No. 522
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 17, 2021

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious swee
June 11, 2018
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The following tale comes from that classic collection of mostly first-hand accounts of supernatural encounters, "Lord Halifax's Ghost Book."  It was related to Lord Halifax in 1920 by his nephew, Charles Dundas.  Dundas had recently heard the tale from a renowned Royal Air Force pilot named Edward Villiers.  (Later Sir Edward Villiers.)  It is one of the briefest stories in the "Ghost Book," but
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Strange Company - 5/17/2021

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LOOK OUT FOR "SOAPY" SMITHSt. Louis DispatchSeptember 23, 1897(Click image to enlarge) e reported himself in good health and money."   New information showing that Soapy Smith did go to St. Louis to check up on his ailing wife, Mary, after leaving Skagway.  Below is the transcription of the article from the St. Louis Dispatch, September 23, 1897. LOOK OUT FOR “SOAPY” SMITH ― The Smooth Man
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/11/2021

Born in 1870 and completed 13 years later (at a cost of $15 million and with more than 20 worker deaths), the Brooklyn Bridge is marking its 138th birthday this week. What better way to honor an icon than with a brilliant lithograph produced by a Pearl Street publisher depicting the fireworks, ship parade, and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/17/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
The crack of gunfire startled the residents of 88 Merrimack Street, a boarding house in Lowell, Massachusetts, around 10:00, the night of  August 31, 1876. The boarders rushed to Lulu Martin’s room on the third floor, where the shot was fired. The door was locked; they heard a man inside shouting, “Go for the police! She has shot me! I will hold her! Break open the door!”A group of men broke in
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/15/2021

Along with Bertie Whitehead, Abby’s half-sister, May 13th was also the birthday of Helen Craig, famous stage actress best-remembered for Johnny Belinda. Helen Craig, who played Abby in The Legend of Lizzie Borden was born May 13, 1912, a month after Titanic sank. Helen Craig was not a great beauty by Hollywood standards, but a very fine actress. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185871/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Her portrayal of Abby Borden as a mean, greedy glutton, more than any other thing, has affected the way most people think of Abby Borden. Sadly it was not an accurate portrayal. Helen did some television in her later career, most notably The Waltons. She died in New York City in 1986. She was married to stage and film actor John Beal who played Dr. Bowen in Legend of Lizzie Borden. They are seen together in the publicity photo below.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/13/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Spoiled the Chappies’ Fun. | June.

Caught Wifie Dead to Rights.

Caught Wife

She was perched upon the knee of her gentleman friend at Saginaw, Mich., enjoying her delicious sweetness of mingled champagne and kisses. [more]

The usually quiet neighborhood in the vicinity of Union Park on Bond Street, Saginaw, Mich., is all torn up over the rumors which are being lisped about to the effect that an indulgent husband came home very unexpectedly one afternoon several days since and discovered his pretty wife entertaining a gentlemen friend of the family in her bedroom. The sight knocked the wind out of the poor man’s sails completely, for he never dreamed that his little wife was other that the personification of virtue. When he opened the door leading to his wife’s bed-chamber the guilty couple did not discover him at first. They sat with their backs to the wronged husband, the naughty wife perched closely upon the knee of the alleged friend of the family. Two bottles of champagne were on a table close by. There was no blood shed. The husband is not the man to fly to weapons, he prefers the divorce courts, and it is dollars to doughnuts that he will file a bill of separation. The “friend of the family” attempted all sorts of apologies, but the wronged husband turned him from the house in a rage and went straightway to his wife and informed her of her liege lord’s conduct. The news was a blow to the wife, who had always been complimented throughout the neighborhood for being blessed with such a model husband.

Since the unpleasant affair occurred all parties concerned have done all in their power to keep it a profound secret but like all other bits of rich scandal, the gossips have got hold of it and every woman in the neighborhood is eying the naught y wife with suspicion. She is such a ladylike little person that, even yet, her most intimate friends are prone to find her not guilty.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, September 1896.