No. 463
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 29, 2020

Crazed by Cocaine.

April 10, 2012
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Ohio State University professor Dr. James Howard Snook was electrocuted on this date in 1930. The eggheaded veterinary lecturer, Snook was an Olympic gold medalist in pistol shooting.* On a site like Executed Today one would presume that sidearms appear with a Chekhovian purpose, but it will transpire that different instruments cause his downfall. Beginning, […]
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Executed Today - 2/28/2020

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Fifty-nine years ago in February 1961, thousands of avid fans trudged through 20 inches of snow to Carnegie Hall to see comedian Lenny Bruce—in a show that was recorded and released in a three-record set, The Carnegie Hall Concert. This famous show, “was the moment that an obscure yet rapidly rising young comedian named Lenny […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/23/2020

"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn It's time for this week's Link Dump! Let the show begin! Angkor Wat and the collapsed reservoir. Shorter version: Jack Parsons was one weird dude. Jolly Jane Toppan, the last person you would want at your sickbed. A museum that's pure torture. The mystery of the Breton inscription. The posset: good for whatever ails you. Yet
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Strange Company - 2/28/2020
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
Nellie C. Bailey. William Dodson led a drive of 2300 head of sheep from Kansas through Indian Territory to their new home in Texas in October 1883. A mile behind them the owner of the new ranch, a widower named Clement Bothemly, and his sister Bertha traveled in a wagon outfitted with bedrooms. Pulled by two yoke of oxen, the wagon was so large that observers compared it to a railroad car.
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/22/2020

Letter to Mary from Jeff R. Smith II Artifact #63 February 15, 1897 Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge) rtifact #63 Soapy Smith's letter to wife Mary, dated February 15, 1897 reads, in a large pen hand, Feb 15th 1897 Dear Wife This far on my journey to the North God bless you Jeff Owl Saloon Spokan A quick note from husband to wife, written on Russ House
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/27/2020
[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
Burlesque Comes to America. | Killed By Cowardly Anarchists.

Crazed by Cocaine.

Crazed by Cocaine Atlanta, Georgia - September 11, 1887: Doctor Borcheim, a prominent physician of Atlanta, Ga., in a fit of delirium blows his brains out. [more]

A special from Atlanta, Ga., September 11, says: Dr. L. E. Borcheim, one of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens committed suicide in his room at the Kimball this morning. He is a victim to the cocaine habit. Borcheim came to Atlanta about five years ago. He was of the Jewish extraction, has always been prominent in Jewish circles and soon built up one of the best practices in the city. He was a man not much over thirty years of age, stood well socially, was a member of the Capital City club and was surgeon of the famous Gate City Guard. The opium habit has been his curse. One result has been that his health has, for two years been quite bad. He is said to have had fainting fits, and on one or two occasions was believed to be dead.

About two years ago, while in New York, he went into one of the trances, was pronounced dead and was placed in a coffin for burial, when he recovered. About ten months ago he was very ill, a lung trouble having developed. By a wonderful display of will-power he fought his way back to live, although his case was pronounced hopeless by the physicians in attendance. As soon as he was strong enough he went to Philadelphia and when he returned, about five months ago, he looked as if he had completely recovered his health. He was full of animal spirits, and declared that he never felt so well in his life.

The act of suicide was committed at about eight o’clock this morning but not discovered until some time later, when a chambermaid went to his room. As she opened the door a most horrible sight met her gaze, and screaming, she fainted. The body of the dead man lay on his bed, and upon the upper sides of the room and even the ceiling were scattered his brains. A 44-calibre pistol was the implement of destruction, and when found was in his hand. The pistol is a six-shooter, and but one barrel had been loaded.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887