No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

Frail Minnie Gitto.

How a pretty Oyster Bay, Long Island, lassie sinned with a choir-singer and set all the island gossi
May 9, 2016
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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
Demi-Monde Excursion. | May-Day.

Frail Minnie Gitto.

Frail Minnie Gitto

How a pretty Oyster Bay, Long Island, lassie sinned with a choir-singer and set all the island gossiping. [more]

Miss Minnie Gitto resides within the classic precincts of Oyster Bay, located on Long Island Sound. Miss Minnie was a village belle, aged eighteen, and a member of the village Sunday school. Thomas S. Cheshire sang in the choir and was something of a musician. The two loved clandestinely, with the usual result. Minnie, of course, wanted Tommy to marry her. Tommy kicked. Minnie’s parents insisted. Tommy was called to the house. He agreed to marry Minnie, it is said, if she would swear, on the Big Book, that she has never been intimate with others. She approached the family Bible, hesitated and swooned. Tommy was arrested. He was yanked to court. A charge of being an accessory to malpractice was made against him. Two male members of the choir testified that they had been intimate with Minnie. While the trial was in progress Minnie gave birth to a bouncing girl in the ante-room. Tableau.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 19, 1889.