The Truth About Lucky Liz

After studying the Ripper case for about a semester, I no longer feel that all 5 women generally accepted as the canonical victims were, in fact, murdered by the same hand. In particular, I find disparities between Liz Stride’s murder and the other four. I can accept the possibility of escalation and an increase of time and intensity with the other four murders, but Stride’s simply does not seem to fit. The proposal that the murderer was interrupted by a startled horse and forced to flee before he could finish mutilating the body does not correlate with the other murders. Most tellingly, it is difficult to accept that the murderer had time to kill Stride, cross Whitechapel to Mitre Square, find Catherine Eddowes, and murder her in the time frame allotted by witness accounts and police facts. Stride’s body was found around 1:00 AM and Eddowes was seen with a man by 1:35 AM and found murdered by 1:45. According to accounts, it takes about ten minutes to move from Dutfield’s Yard (where Stride was found) to Mitre Square (where Eddowes was found) at a brisk pace. This would mean that between the time of Stride’s murder and Eddowes’, the killer would have to allot ten minutes to travel, at least five or ten to find another victim, and then about five to ten minutes to kill her. While this may have been possible, it must also be taken into account that if the same person killed Stride and Eddowes, he would surely have had to avoid noticeable paths. The police had found Liz Stride’s body within about fifteen minutes of her death. The killer could only have gotten so far, and he had just been spooked by a horse—he was in no condition to be crafty. What is more, there was no sign that Stride had been strangled, a change in M.O. for the killer. Her lack of mutilation earned Stride the name “Lucky Liz”, but it seems more likely that she was just lucky not to be a victim of Jack the Ripper. Had her death occurred on a different night, she most likely would not even be associated with the case. Her murderer must have been the true lucky one for he was most likely not associated with the Ripper case and therefore lived the rest of his life in peace.

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