For those who don’t know who he was, Louis Diemschutz was the steward of the International Workingmen’s Educational Club, which was located on Berner Street in the Victorian East End.
As well as his duties at the club, he was also a hawker of cheap jewelry, and, on Saturday the 29th of September 1888 he had gone down to south London to sell his offerings.
He returned to Berner Street at just before 1 a.m., where he turned his pony and costermonger’s barrow or cart into the gateway of Dutfield’s Yard, which was located alongside the club.
HE FOUND ELIZABETH STRIDE’S BODY
Almost immediately, his pony shied with alarm and pulled to the left. Something had disturbed it.
Jumping down, he lit a match to see what the problem was, and, he discovered the body of Elizabeth Stride, the woman who is now generally considered to have been the third victim of the killer we now know as Jack the Ripper.
HE IS NOW A JACK THE RIPPER SUSPECT
The above is the story as it has been told ever since that day back in 1888.
However, in recent years, far from being the innocent finder of the body of one of the Whitechapel murders victims, Louis Diemschutz has found his way onto the ever-growing list of suspects as the man who may well have carried out the murder, as well as the other murders.
THE PHONEY PONY STORY
The person who has placed Diemschutz on the list of suspects is American author and private investigator Randy Williams.
Randy refers to Louis Diemschutz’s account of what happened as he turned into Ditfield’s Yard, “the phoney pony story”, and he puts forward a compelling case to support his theory that involves anarchism in the East End of London, and the Russian aristocrat turned revolutionary by the name of Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (1842 – 1921).
WATCH MY YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH RANDY
In 2019, Randy paid a visit to London, and together we took a stroll around the streets of the East End, and, as we walked he outlined his theory to me which was, to say the least, intriguing.
We agreed that we would make a video on his theory the following year.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as Covid intervened and scuppered our planned schedule.
However, we didn’t lose touch, and recently I contacted Randy and suggest we discuss his theory by video link, and he agreed to do so.
You can now watch that video on the Jack the Ripper Suspects playlist on my YouTube channel.
AN INTERESTING THEORY
As you will see from the interview, Randy is passionate about his subject, and he presents his case against Diemschutz methodically and with an attention to detail that, no doubt, stems from his many years as a private investigator.
Whether you agree or disagree with what he has to say, his research does shine a spotlight on the political situation in London at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, as well as presenting a wider picture of what was going on in Berner Street in the months leading up to the murder of Elizabeth Stride, as well as what was happening there in the months and years that followed.