No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 29, 2022

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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Fifteen-year-old Jody Randall of Long Beach, California, was in most ways a typical suburban teenager.  The one thing that set her apart was a passion for antiques which was unusual for someone of her youth.  As a result of spending all her available free time (and her parents’ money) on her hobby, she eventually amassed some impressive pieces, including a doll collection noteworthy enough to
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Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
Working as a domestic servant in 19th century New York City had plenty of challenges. Sure, servants received room and board in addition to their wages, and they usually had at least Sunday afternoon off. But living in another family’s home was isolating and lonely—particularly if you didn’t speak English or weren’t accustomed to urban […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/28/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
Museum of the City of New YorkWilliam Howe and Abraham Hummel were the most successful criminal lawyers in Gilded Age New York. With a combination of skill, showmanship, and unethical practices, they defended most of the city’s significant criminals and many of its murderers. Whether they won or lost, Howe and Hummel made every trial sensational. Here are a few of the many accused murderers
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/26/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
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.