No. 521
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 10, 2021

A Man under Her Bed.

Had Miss Baker looked under the bed before making her toilet she would have postponed it.
September 26, 2016
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Margery WrenUnder normal circumstances, one would expect that anyone who knew they were about to die as the result of a brutal attack would spend every bit of their remaining strength towards bring their murderer to justice.  However, the following case proved to be very far from normal.  An old woman’s murder, which, at first, seemed fairly simple and straightforward, soon took a puzzling turn
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Strange Company - 5/10/2021

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"Your Aunt Emmie Lu died"Artifact #84-LetterJeff Smith Collection     mma Lu "Emmie" Smith(Abt. 1867 - May 3, 1915)   My great-grandaunt, Emma Lu Smith, the oldest sister of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, was born in Coweta County, Georgia around 1867. She was ten years old when her mother passed away in Round Rock, Texas in 1877.(l to r) Emma Lu, Maurice Gregory Moriarty, Eva
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/4/2021

A few weeks ago, Ephemeral New York put together a post about the former Czech neighborhood once centered around 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues on the Upper East Side. The post generated many comments, with readers either reminiscing about a vanished enclave they remember well or wishing Manhattan still had pockets of ethnic […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/9/2021
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
8-year-old Alice Sterling disappeared from the steps in front of her father’s Boston barbershop the afternoon of April 10, 1895. The three-day search for Alice ended at a shallow grave in the floor of a nearby barn. Angus Gilbert, a friend of the Sterling family especially fond of little Alice, lived in a room above the barn. Gilbert was charged with her
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/8/2021

With the advent of AI imaging now found on My Heritage and elsewhere, and free programs which will colorize old photographs, clearer details are being revealed every day. In this famous crime scene photograph of Abby Borden, the bed was removed so that Mr. Walsh, the hired photographer, could get a full body view of Abby Borden. With new techniques in cleaning up old photos, colorizing them and sharpening the details, now the sewing machine in the northwest corner of the room comes into sharper view as well as the tapestry folding camp chair. The two perfume bottles on the dresser, a vase and a framed photo can be readily seen as well as Mr. Walsh’s camera in the mirror as it stands in the doorway. The colorizing method also tinted the carpet maroon, which indeed was the color of the carpet in the guest room. But most astonishing is the dark pool of bloodstain around the head of Abby Borden which, with amplifying the contrast, shows very plainly. The bureau wood tone and burled wood panels appear clearly as well as the drawer pulls. The pattern on the carpet is somewhat distorted and elongated but the pattern is very plain to see. You can even see where the carpet has been patched in against the right wall. The sewing machine still has its cover in place which would hint at Abby never living long enough to run up those pillowcases and you can see her sewing basket on the bureau opened up. The folding camp chair has been moved from above her head, leaning against the wall to its position in this photo. Abby Borden herself was moved at least once before this photo was taken, Dr. Bowen having turned her over after the body was found around 11:35 a.m. This is a sample of a 1890 Singer machine with the cover which closely matches the one we see in this photo.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/6/2021
[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
Another Steamboat Disaster. | A Triangular Fight.

A Man under Her Bed.

A Man Under Her Bed

Had Miss Baker looked under the bed before making her toilet she would have postponed it. [more]

About two weeks ago a smooth-faced young man, who said he was Harold McLaughlin of Philadelphia applied to a Nathial Horner, this city, for a room. McLaughlin had only been in the house a short time when the other borders began to complain that articles of value were missing from their rooms. Mr. Horner also discovered that $50 had been extracted from a roll of bills which he kept in his trunk. The other afternoon Miss Baker, who is also a border at 151, had a little experience.

“I went up to my room about 4 o’clock,” Miss Baker said, “and was surprised to find my door, which is furnished with a Yale lock, fastened, as I generally leave it open when I go out. I did not notice anything out of order in the room, and proceeded to take a sponge bath and make my toilet, which took me nearly an hour. Then I lay down on the lounge to get a few minutes rest before dinner. The lounge is in such a position that I could see under my bed and something there attracted my attention. I wasted just long enough to see that there was a pair of feet clad in black stockings. I also caught a glimpse of a white shirt sleeve. These thing shad never been under my bed before, and they frightened me. I rushed into the hall and called for Mr. Horner. As I left my room some one ran past me an up stairs. I grew very faint and—well, that’s all I can tell about it.

Mr. Horner said: “McLaughlin, whose father is a conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad, came to me about two weeks ago and wanted a room. He said he was going to work for Lippincott & Co. He seemed to be a nice young man, and for a while I didn’t suspect anything wrong of him. Then things in the house began to be missed. One gentleman lost a diamond pin, and another a pair of field glasses, and some one stole $50 form my trunk. I noticed that my new boarder spent most of the day about the house, but we had no proof against him. The other night, though, we got him when Miss Baker arn into the hall and called out that there was a man under her bed, and then he fled. I went up to McLaughlin’s room and found him in his shirt sleeves and stocking feet, lying on the bed. I found a pin belonging to Miss Baker under his mattress. The detective found the other articles in a pawnshop, but I lost my $50. McLaughlin confessed that he had taken the things. I have written to his father. I guess the young man will be locked up for a long time. I hope so, anyway.”

McLaughlin, who is 17 years old, was arraigned at Jefferson Market Police Court, and Justice Ryan held him for examination.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 5, 1892.