Annie Chapman was the daughter of a soldier. She married her husband John Chapman in 1869 when she was 26. They had three children together, one of whom died in adolescence. Another was a cripple who was sent to a home to be cared for. Annie and John separated either in 1884 or 1885 for reasons that were never clearly given, but which were cited by the police as her drunken and immoral ways. Both she and her husband were noted to have a problem with drink, though she was never described as an alcoholic. Her husband supported her with weekly payments until his death in 1886. After his death Annie was noted by friends as being depressed and melancholy. Also in 1886 she was noted to be living in a common lodging house with a man whose name was given as John Sivvey, and who left her soon after her husband died.
It was only after her husband died that Chapman began to engage in prostitution. Prior to this she had been able to support herself on his weekly payments and selling flowers and crochet work. In May or June of 1888 she entered into a relationship with a bricklayer's mate, Edward Stanley
. He would frequently pay for her bed, and that of her friend Eliza Cooper
. Shortly before her death, Chapman and Cooper quarreled, the fight coming to blows and leaving Chapman with a black eye. The reason for the fight has never been suitably given. In the days leading up to her death Chapman told several different friends that she felt poorly and intended to check herself into an infirmary, though there are no records that she ever did so. It is possible that she simply went there to obtain medicine, as some was found in her room.
Major Story Arcs
Annie Chapman was murdered on September 8th, 1888. The night before, she was seen by her friend, Amelia Palmer, who inquired whether Chapman was off to solicit trade. Chapman replied that she was too ill to do so. Palmer left but returned shortly after to find Chapman in the same place. Chapman told her friend that she had to go out in order to get lodging money. At 11:30 she returned to the lodging house, and shortly after 12 had a drink in the kitchen with another lodger, who stated that Chapman seemed to already be fairly drunk. A few minutes later another lodger entered and saw her with medicine that she presumably obtained at the casual ward. She leaves shortly afterwards, and the men believe she has gone to bed. She returned to the lodging house at 1:35 a.m. and indicated that she didn't have the money for her bed but intended to soon. She asks that a bed be held for her and leaves again. At 4:45 a man enters the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street where Chapman would soon be found, and sees nothing out of the ordinary. Chapman herself isn't seen again until 5:30 when she is seen talking to a man, presumably a client, in front of 29 Hanbury Street. A few minutes later a man passing by the yard hears a woman cry out and something fall against the 5 foot tall fence. Her body was found shortly before 6 a.m. Her throat had been slit, and her abdomen cut open. Her intestines had been removed from her torso and arranged around her shoulders. Several organs had been completely removed. It has been suggested that some of her wounds, especially her swollen face and tongue, were indicative of suffocation. She was buried on September 14th.