Catherine Eddowes was the daughter of a tinplate worker. She lived in London
in her youth, but returned to Wolverhampton
, the town where she was born, to seek employment. When she lost her job there she became involved with an ex-soldier, Thomas Conway, with whom she had three children. She left the family sometime around 1880 after taking to heavy drinking, and moved to a lodging house. There she met John Kelly
, a fruit seller with whom she would begin a relationship. Her daughter, Annie, got married around this point and made a great deal of effort to avoid her mother's attempts to scrounge off of her. During the season Eddowes and Kelly took work as hop pickers in Kent, returning to London on September 28th. She took a bed in a casual ward and met up with Kelly again the next day, telling him that she intended go get money from her daughter.
Like the other victims of Jack the Ripper
, Eddowes was known to be a casual prostitute, but unlike them she was not known to be engaging in such behaviour around the time of her murder. However, since she was so low on money at the time of her death, the chances that she solicited trade the night of her murder are fairly high.
Major Story Arcs
Catherine Eddowes was murdered on September 30th. At about 8:30 p.m. the night before she was found collapsed, drunk, on Aldgate High Street. She was brought by the police officers who found her to Bishopsgate station, where she gave the name "Nothing". She was placed into a cell, and checked on every half hour. She spent most of this time asleep, and was noted by wardens as smelling strongly of drink. She was released at 12:55, when it was determined that she was sober enough to take care of herself. As she left the jail she gave her name as Mary Ann Kelly, living at 6 Fashion Street. Rather than heading home, which she had implied to one of the wardens was her destination, she turned towards Aldgate again. She was not seen again for another thirty minutes until she was observed by three men to be standing in Church Passage, a walk that should have taken her only ten minutes from the police station. She was observed to be talking to a man. Her body was discovered at approximately 1:45 in Mitre Square. Her throat had been slit and her torso cut open. Her intestines had been removed and draped over one shoulder, with a two-foot section placed between her body and left arm. Her left kidney had been removed. She suffered extensive mutilation of her abdomen and thighs. As well, her face was severely mutilated, with the tip of her nose completely cut off. Part of one ear had been cut off as well. Catherine was buried on October 8th, 1888.
One of the Jack the Ripper letters, the "From Hell" letter, was sent to George Lusk and was accompanied by half of a kidney which was claimed by the letter to belong to Eddowes. It is unknown if the kidney was actually hers, though it was suggested by contemporaries that it had come from a sufferer of Bright's disease, which Eddowes was. Other contemporary sources argue the kidney would have been easy to obtain for any medical student. Nobody knows for sure if the kidney was in fact Catherine's