No. 493
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 20, 2020

A Ghastly Table.

June 5, 2012
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"Brighton Gazette," April 7, 1831, via British Newspaper ArchiveIt’s often said that the duty of journalists is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”  However, one newspaper man gave his own fun twist to this motto.  While he did indeed “afflict the comfortable” to a marked degree, the only “comfort” his efforts provided was to...himself.On April 10, 1831, a London-based former
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Strange Company - 10/19/2020

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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

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
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
This week we are pleased to present a guest post from Howard and Nina Brown, experts on the Whitechapel Murders of Jack the Ripper. They are the owners of JTRForums.Com and have been Ripperologists for 20 years. Along with the website, JTRForums.Com, they also have pages on Twitter, Facebook, and a You Tube page. They're always looking for people interested in the Whitechapel Murders and can be
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/17/2020

October 18 is the feast date of early Christian (and possibly legendary) martyr-saint Justus of Beauvais. He’s supposed to have been decapitated for the faith in Amiens, France, around 287, and thereafter scooped up his head in his arms to join the cephalophore club. The Miracle of Saint Justus, by Peter Paul Rubens (1630s). Widely […]
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Executed Today - 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
Street Arabs and Gutter-Snipes. | Kate Warne.

A Ghastly Table.

Ghastly Table New York, New York, 1887 - The horrible curiosity just imported form Italy by a prominent New York surgeon.

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A well-known New York surgeon has just imported form Florence, Italy, a table which for originality in the matter of construction and ghastliness in conception, is probably without rival. It was mad y Giuseppe Sagatti, who passed several years of his life in the manufacture. To the casual observer it gives the impression of a curious mosaic of marbles of different shades and colors, for it looks like a polished stone. In reality it is composed of human muscles and viscera. No less than a hundred bodies were requisitioned for the material. The table is round and about a yard in diameter, with a pedestal ad four claw feet, the whole being formed of petrified human remains. The ornaments of the pedestal are made from the intestines, the claws with hearts, livers and lungs, the natural color of which is preserved. The table top is constructed of muscles artistically arranged, and it is bordered with upward of a hundred eyes, the effect of which is said to be highly artistic, since they retain all their luster and seem to follow the observer. Sagetti died about fifty years ago. He obtained his bodies from the hospitals and indurated them by impregnation with mineral salts.


From The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887