No. 462
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 20, 2020

Abducted by a Woman.

March 31, 2014
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Via Newspapers.com Tales of stone-throwing poltergeists are surprisingly common, but this one is a bit more unusual than most. The “Indianapolis News,” June 26, 1909: Lafayette, Ind.. June 24. For miles around the little hamlet ot Pettit, seven miles east of Lafayette, the residents are in a state of great excitement over the strange happenings at the home of Rosanna Ritenour. A haunted
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Strange Company - 2/19/2020

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"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,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/7/2020

On this date in 1935, Germany conducted its last axe-beheadings. The axees were impecunious noblewomen Benita von Falkenhayn (English Wikipedia entry | German) and Renate von Natzmer (English | German), spies for Poland recruited via society love affairs with Polish envoy Jerzy Sosnowski.* Benita von Falkenhayn (left) and Renate von Natzmer. At 6:00 a.m. on […]
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Executed Today - 2/18/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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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
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/15/2020

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 […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/17/2020
[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 […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Dr. Scott's Electric Corset. | What it is Coming to in Chicago.

Abducted by a Woman.

Abducted by a Woman

Harry Sommerville, of Lexington, Ky., is snatched from his bed by the mistress he had repudiated in order to marry another girl. [more]


A special from Lexington, Ky., Oct. 6, says: Several weeks ago Harry Sommerville, formerly one of Lexington’s most gifted and promising young artists, married Mrs. Belle Payton, widow of a Cincinnati saloon keeper. The match was not suitable to the lady’s relatives, with whom she has been living, and who had Sommerville in their employ, and the new voyagers on the matrimonial sea were driven away. They went to board with another relative of Mrs. Sommerville, but here their troubles multiplied. A few nights ago the wife of Alonzo Barnett, a conductor on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, drove to Sommerville’s boarding house, and, going to his bedroom, where he and his wife were in bed, she commanded and forced him to get up, dress and go with her. Since then Mrs. Sommerville has never seen her husband, and she has fallen sick with fever, and is now at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It seems that Sommerville had been intimate with the Barnett woman before his marriage, and that as soon as she heard of it she went for him. All parties are well known here.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, October 29, 1887