No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought.
March 26, 2016
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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 […]
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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.