No. 584
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 7, 2022

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
...
...

Not George Talkington, but there must have been a strong resemblance.Many people could be called “accident prone,” but, fortunately, few take it to the level of the subject of today’s post.  From the “Bath Chronicle,” November 21, 1833 (via Newspapers.com):George Talkington, once a celebrated horse-dealer at Uttoxeter, who died on the 8th of April, 1826, at Cheadle, Cheshire, in his eighty-third
More...
Strange Company - 12/7/2022
`
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
CAME NEAR LOSING HIS MONEYSan Francisco ChronicleMay 6, 1893(Click image to enlarge)  San Francisco Man Taken in by Denver Card Sharks "First time I ever got caught" (Soapy Smith) This post was originally supposed to be about a new "victim" (Charles Anderson) swindled by the soap gang that I recently uncovered during a search through newspaper archives, but in looking through my files I found
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 12/6/2022
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 […]
More...
Executed Today - 11/14/2022
 When tried for the 1840 murder of Catherine Merry, Charles Cook pled innocent by reason of insanity. Despite a history of medical treatment for extreme melancholy, and strange behavior such as running through the streets of Schenectady, wearing nothing but a blanket, proclaiming himself to be the Savior of the world, the jury rejected his plea and found him guilty.Before his execution, Cook
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 12/3/2022
For years I’ve walked by the delightfully shabby Joe’s Tavern sign at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 25th Street. I’ve never seen the vintage vertical beauty lit up, unfortunately. Even stranger, I’ve never seen any sign of life inside 258 Tenth Avenue, which once housed what I imagine to have been an old-school neighborhood […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 12/5/2022
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: […]
More...
Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
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.