8 June 1889
The True story of One of the Murdered Women
In his speech at the Presbyterian synod, says the Pall Mall Gazette, the Rev. John
MacNeill created a sensation by telling the following tale:
He was speaking of temperance and said that last Sunday, when he preached a temperance sermon at the tabernacle, he received a letter from a lady on the danger of the use at communion of unfermented wine.
The lady in her letter told a sad story of an inherited passion for drink. There were four or five of them - several brothers and two sisters - the children of intemperate parents. Her sister had unfortunately inherited the craving, and before she was fourteen had taken to drink. The others became converted and did all in their power to cure the sister, but it was of no use.
The sister at length married comfortably and children were born. But the craving for drink grew greater, and at length she was sent to a home for inebriates where she staid (sic) for a year. She left apparently, said the sister, a changed woman. Soon after, however, her husband caught a severe cold and before going out one morning drank a glass of hot whiskey, taking care, however, not to do so in the presence of his wife. Then, as was his custom, before leaving he kissed his wife. At once the fumes of the alcohol passed into her, and in an hour she was a drunk and roaring woman. She went from worse to worse, and at last left her husband and her children, one of them a cripple through her drunkenness. The husband died two years ago, a white-haired and broken-hearted man, though only forty-five years old.
"Need I add," said the sister in her letter, "what became of her? Her story is that of Annie Chapman, one of the recent Whitechapel victims. That was my sister!"