Israel Schwartz

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Israel Schwartz was a Hungarian, apparently of Jewish descent, who in 1888 claimed to have witnessed an assault on a London woman that is believed to be tied to the Jack the Ripper slayings.

Schwartz told police that, shortly after midnight on September 30, he was walking down a street when he saw a man stop and speak to a woman who was standing in a gateway. Schwartz stated that the man then threw the woman to the ground. Schwartz crossed the street and began walking away when the attacker saw him; the attacker called out the name "Lipski" — apparently an anti-Semitic insult related to Israel Lipski's murder of a woman the year before. Schwartz reported seeing a man smoking a pipe nearby at the time, and this man started walking towards Schwartz, possibly following him. Schwartz ran away.

Shortly after the time that Schwartz claimed this incident had happened, the body of Elizabeth Stride was found in the same location; that same day Schwartz identified Stride's body as that of the woman he had seen attacked and gave testimony to the police about what he had seen.[1] He was able to give descriptions of both men but was unable to say whether they knew each other or had been working together.

Several years after the crimes, Commissioner Robert Anderson claimed in his autobiography The Lighter Side of My Official Life that the Ripper had been identified by "the only person who ever had a good view of the murderer." Chief Inspector Donald Swanson, in marginalia found in his personal copy of Anderson's book, stated that the witness in question was Jewish. Some Ripperologists have concluded that Schwartz was most likely the man being referred to, although a number of other people, primarily Joseph Lawende, have also been suggested.


  1. ^ "Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Interpreting Lipski".

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