132 years ago tonight, Jack the Ripper murdered 47 year-old Annie Chapman here, in the rear yard of what was number 29 Hanbury Street in Spitalfields. The original building, along with the rest of the block, was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Truman Brewery car park, but what is now number 29 still stands in the same place.
The murder, essentially, took place about thirty feet behind that black door. Her body was discovered, at six in the morning, by a man who lived on the top floor of the house. She had been heavily mutilated, with her throat cut violently, and the objects from inside her pockets had been arranged neatly and deliberately by her feet. She lay posed on her back, with her head turned to the right and her eyes wide open. Her clothes had been pulled up chest-high, her underwear was missing and her legs were wide apart.
The killer had pulled her intestines from inside her, placed them across her right shoulder, and then smeared the blood across her thighs and her face. The knife wounds to her throat were severe; her spinal column had been severed, along with both carotid arteries, and there were knife marks on her spine, leading investigators to state that he had attempted to behead her. He had then placed her left hand onto her chest, cut out and removed part of her bladder, and walked back through the house to leave through the front door here.
Seventeen people were living in the house at the time, and many had been getting ready for work at the time the murder took place. The sun was already rising, and the building's only water tap stood by the only toilet, which was an outhouse in the yard. Had anyone opened the back door as he was committing his crime they would have trapped him in the yard, fenced-in on every side, and blocked his only escape route through the house. He was also extremely lucky that nobody saw him leave. This was the murder that made him a serial killer, and after the death of Annie Chapman it would be three weeks before he would appear again.