No. 494
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 24, 2020

Crazed by Cocaine.

April 10, 2012
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnIt's Friday morning!Are you ready for Saturday night?Watch out for those deadly clouds!The Biggerstaff Hanging Tree.A brief history of California social novels.The black cat train.Mayans had remarkably sophisticated water-filtration systems.What we know--and, more often, don't know--about Viking children.Science, I've found, is always unsettled.A tour
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Strange Company - 10/23/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

On this date in 1979, Jesse Bishop was gassed in Nevada. The third person executed under the “modern” U.S. death penalty regime — after Gary Gilmore in 1976 and John Spenkelink earlier in 1979 — Bishop was a career felon with a years-long rap sheet of armed robberies and drug crimes. In 1977, he was […]
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Executed Today - 10/22/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Dr. Henry Meyer, his wife Maria, and their associate Ludwig Brant devised an elaborate plan to defraud insurance companies. Maria and Brant held a mock wedding then took out several insurance policies on his life with Maria as beneficiary. The plan was to then obtain a cadaver, declare it was the body of Ludwig Brant, and collect the insurance. Unbeknownst to Brant, Dr. Meyer and Maria decided
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/24/2020

Cigarette ads, a burlesque house, a struggling theater, a flea circus and freak show (likely Hubert’s Museum): If you visited 42nd Street on the west side of Broadway at Times Square in 1932, this is what you’d find. “42nd Street West of Broadway” was painted that year by Edmund Yaghjian, an Armenian immigrant who depicted […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2020
[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