No. 653
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 27, 2024

Blood on the Moon.

April 16, 2013
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Tag: Montana

He May Be Lynched.

Miss Lily Dunkley, a Miles City, Mont., girl, refuses to marry Charles Snyder and he tries to kill her.

3/30/2015

He May Be Lynched.

Miss Lily Dunkley, a Miles City, Mont., girl, refuses to marry Charles Snyder and he tries to kill her.

3/10/2015

He Hit the Pipe

A Minneapolis millionaire, visits an opium joint and is carried out feet first.

11/20/2011
The archives of the Humble Oil & Refining Company are about the last place where you’d expect to run across a first-rate poltergeist account, but it just goes to show that we live in a funny old world.  In 1948, a folklorist and historian was browsing through the company’s papers when he came across a letter that had absolutely nothing to do with oil.  It read:Jan [illegible] '
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Strange Company - 5/27/2024
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
When these photos from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York were taken at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery at the end of May in 1899, Memorial Day didn’t exist. “Decoration Day,” however, was an established holiday celebrated every May 30. The idea was to visit the final resting places of thousands of […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/27/2024
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
John Wesley Elkins.11-year-old John Wesley Elkins was slight of stature—four feet eight inches tall, weighing 73 pounds. He was intelligent and well-spoken, and he had never caused trouble until the day he murdered his parents. At 2:00 am, on July 24, 1889, while his parents were sleeping in their Iowa farmhouse, he shot his father in the head and then beat his mother to death with a club.
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/25/2024
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
Mother Mandelbaum's Secrets. | Attacked by a Maddened Cat.

Blood on the Moon.

Blood on the Moon

The Bentz Stanley combination gets into a row in a Brooklyn boarding house.[more]

“Those theatre people have turned everything upside down in my house,” said Mrs. Lennon, the keeper of a lodging house at No. 178 South Fourth street, Brooklyn, the other evening. For the past week Mrs. Lennon entertained five members of the Rentz-Stanley variety company, who are playing an engagement at an Eastern District theatre.

The theatrical people were quietly eating their supper when the question of burlesque acting came up for discussion along with the roast beef and olives. “I think that burlesque is played out,” said a pretty little blonde at the end of the table.

“You are not old enough to think anything,” said a light comedian of the troupe, bolting half a hot potato and suddenly making a dash for the ice-pitcher.

“Well, I’m not such an old barn-stormer as you are,” said the little blonde, throwing a Judie wink at the handsome leading man.

“Barn-stormer!” cried the comedian. “Did I understand you, miss, to say barn-stormer to me?”

“That’s about the size of it,” said the little blonde.

“You haven’t any right to address an old gentleman in such language.” Said the leading lady.

“Old gentleman!” cried the comedian, whirling round and glaring at the leading lady. “If I was half your age I’d have applied for lodgings in the Forrest Home long ago.”

“Sir!” ejaculated the leading lady. “You forget that you dandled me on your knee when I was a mere kid—; should say child.”

“Not such a child either,” said the comedian bringing up one of his old-time sawdust smiles.

“This is too much!” cried the leading lady, bringing up a heavy coffee-pot and throwing it at the comedian’s head. The up tipped the left ear of the comedian and smashed into a thousand fragments against the wall. The petite blonde disappeared under the table.

“I have been insulted, and by an ex-ballet girl!” cried the tenor, picking up a pickle dish and giving it an underhand Chicago B. B. C. twist toward the blonde hair of the leading lady. A moment later the air was filled with sugar-bowls glasses, cups, plates and milk-pitchers.

In the midst of the battle the landlady, Mrs. Lennon, appeared in the doorway, but quickly retreated in the direction of the station-house. On the way she met two gallant officers of the peace, who returned with her to th house. As the officers rushed into the dining-room they found the battle at its height.

The comedian had entrenched himself behind the heavy villain, and from this secure position was pouring a raking fire of tumblers, oil lamps, butter-dishes, pepper boxes and tea-cups into the ranks of the party led by the leading lady, while the latter was returning fire with interest.

“Here’s a state of things!” shouted the officers, and shoulder to shoulder they advanced upon the rioters. The moment the contending armies caught sight of the “cops,” however, their valor forsook them and they attempted to play the baby act.
In the meantime a large crowd had gathered in front of the house, but were disappointed, as the late contestants refused to make any complaints against each other.

“You will all leave my house forever!” cried the disgusted landlady, and she turned her histrionic pugilistic boarders out bag and baggage after collecting the heavy damages for the breakage occasioned by the skirmish.

“He who steals my purse steals trash,” cried the comedian, as he came up cheerfully with his share of the damages.

“‘Twas mine, ‘tis yours,” said the tenor, planking down his share.

“We must needs hie us to an inn,” murmured the heavy man, and they marched for the nearest hotel.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 24, 1885