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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Ethel Le Neve. Photographs taken between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on Saturday, 9th July, 1910.

Photographs of Ethel Le Neve, taken in 39, Hilldrop Crescent between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on Saturday, 9th July, 1910. I've often seen these portraits and the captions read 'aboard Montrose'. Looking more closely, it became obvious that these portraits were taken inside a room. There is an image, though faint, of a skirting board to Ethel Le Neve's left. Dr Crippen was fond of photography and owned a Kodak camera. I have no doubt these images were taken in Hilldrop Crescent. A souvenir of the beginning of their escapade. William Long entered the semi-detached house in the evening after he received a letter from Dr Crippen posted at 4.15 p.m.

William Long, Dr Crippen's employee:
Between 9.15 and 9.30 a.m. on July 9 of this year when I arrived he was there. I asked him if there was any trouble, and he said,  "Only a little scandal." He gave me a list of things to buy, and I bought the articles produced—a boy's brown tweed suit, a brown felt hat, two shirts, two collars, a tie, and a pair of boots—all for a boy. I took them to the back room on the third floor of the Yale Tooth Specialists, and prisoner told me to take them to another room of the company on the fourth floor, and I did so. I saw Miss Le Neve about 11 o'clock that morning. She was wearing a hat, but I could not describe it. I saw her for the last time that day at 11.30 a.m. and prisoner at 1 p.m.  I did not know that he was going to leave. On the evening of July 9 I got this letter from him; the time of posting is 4.15 p.m.:

'Dear Mr. Long, Will you do me the great favour of Winding up as best you can my household affairs. There is £12 10s. due to my landlord and the past quarter's rent, and there will be also this quarter's rent.  The total due to him is £25, in lieu of which he can seize the contents of the house. I cannot manage about the girl. She will have to get back to Paris. She should have sufficient saved from her wages to do this. After the girl leaves kindly send the keys with a note explaining to the landlord. Thanking you in anticipation of fulfilling my wishes, I am, with best wishes for your future success and happiness, your faithfully, H. H. Crippen.'
The letter enclosed a key, and with it I went the same evening to Hilldrop Crescent and took possession of the goods there.


Enhanced images showing a fireplace, skirting board and wallpaper.

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