No. 479
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 14, 2020

She Skipped.

July 2, 2013
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Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast, a madman who assassinated the mayor of Chicago, was hanged on this date in 1894. Prendergast seems to have been a mentally unbalanced character from his early childhood; one might speculatively attribute it to a youthful head injury, or the very early death of his father, or the strains of an […]
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Executed Today - 7/13/2020

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Soapy Smith in July 4th paradeSkagway, Alaska 1898Broadway and Fourth Ave.Note Soapy is on the left of center, behind Joe Brooks.Behind him is Brooks' Pack TrainWhere is the Skaguay Military Company?Where is the Fitzhugh Lee wagon?Courtesy ofKlondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Click image to enlarge) ow Soapy Smith conned his way to be Grand Marshal of the 4th of July With
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 7/10/2020

Rhynwick Williams In March 1788, a London woman named Maria Smythe was standing on a friend's doorstep when a stranger suddenly accosted her, muttered some unrecorded but evidently horribly vile comments, stabbed her with a knife, and fled, leaving her slightly wounded. Although she had no way of knowing it at the time, she was the first victim of a bizarre crime spree that would not be
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Strange Company - 7/13/2020
It was a perfect weekend to journey out to Tyngsborough to get a glimpse of what was left of the …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 6/13/2020
On the morning of March 19, 1875, Charles K. Landis entered the office of the Vineland Independent and demanded to see the paper’s editor and publisher, Uri Carruth. When Carruth entered the room, Landis approached him, waving a newspaper clipping. “Mr. Carruth, did you write that?” Landis shouted. “I did, and I will do it again,” said Carruth. “Will you promise not to attack my wife
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/11/2020

In 1976, the 92 acres of landfill that would one day become Battery Park City was in place and ready. Unfortunately New York City—which hoped this new development would help revitalize the lower West Side of Manhattan—was too broke to get construction started until 1980, according to bpcparks.org. So until the early 1980s, an actual […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/13/2020
[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
It Was a "She." | The Tyranny of Fashion.

She Skipped.

Dropping Their DisguiseMollie Hoey, the well-known New York sneak thief and shoplifter, makes a break for liberty at Cleveland, Ohio.[more]

Crawled Out.

Mollie Hoey, one of the shrewdest and most daring of shoplifters, went to Cleveland a few days ago and made a systematic round of the principal stores in one of which she took a $400 shawl. She confines her operations to silks and costly fabrics. She is jailed and her husband, who was arrested, but is out on bail, prowled about the jail. Mollie kept apart from her fellow prisoners. The night of Oct. 12 she escaped from the jail. It was a daring exploit. She enlisted a boy named Regenaur, who recently escaped from jail and has just been recaptured, to aid her by watching the turnkey. She removed the bricks from the wall near a window and made a hole 3 feet square. She carried the removed bricks to the fourth floor, and when not at work covered the hole with an oil cloth the color of the wall. She must have had to remove some of her clothing to crawl through the hole, but she did it at night, and although she was compelled to crawl out in view of a busy street she was not detected. A buggy in waiting drove rapidly away with her and the boy Regenaur. Officers are now scouring the country to recapture her.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 31, 1886.