No. 478
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 02, 2020

A Human Vampire.

April 28, 2014
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Christian reformer Martin Luther composed his hymn “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” (literally “A new song we raise” but commonly titled in English “Flung to the Heedless Winds”) in response to a major milestone for his movement: the first evangelicals executed for the faith, namely defrocked Augustinian monks Jan van Essen and Hendrik Vos […]
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Executed Today - 7/1/2020

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(Click image to enlarge) HE SHOOTING OF HARRY "SHOTGUN" SMITH. Denver's unsolved murder: Number #10 On June 23, 1893, Harry "Shotgun" Smith (no relation) went on a drinking binge and made the deadly mistake of visiting the Tivoli Club and provoking a fight with Bascomb Smith, the younger brother of bad man "Soapy" Smith. Bascomb walked away unscathed. Harry Smith was not
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/23/2020

Via Newspapers.com Yes, indeed, it’s time for the annual post celebrating the holiday in which America becomes the land of the free, and the home of blowing yourself up with homemade fireworks. Appropriately enough for this blog, the following story combines both the usual red-white-and-blue carnage with an atypical Fortean element. Elyria Independent Democrat, July 12, 1871 St. Paul
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Strange Company - 7/1/2020
It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/13/2020
On Sunday, May 23, 1875, Thomas W. Piper, sexton of the Warren Avenue Baptist Church in Boston, lured 5-year-old Mabel Young to the church belfry on the pretext of looking at pigeons. There he crushed her skull with a cricket bat. Piper was captured after he was seen leaping from the belfry. In custody he confessed to a series of murders and violent sexual assaults. Read the full story here: 
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/27/2020

The New York City of the moment is bringing many people down. Luckily, we can escape with a little time traveling thanks to these old-school store signs. Matles Florist has been in Manhattan since 1962, and the vintage sign with the very 1960s typeface shows it. The store is on 57th Street between Eighth and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/29/2020
[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
A Pointer. | Clubbed by a Wronged Wife.

A Human Vampire.

Human Vampire

A Woman’s Fiendish Assault upon a Neighbor, Which May Result in Murder, in Columbus, O. [more]

A frightful assault, which may develop into a murder was committed by a woman in the southeastern part of Columbus, Ohio, recently. Living at No. 459 Parsons avenue is Frank Richter, a contracting teamster, with his wife and several children.

Among their nearest neighbors are James Claprood and wife. Claprood is a laborer and lives just across from the Richter home. On Monday Mrs. Richter heard that Mrs. Claprood had been slandering her and, accompanied by several other women of the neighborhood, went to Mrs. Claprood’s home for the purpose of demanding a retraction. Mrs. Claprood, armed with a large pair of tailor’s sheers, drove them from her house. Following them into the street she sprang upon Mrs. Richter like a tigress, and imbedded her teeth in Mrs. Richter’s face. She chewed Mrs. Richter’s left cheek into a jelly and then grabbing the poor woman’s right cheek mutilated it in a similar manner. Not satisfied with this barbarous treatment, Mrs. Claprood sucked the blood of her victim from first one cheek and then the other, as voraciously as a wild beast of the field.

The poor victim’s screams were heart-rending, but so ravenously did Mrs. Claprood in her frenzied rage bite and tear the flesh and suck the blood of her victim that the other women seemed paralyzed by the horrible spectacle and were powerless to rescue her.

Mrs. Richter finally made a desperate effort to escape, and, grabbing her assailant by the throat, tried to force her off. Mrs. Claprood then loosened her teeth from Mrs. Richter’s blood besmirched cheek and sank them into the screaming woman’s hands. In the meantime she grabbed a handful of Mrs. Richter’s hair and tor it out by the roots. Finally Mrs. Richter, exhausted form loss of blood, sank into unconsciousness.

Mrs. Claprrod arrived home at this juncture, and with difficulty tore his wife from her prey. Mrs. Richter is in a critical condition, and it is feared where will die. Mrs. Claprood is under arrest.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, December 9, 1893