Berner Street was the site of the third Jack the Ripper Murder, that of Elizabeth Stride on 30th September 1888. This was, probably, the most dramatic of the murders in that it was the only one in which he was very nearly court and it was the only one of the Jack the Ripper Murders that a witness may well have seen the early stages.
As part of our Jack the Ripper TV project we have made a short film of the Berner Street murder to show you what this particular location looks like today and what it looked like in 1888.
The film begins at Aldgate East Underground Station, the starting point for our nightly Jack the Ripper Tour. It is presented by Richard Jones who takes you from the Station and along Commercial Road to what is now Henriques Street but which, in 1888, was Berner Street.
Richard explains how, at around 112.45 am on 30th September 1888, Israel Shwartz was walking along Berner Street when he noticed a man attacking a woman in a gateway ahead of him.
Schwartz actually thought that he was witnessing a domestic dispute and, not wanting to get involved, he crossed over the road to avoid the couple. He was later adamant that the woman was Elizabeth Stride. Since her body was found in the yard to which the gateway led just fifteen minutes later, it is likely that what Shwartz in fact witnessed, was Elizabeth Stride’s murderer beginning his attack on his victim. So there is a good chance that Schwartz may have seen the face of Jack the Ripper.
Since, due to time constraints we don’t actually take in Berner Street on our Jack the Ripper Walk this video gives you the opportunity to see the site and learn how it featured in the Jack the Ripper story.