No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

She Was Bug Crazy.

May 22, 2012
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

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
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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
Kate Warne. | Sharkey Escapes!

She Was Bug Crazy.

Bug Crazy Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1886 - The mysterious female from New Orleans whose captive Brazilian beetle astonished and disgusted the hotel boarders. [more]

Wealthy and Mysterious

One of the most notable guests who spent the summer here and who has just departed, writes Atlantic City correspondent of the Philadelphia News, was a lady from New Orleans, who was conspicuous at the hops for her diamonds, her Skye terrier with a gold collar, and a black Machette beetle with a gold harness and chain. She was originally a guest at one of the fashionable down-town hotels, but she persisted in having the ugly beetle crawling around her at the table, and the more fastidious of the gusts broke out in open revolt and threatened to the management with abdication. She retired to a cottage, and spent her evenings as a lonely spectator at the hops of the uptown hotels. Her she would gather around her a crowd of curious folks, who would gaze with admiration at her wonderful Brazilian beetle chained to her bosom. The terrier was her only companion. Her purse was always filled, her diamonds always measured a peek, but she suggested mystery with all her wealth and appearance of wealth.


The National Police Gazette, October 9, 1886