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

A Terrible Scare.

July 8, 2014
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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
Tennis. | Independence Day in the Country.

A Terrible Scare.

Lunatic

A lunatic makes his escape from confinement and employs his energies in divesting ladies of their hair; Louisville, Ky.[more]

Three Young Ladies Frightened by a Lunatic.


At Louisville the other evening about seven o’clock a well-dressed young man, about eighteen years old, made his appearance on Preston street, between Jefferson and Green, and suddenly started after a lady walking along the pavement with a baby in her arms. The lady ran, and he pursued her across the street, where she entered her gate. The villain or madman, as it was unable to decide at the time, then ran across to the west side of the street and started in pursuit of three young ladies, who were coming down the street. The ladies ran screaming until they reached a three-foot alley between Mr. Peter Stark’s house and an adjoining saloon. They ran to the back end of the ally, and into the saloon. The man rushed in right on their heels, and grabbed one of the young ladies by the hair, threw her violently on the floor. In almost an instant, however, Mr. Stark and the gentleman in charge of the saloon, attracted by the screams of the terrified girls, ran in and caught the lunatic by the arms and released the prostrate lady. She was almost frightened to death, and could hardly walk or speak. The two gentlemen started to the First street station house with the young man, but met Officers Ryan and Darling on the way, who took charge of the captive and conveyed him to the station where he gave his name as Youse, a false name. A short while afterward his brother, who had heard of the occurrence, came to the station house and informed the officers that the young man was non compos mentis and irresponsible for his actions.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October23, 1880.