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OriginMichael Kidney was born c. 1852. He worked as a dock labourer, and lived in Commercial Street. He met Elizabeth Stride around 1885, and the pair lived together for most of the next three years, though their relationship was quite on-and-off. He also believed she was younger than she actually was, giving her age as between 36 and 38, and believed the story that her husband and some of her children had died in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames. His relationship with Stride was reportedly quite volatile, as she often went missing for long periods of time due to her drinking, which he claimed totalled about 5 months in the 3 years they spent together. It is probable that their relationship occasionally included violence, as in April of 1887 she charged him with assault. However, she failed to appear in court and the charges were dismissed. Shortly before the murder, in July of 1888 he was sent to prison for three days on charges of being drunk and disorderly, and using obscene language.
He last saw Stride on September 25th, 1888, five days before she died. He claimed they parted on good terms, and she seemed to be sober. He went to work and when he returned she was no longer there. He was not particularly concerned, as she often vanished, and he did not believe she was seeing another man because she liked him best. The day after her murder he got drunk and went to the police station on Leman Street, claiming that if he had been a police officer on the beat where her body was discovered he would have killed himself, and also that he would be able to catch the killer if he was given access to some men, who he would place strategically to catch Jack the Ripper in the act. He did not elaborate further, and had no other information to give. He identified her body in the morgue, and later appeared at the inquest where he testified about the last time he saw Stride.
In June of 1889 he was admitted to Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary to be treated for syphilis. He was admitted again in August for lumbago, and in October for dyspepsia. No further records exist of his life.
Murderer? Kidney has been proposed as a suspect in the murder of Stride. Some have suggested that Kidney killed Stride because of a drunken lover's quarrel, citing the marked differences between her murder and those of the other victims, most notably the lack of strangulation and of mutilation. It is then supposed that he simply allowed the murder to be lumped in with the other five. The differences between the murders are cited as the reason why he is not a suspect for the Ripper murders as a whole, since it wouldn't make sense for him to vary his modus operandi so wildly.