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Old October 12th, 2013, 02:50 PM   #1
Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
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Default Berner St: The couple

What are people's views on the couple who I understand were near the corner of Fairclough St and Berner St and who were reported in the press as being in the area for approximately 20 minutes while the murder of Stride was being committed yet heard nothing

How does their presence reflect on Schwartz' tale?
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Old October 12th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #2
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The couple was actually there much earlier, which is why they saw and heard nothing. I've provided complete details a number of times. The idea that they were there when the murder was committed came by way of hearsay from Fanny Mortimer, because it was thought the murder was committed around midnight or so, and when she spoke with the young woman outside the Dutield's Yard gate and learned she and her man had stood on that corner or a while, and walked up and down the street, she figured they must have been there when the murder was committed.

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Old October 12th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #3
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Many thanks Tom

I didn't realise some people (Mortimer?) considered the murder to have occurred nearer midnight

It appeared to me that there was a possibility of the couple being there from at least 12.40 onwards and then passing up Berner St and interacting with Mortimer nearer 1am
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Old October 12th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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From twelve o'clock till half-past a young girl who lives in the street walked up and down, and within twenty yards of where the body was found, with her sweetheart. "We heard nothing whatever," she told a reporter this morning. "I passed the gate of the yard a few minutes before twelve o'clock alone. The doors were open, and, so far as I could tell, there was nothing inside then." "I met my young man (she proceeded) at the top of the street, and then we went for a short walk along the Commercial-road and back again, and down Berner-street. No one passed us then, but just before we said "Good night" a man came along the Commercial-road; and went in the direction of Aldgate."
Echo, 1 Oct. 1888.


When the alarm of murder was raised a young girl had been standing in a bisecting thoroughfare not fifty yards from the spot where the body was found. She had, she said, been standing there for about twenty-minutes, talking with her sweetheart, but neither of them heard any unusual noises.

London Evening News, 1 Oct. 1888.

The second article suggests the 'couple' were still in Berner St. at 1:00 am - when the alarm was raised. The first article is not so definitive.
Hence, James Brown's claim to have seen, at 12:45 ...
"... a man and woman standing at the corner of the Board School."
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Old October 12th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #5
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You've omitted quite a bit of material, Wick, including the full interview with the girl. It all bears out what I've said.

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Tom Wescott
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Old October 12th, 2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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There is also the possibility that they were not paying attention to what was going on around them.
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Old October 12th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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Default couple

Hello Paul, Tom. I think we had another poster on Casebook who was related to the young lady.

Can't remember the thread, sadly.

Cheers.
LC
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Old October 12th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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That's interesting Lynn

I was just reassuring myself that there were no known witnesses to either confirm or dispute the statements of Israel Schwartz, though I understand there is a possibility Pipeman was traced (press report)
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Old October 12th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Hi all,

Yes, as Tom says, Fanny Mortimer described the couple being in the vicinity much earlier than when the murder was actually committed - by her own account she saw nothing of Schwartz or any of the other witnesses who were present in the street in the minutes leading up to the murder. Then again, IMO Fanny Mortimer is a useless witness in any case.

There's no doubt that there was at least one (possibly two, if James Brown's couple were different) other couple in the area within the hour of the murder, but just not in the right place at the right time. I can't imagine Berner Street being a romantic hot-spot but perhaps i'm mistaken!

James Brown was far from sure of the time at the point when he spotted the couple - we must remember that not everyone had the same access to timepieces in 1888 as we do now.

Highly unlikely that it would have been JTR and Liz anyway because I doubt Jack would stick around for that long with the one woman, at the risk of being seen by more people or something going wrong - and it either means that Schwartz was lying/mistaken, or he had left her alone for some unknown reason outside he IWMEC when Schwartz made his sighting.

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Old October 12th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #10
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Curiously, Swanson never mentions Brown in his HO report on the Stride murder.
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