Jack the Ripper - DARK ANNIE

This image depicts the back side of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, where Annie Chapman's body was found on the morning of September 8, 1888.  PD


At the end of the 19th century, many poor people rented beds for the night at communal lodging establishments called "doss houses."

Rental payments for the bed (the "doss") were usually owed in advance. Whitechapel had more than its share of such places. (Jack London’s description of doss houses, in The People of the Abyss, spares few words.)

Annie Chapman (called "Dark Annie" by her friends) was 47 years old on September 8, 1888. Homeless and ill, she had little means of support after her estranged husband’s death two years earlier. What little money she had came from selling matches, flowers and her body.

Turned out of her lodging house during the early hours of September 8th, Annie took to the streets to earn enough money to buy a doss for the night. She never made it back to her straw bed, however. Jack the Ripper ended her life several hundred yards away.

Dark Annie's body was found the next morning in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. Once again, no one had heard any sounds of a struggle. The coroner convened a hearing into the cause of death.

The jury viewed the corpse at the mortuary in Montague-street, but all evidences of the outrage to which the deceased had been subjected were concealed.

Even though the second murder occurred in a different jurisdiction (Spitalfields), Inspector Abberline was assigned to work on the case. Everyone agreed Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman had been killed by the same man. (Follow the link to hear another audio clip from the BBC broadcast. Start the play at about 13:50 and stop it at 15:15.)

There is one more important fact to keep in mind. At the time, medical experts believed that Dark Annie had been killed by someone with anatomical knowledge.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jul 21, 2019

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"DARK ANNIE" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2001. Dec 07, 2019.
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