Born Eliza Ann Smith, she was married in 1869 to John Chapman, a coachman, had two daughters and a son (Emily Ruth, born 1870; Annie Georgina, born 1873; John Alfred, born 1880) with him, and they lived fairly comfortably for some time.
Life went awry when young John was born crippled. Then in 1882, Emily Ruth died of meningitis at age 12. Around this time, the couple began drinking heavily. About 1884, they separated.
Annie somehow fell to the slums of Whitechapel by 1886. John continued to send her 10 shillings a week until Christmas of 1886, when he died of cirrhosis. His death shattered Annie's will to live.
In her last days, Annie was a homeless alcoholic, living in lodging houses, selling flowers and crocheting and occasionally prostituting herself (despite her plain features, plump figure, and poor health) to get by.
Only 5 feet tall, plump, and never a classic beauty, at age 47 Annie Chapman was malnourished, a homeless streetwalker, and suffering from tuberculosis and brain diseases that would have killed her soon if Jack had not killed her.
At 1:35 AM on September 8, 1888, Annie was turned away from her lodging house since she had no money for a bed. She was last seen alive at 5:30 AM outside 29 Hanbury Street, negotiating with a man who was probably her killer. Half an hour later, her body was found in the backyard of the same house, inches from the back steps.
Her skirt was hiked to her groin and her legs pulled up and leaning outwards, implying coitus; her throat was cut to the bone, her stomach opened, her intestines pulled out and draped over her shoulder, and her uterus taken away.