No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 24, 2019

A Bloody Ruction.

Bayonets and Knives—A Sister’s Influence and Prevention of Murder.
June 12, 2015
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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 4/23/2019

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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
Hanged April 23, 1845 for poisoning her brother Charles Dimond — and commonly suspected to have offed several other family members by means of arsenic — the “Shapwick Murderess” Sarah Freeman insisted her innocence to her very last breath. “I am as innocent as a lamb,” she said to the hangman William Calcraft as he […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/23/2019

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
"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
[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.