No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 15, 2019

A Bloody Ruction.

Bayonets and Knives—A Sister’s Influence and Prevention of Murder.
June 12, 2015
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Our old familiar the Newgate Calendar supplies us with this narration of a Scottish Jacobin to pop the powdered wigs from Edinburgh to Westminster. A published version of the trial in question is available here, and a last-speech broadside awaits you here. Watt is the only monument in Executed Today‘s pages to the attempted creation […]
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Executed Today - 10/15/2019

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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

Generally speaking, poltergeists are the bratty kids of the paranormal world. They create a lot of noise, cause some damage, and make obnoxious spectacles of themselves, but they are, on the whole, seemingly helpless to do any real harm. Their antics are tiresome, rather than evil. On occasion, however, polts exhibit threatening, even fiendish behavior. Reading these accounts, one
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Strange Company - 10/14/2019
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
John Delaney met Mary Jane Cox in October 1886; she smiled at him as they passed each other on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, and he turned to follow her. She was 17-years-old, he was 15. Mary Jane did not refuse his advances outright, but gave him her address and told him to write to her. Their relationship progressed quickly, and eight months later, Mary Jane told John she was pregnant, and he
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/12/2019

In this photo, some of the letters look red, others are definitely pink. No matter what colors the letters are, this gorgeous glowing sign for Neil’s Coffee Shop on 70th Street and Lexington Avenue is proof that New York bars and restaurants still feature the city’s iconic iridescent neon store signage. Neil’s is an under-the-radar […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/13/2019
[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
What it Has Come To. | The Minister Was Coltish.

A Bloody Ruction.

A Bloody Ruction

Bayonets and Knives—A Sister’s Influence and Prevention of Murder. [more]

Joseph Staples and Alfred Leighton had a bloody fight at Leighton’s house in Falmouth, Me. Stapes went home partly drunk, and threatened Leighton with violence. The latter seized a loaded gun, with a sharp bayonet attached, and started out, when Staples met him and tried to obtain possession of the weapon. Staples was stabbed four tunes with the bayonet. Leighton snapped the trigger, but the charge did not explode. Staples then managed to secure Leighton’s arm, holding the gun and taking a clasp-knife from his pocket, opened it with his teeth, and made a desperate slash at Leighton’s throat. He laid open the cheek from ear to mouth, and then cut the other side of his opponent’s face in the same manner. At this point of the struggle a sister of Leighton’s managed to get between the men, and ating on her advice, Leighton leaped through a window and fled to Oliver Harding’s, which he reached in a fainting condition. Medial aid was summoned and his wounds were dressed. Staples’s wounds were also dressed, and he is now quite comfortable, but not out of danger .The bedroom where the fight took place is covered with blood from wall to ceiling.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 4,1880.