No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 25, 2020

A Wild Girl in a Connecticut Swamp.

She resides in a swamp near Branford, Conn, and fills the rustics with terror.
June 28, 2016
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"York Dispatch," November 28, 1905.  (All clippings via Newspapers.com) When normal people think of Thanksgiving, they picture large family dinners, a relaxing day watching football in front of the TV, a general atmosphere of comfort and contentment.Me, I picture turkeys being used as lethal weapons and guided missiles.  The "Passaic Herald-News," November 23, 1956:This inventive lady celebrated
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Strange Company - 11/25/2020

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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

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/23/2020
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
 Old Cap. Collier, the fictional dime novel detective, tries his hand at solving the murder of Dr. Cronin.The real murder of Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin was stranger than fiction, with the good doctor found naked and dead in a Chicago sewer after confronting the corrupt leaders of an Irish secret society. As Edmund Pearson said, “It was one of those murders over which men nod their heads and look
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/21/2020

Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
[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
She Stole Her Lover’s Clothes. | Done Up by Dizzy Blondes.

A Wild Girl in a Connecticut Swamp.

She resides in a swamp near Branford, Conn, and fills the rustics with terror.

Wild Girl A special from New Haven, Oct. 28 says: For several weeks past sportsmen who have been hunting in the woods in the vicinity of Branford have from time to time seen a young woman darting about among the trees. She is apparently about sixteen years of age, wears no hat or shoes, and her clothing hangs in tatters about her, barley covering her form. Who she is, where she lives or where she came from is unknown. On several occasions when addressed she replied in incoherent language and ended her sentence with wild, hysterical laughter. Any attempt to approach her is fruitless. She runs like a dear and leaps stone walls and fences in a single bound. Her retreat is believed to be in Towner’s swamp, about two miles from Branford Center, as she seeks refuge there when pursued. It is supposed that the girl has been the inmate of some asylum from which she escaped. The authorities and citizens of Branford are to organize and if possible capture her and place her in some one of the State institutions.

Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 19. 1887.