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Friday, 10 November 2017

Ethel Le Neve and her strange invitations.

Ethel Le Neve sent her dressmaker, Miss Hargreaves, a letter enclosing a £1 postal order and asked her to call on Friday July 8th to deliver a coat her dressmaker was finishing.

 . . . We are going to Bournemouth or Eastbourne for a holiday.

Signed ‘Ethel Crippen’.

The dressmaker couldn’t keep the Friday appointment and arrived on Saturday. Of course, Ethel wasn’t at home. Nothing peculiar about that in isolation. On Friday, July 8th, Ethel requested Lydia Rose, her friend, visit her on Sunday 10th July but Lydia received a letter postmarked July 9th.

Dear Lydia Rose

Do not come up tomorrow.
Am not feeling well.
Am going away for a few days

Loving wishes,

Ethel Le Neve sent a postcard to her brother Sidney on the morning she disappeared with Dr Crippen
The card read:

Dear Sid

Please come up to night and stay over Sunday or come up early tomorrow morning to dinner.
Love to all,

Sid arrived at Hilldrop Crescent on Saturday July 8th as requested and the French maid, Valentine Le Coq, handed him a note:

 . . . I am very sorry, but I have been called away.
Love to all,

Ethel is purposely inviting people to call at ‘that’ weekend. Was this some plea for help, or perhaps a cynical demonstration of her innocence? If it were the latter then it means Ethel Le Neve was aware of some ‘peculiarity’ either in Crippen’s character or of the events of January 31st – March 1st.
Anyway, the upshot of these missives were that Walter Neave, Ethel’s father, visited 39, Hilldrop Crescent on Sunday, 10th July accompanied by William Long, Dr Crippen’s long-standing employee, and prior to Inspector’s revisit to 39, Hilldrop Crescent on July 11th. Walter claimed to be looking for two pictures he owned and with William Long searched, or at least, visited each room.

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