Victim of Jack the Ripper. At the age of 47, she was the second of five confirmed Ripper victims. Most modern investigators and researchers believe that Jack the Ripper had more victims than the five confirmed ones. At five feet tall, overweight, with blue eyes and brown hair, she was known on the streets of East London as "Dark Annie." She had separated from her husband when she became addicted to alcohol. Her estranged husband was reported to be a coachman employed by a gentleman who lived in the upscale Royal Borough of Windsor. Her husband had no contact with his wife after their separation several years earlier, and until his death in December 1886, he had been sending her an allowance of 10 shillings a week. They had two children, both grown to adulthood and who wanted nothing to do with their alcoholic mother: a well-educated daughter living in France, and a son who was an inmate at the local Cripples Home. Life insurance did not exist in those days, so the death of her husband ended all money coming to her. After his death, Annie made some money selling crochet work and flowers on the streets of East London, where the less fortunate (i.e. poor) lived. She had been living in Spitalfields doss-houses, where a person could purchase a small room with a bed for eight pennies a night, payable daily. The evening of September 7, 1888, she went out in the early evening to earn the money to have a room for the night by prostituting herself (one of the few jobs available for poor women in those times), and was last seen alive about 2:00 am, drunk on the streets. At 6:00 am, Mrs. Harriet Hardiman, living at 29 Hanbury Street, heard a commotion in the yard of her house, and sent her son out to investigate. He discovered the body of Annie Chapman, who had apparently been murdered within the past hour. The killer had nearly severed her head from her body, and had mutilated her by cutting out her bowels, leaving them on the ground next to her body. The killer also stole the three cheap metal rings that she had been wearing. Police quickly determined that she was the victim of the same killer of Mary Ann Nichols, who had been murdered a week earlier (soon to be named by the press as Jack the Ripper). A few of her relatives who had shunned her in life, eventually appeared to claim her body and buried her at Manor Park Cemetery, about seven miles northeast of where she was murdered. Today, her grave no longer exists. She had been buried in a public grave (actually a communal grave) about twelve feet down, and the ground has since been reused. Cemetery records indicate that a large framed tribute to her was placed at the grave, which read "Within this Area lie the Mutilated Remains of Annie Chapman, who was interred here in Grave No. 78 on the 14th of September in the year 1888."
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson