No. 436
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 20, 2019

A Human Vampire.

April 28, 2014
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Photo of Cindy Weber in the "Red Deer Advocate," October 23, 1981, via Newspapers.com Every missing-persons story is tragic, of course. However, I know of few such cases that are both as heart-breakingly sad and utterly peculiar as the following disappearance. It reads like a psychological horror movie, with an almost Fortean ending. People inevitably called Cynthia "Cindy" Weber of
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Strange Company - 8/19/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

The hanging, and then posthumous beheading and head-spiking, of the Virginia slave Abram lacks any firmer primary date than the signature given this Richmond newspaper report that was later widely reprinted in the young United States. (Our text here hails from the Hartford, Conn. American Mercury, September 18, 1800.) A HORRID MURDER. Capt. John Patterson, […]
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Executed Today - 8/19/2019
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
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[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
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