The Forgotten Lives Of Jack The Ripper’s Victims


Annie Chapman

Annie Chapman

Wikimedia CommonsAnnie Chapman, 1869.

Annie Chapman didn’t always lead a hard life. She lived for some time with her husband, John, a coachman, in West London.

After the couple had children, however, her life began to unravel: Her son, John, was born disabled, and her youngest daughter, Emily, died of meningitis. She and her husband both began to drink heavily, and eventually separated in 1884.

After the separation, Chapman moved to Whitechapel to live with another man. While she still received ten shillings per week from her husband, she sometimes worked as prostitute to supplement her income.

When her husband died from alcohol abuse, that money stopped, and according to her friends, Chapman “seemed to have given away all together.” A week before she died, Chapman got into a fistfight with another woman over an unreturned bar of soap.

On September 8, 1888, the night of her death, Chapman drank a pint of beer at the lodging house where she had been staying, but — as with Nichols — she didn’t have the money for her bed that night. Chapman asked the house’s deputy to hold a bed for her as she planned to go out and try to earn the money. She never returned.

The next morning, a man named John Davis found Chapman’s body in the doorway of his house. Her throat had been cut and she had been disemboweled: Chapman’s uterus and part of her bladder had been removed from her body, and intestines lay on the ground next to her.

Police determined that she died of asphyxiation and that the killer mutilated her after she died.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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