On September 8, 1888, Annie Chapman, also known as "Dark Annie," was found at 29 Hanbury Street, murdered and mutilated, one of the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper. In life she had worked as a prostitute to make ends meet after the death of her husband. She was given to spending much of what she made on drink and only the last few pence on a room for the night. On the night of her murder, in need of the money for a bed, she had attempted to solicit a client, possibly from the nearby Ten Bells Pub (which is still in existence today) and may well have chosen the wrong man. She was 47 years old and ailing. She might not have lived much longer anyway, due to the state of her health, but her life was cut brutally short by London's most notorious serial killer.
The Town Pants, a Canadian band with an Irish sound, chose Annie Chapman as the subject of one of their songs. I wrote to them to ask if I could use this song as the background for this photo story, and they very graciously granted me permission to do so. "Dark Annie" can be downloaded from iTunes, along with their other great songs. One of the things I like about this band, aside from the fact that their music is just fun to listen to, is that they choose such unusual subject matter. In addition to this song about Jack the Ripper, there are "Hell's Kitchen," about Typhoid Mary; "Mr. Valentine's Dead," about a man who loves to party so much he can't bring himself to leave his own wake; "Rum Runner," about a woman who is waiting for her captain to come back, but also making alternate plans just in case; and "Unidentified Friend," about a man whose life is changed dramatically -- or maybe not -- when his picture appears in the paper next to a beautiful celebrity, to name a few. And you have to love a band with this line in one of their songs: "I got plastered in Paris!"
This photo story is in wmv format, 8.88 MB, and runs for 5:01 minutes.