No. 650
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 18, 2024

A Bold Robbery.

A Faro Dealer Despoiled at a Pistol's Point—A Stranger Loses One Dollar and Goes Away With $200, Which He Wishes Treated as a Loan.
July 28, 2021
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Tag: Crime

What it is Coming to in Chicago.

3/24/2014

Mother Mandelbaum's Secrets.

4/23/2013

Beauty as a Shield.

Beauty Conquers avarice and outlawry "We won't rob this house to-night."

7/24/2012

Allan Pinkerton.

The Eye that Never Sleeps.

3/27/2012

Hospital Horrors.

3/20/2012

Inspector Thomas F. Byrnes.

3/4/2012

Driven by Delusion

Henry Goodwin entered the office of his partner, Albert Swan, pulled out a revolver and shot him.

11/14/2011

Whipped By Women

11/8/2011

Whipped By Women

11/8/2011

Anxious For a Funeral

10/23/2011

Trixie Got the Best of It.

Two Little Gem Theatre, Buffalo, N. Y., Soubrettes have a scrap on account of a man.

10/8/2011

The Astor Place Riot

8/15/2011

The Swindling Beggar

7/11/2011
Via Newspapers.comAs I believe I’ve mentioned before, I have a particular fondness for obscure, unimportant, but intriguing little mysteries.  One such example appeared in the “London Morning Chronicle,” April 21, 1809:Nevis, Feb. 7, 1809.“Dear Sir,"I beg leave to mention the following circumstances, and leave to your better judgment the propriety of making the same public.-- "About a
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Strange Company - 4/17/2024
Included in yesterday’s trip to Fall River was a stop at Miss Lizzie’s Coffee shop and a visit to the cellar to see the scene of the tragic demise of the second Mrs. Lawdwick Borden and two of the three little children in 1848. I have been writing about this sad tale since 2010 and had made a previous trip to the cellar some years ago but was unable to get to the spot where the incident occured to get a clear photograph.  The tale of Eliza Borden is a very sad, but not uncommon story of post partum depression with a heartrending end. You feel this as you stand in the dark space behind the chimney where Eliza ended her life with a straight razor after dropping 6 month old Holder and his 3 year old sister Eliza Ann into the cellar cistern. Over the years I have found other similar cases, often involving wells and cisterns, and drownings of children followed by suicides of the mothers. These photos show the chimney, cistern pipe, back wall, dirt and brick floor, original floorboards forming the cellar ceiling and what appears to be an original door. To be in the place where this happened is a sobering experience. My thanks to Joe Pereira for allowing us to see and record the place where this sad occurrence unfolded in 1848. R.I.P. Holder, Eliza and Eliza Ann Borden. Visit our Articles section above for more on this story. The coffee shop has won its suit to retain its name and has plans to expand into the shop next door and extend its menu in the near future.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 2/12/2024
How many ways are there to style a subway entrance sign? In New York City, dozens of designs and typefaces are used across the subway system—often with no rhyme or reason. Take this gold and white sign on William Street. It’s for a side entrance/exit for the Fulton Street station, affixed to a 20th century […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/15/2024
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
 Samuel Smith and his wife Emma appeared to the world as a happy and affectionate young couple. She was pretty and vivacious with a dazzling wardrobe, and he was energetic with a winning personality. But beneath the surface was a hidden turmoil that did not come to light until Emma was found dead in their apartment, her head blown apart by a shotgun blast, and Samuel nowhere to be found.Read
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Murder By Gaslight - 4/13/2024
CHIEF OF CONSThe Morning Times(Cripple Creek, Colorado)February 15, 1896Courtesy of Mitch Morrissey ig Ed Burns robs a dying man?      Mitch Morrissey, a Facebook friend and historian for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, found and published an interesting newspaper piece on "Big Ed" Burns, one of the most notorious characters in the West. Burns was a confidence man and
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 4/2/2024
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 … Continue reading
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
Mixed Drinks for Six. | Pugilistic Females.

A Bold Robbery.

Beating-the-Bank

A Faro Dealer Despoiled at a Pistol's Point—A Stranger Loses One Dollar and Goes Away With $200, Which He Wishes Treated as a Loan.

A robbery, accompanied by a murderous assault which rivals in cool daring and reckless desperation the deeds of the James boys, took place, Jan. 27, in the Bijou faro rooms, at Seattle, Wash. A stranger, aged 22, tall, dark-complexioned and of a sinsister, desperate aspect, entered the room, bet and lost $1, and then remained watching the game. One by one the others departed leaving no one in the room but Dealer Burns and the stranger.

Suddenly the latter jumped to his feet, pulled a revolver, cocked it, pointed it at Burns, and sternly said: "Mr. Dealer, I'm in pretty hard circumstances. I must have money: Pass over $200 and be quick about it."

The gambler thought the robber was fooling, and looked inquiringly at him. He saw that his face was set like adamant. The robber said, sternly, "I mean what I say. Fork over the money, or I'll kill you where you sit."

The dazed dealer passed over $200 in twenties. The robber said: "Don't say anything about this and I'll bring you back $500 in a short while. Consider it a loan."

The robber walked toward the door. turned back and demanded $300 more. At this juncture two players entered the room, and the stranger thought it was becoming topical and began to beat a retreat.

Just then Dick Rickards, the door-keeper, came in from a back room and attempted to oppose the passage of the robber. The latter had a pistol in his hand and fired two shots in rapid succession. They entered Rickards' neck and ranged out-wan The second struck his right forearm, passing through the fractured bone. The robber passed down stairs through the saloon flourishing his pistol. Twenty men were in the saloon, but no one opposed him. Then he ran through an alley two blocks and disappeared among the tents.

The police searched all day, but were unable to find him, but he was located in the White House, a pleasure resort four miles south of Seattle, by Deputy Sheriffs McDonald and Brooks. They entered the house and a pistol fight occurred. Over ten shots were fired, but no one was hurt. The man escaped from the rear of the house and fled to the woods.

Rickards will probably die.


Reprinted from Illustrated Police News, February 15, 1890.