Victorian Fallen Angel
Meaning of the Rose over Lizzie's Heart
Quoting from Dead Move: "Mrs. Elizabeth Wyllie, having learned the description of the (young) woman found dead in Coronado, sobbed inconsolably, and repeatedly cried out: 'It is my Lizzie, it is my Lizzie. Oh what is to become of me now?'
"The halls of the Hotel del Coronado are haunted as much by a loving mother's heart-rending cries, as by the ghost of a sweet and naive young woman cut down in the flower of life. This very Victorian story leaves sentimental echoes in Coronado's balmy air, like a fading bloom of long-ago roses."
Note: About the time of Lizzie's disappearance from Detroit, but before the body was found in California, an unidentified man visited Lizzie's stalwart and loving sister May in Detroit. The mysterious visitor told May he was leaving for the West Coast, saying: "I will be picking roses in California while your feet at freezing in Detroit." Many theorized at the time that he was the man who 'ruined' Lizzie, John Longfield. That is one of many details in this story that was false. Whoever he was, he was a regular visitor to May, a Platonic friend and nothing more. He had nothing to do with the disappearance of Lizzie and John Longfield, the man who 'ruined' her (in Victorian parlance). The rose motif does describe a beautiful, true vision of Southern California, and no doubt part of poor young Lizzie's final dreams.