We're never going to solve the mystery of why Liz was there or who she was going to meet. Virtually nothing concrete is known about her life or the people she spent time with, beyond Michael Kidney. In this instance, it's pretty much irrelevant. We can either assuming that both murders that occurred on the night of the double event were not premeditated, but opportunistic, or that Liz's murder was not committed by the Ripper at all. I'm proposing that it may have been committed by someone working with the Ripper as a distraction while he killed somewhere else.
I think the idea of these two murders being unconnected is improbable.
However it is not improbable they could have been commuted by a different murderer.
If the cry went up from Berner Street "The Ripper's struck again" and Jack is out having a quiet pint, he finished his pint leaves the pub and while the police are running in the opposite direction he finds a woman walking alone, still a bit worse for drink and they agree to some business in a dark corner of mitre square.
Two murders, by different hands, but the later inspired by the former.
My opinion is all I have to offer here,
The mistake is to assume that the choice of Eddowes was anything other than a random act. The fact that she was incarcerated until 1 am is immaterial. Both Eddowes and Stride were random victims, but the idea may have been to cause a distraction in one part of town while a killing went on somewhere else. 45 mins is a perfect window of time for that. By the time Stride was discovered, the Ripper was busy with Eddowes.
Furthermore, even if it was not her original intention to solicit that night we have no way of knowing what her response would be if approached by Jack with an offer of a few extra dollars for her services. So even if we could deduce her mindset and intentions at the start of the evening it simply does not follow that they would have remained the same throughout the evening.
Liz was not solicitating that night. You don't spend hours with the same man (peaked cap man) wandering about, playing coy and buying stuff with him if your actively solicitating. that she wasn't actively prostituting herself is why she probably didn't get mutilated as she wasn't going to the first dark corner with her man. She just broke up with kidney, and was worried about her looks, so she was probably out looking for her next boyfriend and or out for a good time.
and as for the idea that her murder was somehow an intentional distraction for another murder-well that's only slightly more far fetched than a copy cat theory.
__________________ "Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?"
-Edgar Allan Poe
"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."
-Frederick G. Abberline
I fear this is a case of pot calling the kettle black. We know nothing about what Liz was really doing - every sighting of her that night is unconfirmed. There is no absolute way to know if she 'spent hours with the same man wandering about'. There is also no absolute way of knowing if she was soliciting, or who she was meeting. Not a single shred of anything said by the so-called witnesses is verifiable. We don't even have the transcripts of the actual coroner's inquest, only newspaper reports which have been edited and reprinted. There is a vital difference between newspapers and the actual documents when it comes to reliability of source material. That's why we're never going to solve these murders. Period.
However I do believe you're correct about her being out looking for a new boyfriend. That would make sense. The last time Liz was actually recorded as soliciting was in 1884, 4 years earlier. She may not have still been soliciting in 1888.
You are only describing the first part of the evening. We have no way of knowing her circumstances later that night. What if her and her "beau" had a fight and her time with him ended prematurely? She was a poor woman with a drinking habit who had just broken up with Kidney. My point is that we have no way of knowing her response if approached by Jack at the end of the night so whether or not she was actively soliciting need not be a consideration.
P.S. Not to be a jerk but it is "soliciting" not "solicitating".
I think it's very material, as there was no guarantee she'd be let out of the cells. If she hadn't woken up from her drunken slumbers, she'd probably have lived to a ripe old age.
I think if I recall correctly Sam that the City was using a Policy that dictated release of the Drunk and Disorderly as soon as they sobered up, rather than using the Met policy of holding them all night automatically.