An Attack In Berner Street

At 12.45 on the morning of Sunday, September the 30th, 1888, Israel Schwartz turned off Commercial Road, and began walking along Berner Street.

Ahead of him was a broad shouldered man.

A little ay along Berner Street, Schwartz saw a woman who was standing at the gateway into Dutfield’s Yard, a narrow turning off Berner Street.

As the man came up to the woman, Schwartz saw him stop and approach her.


The man suddenly seized hold of the woman and tried to push or pull her into the gateway of Duffield’s Yard.

When she resisted, he spun her around, threw her to the ground, and began to attack her.


Schwartz presumed that what he was seeing was a domestic argument, and, since he didn’t want to get dragged into it, he crossed over Berner Street to avoid the couple.

As he did so, he noticed another man who was standing outside a beer house lighting his pipe.

At this point one of the two men shouted out “Lipski.

Schwartz wasn’t 100% certain as to which of the two men had actually uttered it, although he felt that it was probably the broad shouldered man who was, at that moment, attacking the woman.


However, the man who was lighting his pipe – who researchers now often refer to as “pipe man” – then started to walk in the direction that Schwartz was heading in, causing Schwartz to think that the man was, in fact, following him.

Quickening his pace, Israel Schwartz was quite relieved when, looking back, he saw, to his immense relief, that the man was no longer behind him.

A view of Berner Street where Elizabeth Stride, the third Jack the Ripper victim, was murdered.
Berner Street


Fifteen minutes after Israel Schwartz’s encounter on Berner Street, Louis Diemschutz returned to Dutfield’s Yard, and, on turning his pony and costermongers barrow into the yard. was surpised when the pony shied and pulled to the left.

Looking into the darkness, Diemschutz saw something lying on the ground.

Reaching out with his whip, he tried to lift it, but when he couldn’t, he jumped down and struck a match.

By its flickering light he saw that the object was, in fact, the body of a woman.

He had discovered the body of Elizabeth Stride.


Israel Schwartz would later be taken to the mortuary where he was shown the body of Elizabeth Stride, whom he identified as the woman he had seen being attacked in the gateway.

For two brutal attacks to be carried out on the same woman in the same gateway in the space of fifteen minutes just seems like too much of a coincidence, so there is a consensus that what Schwartz witnessed was the early stages of the murder of Elizabeth Stride.