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John T. Cullen's two books about the ghost at the Hotel del Coronado, and the 1892 crime that created her legend.Lottiepedia

Lizzie's Hankies Were In Room 302 and in Los Angeles

Hankies at the Inquest, 30 November 1892. As we piece together the many little details in this fragmented, puzzling mosaic, the tiniest details often make the largest dent in a long-cold case like that of the Beautiful Stranger. Among the many details confirming that it was Lizzie who occupied Room 302 as the Beautiful Stranger (Mrs. Lottie A. Bernard), and Lizzie who therefore died of a gunshot wound, are the worn, embroidered hankies found in both Coronado and Los Angeles. One set was held up in evidence at the coroner's inquest in San Diego.

More Hankies in Los Angeles. When police in Los Angeles took custody of a trunk left by Katie Logan (another alias, which could only have belonged to Lizzie, not to Kate Morgan as usually thought), they found a collection of items in the trunk (separate entry TBD). The trunk itself belonged to Kate Morgan, as the known contents demonstrate. A few items belonging to Lizzie were in it as well, forming an important link between the two women. These items included another set of hankies with the name Louisa Anderson embroidered on them.   TOP

Asst. Coroner Questions Stetson. At the hastily convened inquest, the Coroner asks Deputy Coroner Stetson, who had led the team retrieving her body from the Hotel del Coronado the day before. Stetson had done a perfunctory investigation, including collecting and cataloguing the items in her room. These included some notes, of which we will speak at length, and some hankies. As recorded in the transcript, the Coroner asks Stetson: "What is the name [note: embroidered] on the handkerchiefs?" Stetson replies: "Little, I think it is. I cannot quite make it out, but the last name is Anderson." Duh—have we been struck on the head by the mallet of sudden insight? A distraught Lottie (Lizzie) had been asking regularly at the desk about a nonexistent Dr. Anderson, code for someone else (John Longfield), so the name Anderson meant something important to Lizzie. After a big fight with her mother in Detroit, Lizzie first fled to see Aunt Louisa Anderson in Grand Rapids, her mother's sister. As to the hankies in Room 302 at the Hotel del Coronado, it is disingenuous to imagine that the hankies were actually embroidered 'Little Anderson'. A moment of reflection shows that the worn, blurry letters that looked like Little actually read Lizzie when they had been fresh. In the typical Gothic or similar script of the era, where letters z were crossed like letters t, the two letters z in Lizzie could easily be mistaken for letters t, especially given the worn and therefore aged condition of the handkerchiefs. The final letter i in Lizzie, likewise, could easily be mistaken for a letter l.So we have Louisa Anderson's hankies in the trunk in Los Angeles, and Lizzie Anderson's handkerchiefs in Room 302 at the Hotel del Coronado. What to make of this?   TOP

Connections all point to Lizzie as the Beautiful Stranger. Had the hankies actually been made for Lizzie, they might have said Lizzie Wyllie (from her mother's married name). In fact, there is reason to think Mrs. Wyllie was the widow of a sugar baker named Wyllie who had a shop in a nearby Detroit street. Mrs. Wyllie's maiden name appears to have been Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Anderson, if her sister Louisa was a spinster or for some other reason still bore her maiden name. If this is true (strong conjecture) then most likely, when Lizzie the Elder and Louisa were young, they were each given a gift set of embroidered hankies. Now we can imagine the bath of tears that poor, ruined Lizzie trailed from Detroit to Grand Rapids. Somehow, perhaps from a sympathetic Aunt Louisa, she obtained one or both sets of hankies to stifle her many tears, or perhaps even her mother's old set.   TOP

Lizzie Had To Be The Beautiful Stranger. These hankies are not the only reasons for supposing that Lottie Anderson Bernard (note the middle name again) was teh same as Katie Logan (the domestic in Los Angeles) and the Beautiful Stranger who died at the Hotel del Coronado. We also discuss, separately, the notes the Beautiful Stranger left in Room 302 with her hankies, as well as the contents and nature of several trunks involved in Kate Morgan's scheme.   TOP