No. 461
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 17, 2020

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought.
March 26, 2016
...
...

"Boston Globe," August 19, 1905, via Newspapers.com The true-crime writer F. Tennyson Jesse suggested that not only are some people "born murderers," others are "born murderees." It is when these two types of people happen to find each other that you get A Situation. It is an interesting theory, but one that tends to fall apart once you study murder cases. For example, it is hard to find
More...
Strange Company - 2/17/2020

`
"Denver's Oldest Bar" matchbook cover outside cover - A (Click image to enlarge) new addition to my collection A matchbook cover from "Denver’s Oldest Bar" is a new acquisition to my private Soapy Smith collection. Though it is a "modern" item from the 1960s-70s, it has a direct link to Soapy Smith. "Denver’s Oldest Bar" was once controlled by Soapy, under the name, "Tivoli Club,
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/7/2020

Wherever rich New Yorkers built their homes in the 19th century, they also built private stables for their expensive horses and carriages—with upstairs living quarters for a coachman or groom. So when Upper Fifth Avenue along Central Park became the city’s new Millionaire Mile during the Gilded Age, certain Upper East Side blocks to the […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 2/17/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

Continue reading

More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Every day since Halloween 2007, the blog ExecutedToday.com has posted a story of an execution that took place on that date in history somewhere in the world. While this certainly says something about the human condition over time, it also says something about the determination and thoroughness of the blogger of ExecutedToday.com, who goes by the epithet Headsman. As someone who has scrambled to
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 2/15/2020

On this date in 1946,* communist Albania executed three former officials of its deposed wartime government. Fascist Italy occupied Albania during World War II. In a situation mirroring that of neighboring Yugoslavia, there were two resistance movements that sometimes maintained an uneasy truce and other times went straight at one another’s throats: the communist National […]
More...
Executed Today - 2/15/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Killed by a Baseball. | A Square Meal.

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Sleepwalker

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought. [more]

Early risers in Newark, N. J., were somewhat surprised one night recently at seeing what looked like a ghost. The ghost was dressed in the regulation white and was sitting on a stoop. None dared to venture near the ghost except a courageous milkman, who found the vision to be a young lady in a somnambulistic trance. The young lady proved to be Miss Belle Collis, one of Newark’s society belles. Her attire consisted of one thing garment, known in boudoir parlance as a nightdress. Miss Collis had, while in the trance, left her bedroom and walked several blocks, when she sat down to rest on the stoop where she was found by the milkman. When found she was in a half frozen condition. When aroused she went into hysterics. It was some time before she recovered sufficiently to tell where she live, she was then conducted home.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 7. 1889.