman. Perhaps she was not a Ripper victim, perhaps the Ripper meant to go farther when the arrival of Diemschutz interrupted him. Having botched this killing, Jack had to flee. Leaving the East End and crossing into the City of London, he happened upon Mitre Square... and another victim, Catherine Eddowes.
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