No. 436
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 20, 2019

Beat the Hypnotist.

Two girls, who had been ill-treated by a fake mesmerist, get revenge in Indianapolis, Ind.
July 2, 2018
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Photo of Cindy Weber in the "Red Deer Advocate," October 23, 1981, via Newspapers.com Every missing-persons story is tragic, of course. However, I know of few such cases that are both as heart-breakingly sad and utterly peculiar as the following disappearance. It reads like a psychological horror movie, with an almost Fortean ending. People inevitably called Cynthia "Cindy" Weber of
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Strange Company - 8/19/2019

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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

The hanging, and then posthumous beheading and head-spiking, of the Virginia slave Abram lacks any firmer primary date than the signature given this Richmond newspaper report that was later widely reprinted in the young United States. (Our text here hails from the Hartford, Conn. American Mercury, September 18, 1800.) A HORRID MURDER. Capt. John Patterson, […]
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Executed Today - 8/19/2019
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
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[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
Run on Max Greger's Hungarian Wines. | Broadway Omnibus Racing Season.

Beat the Hypnotist.

Beat the HypnotistTwo girls, who had been ill-treated by a fake mesmerist, get revenge in Indianapolis, Ind. [more]

There was a sensational scene in Indianapolis, Ind., the other day, when tow good looking young women, who had been working as the confederates of a professor of hypnotism, turned the tables on him and gave him the beating of his life.

One of the girls had permitted herself to be put in a coffin and kept there for several days.

“Why,” said she, “I would have starved to death in that coffin had not an outsider carried me food. The professor promised to bring me wines and eatables, but not a mouthful did I get form him. Of course, I was not mesmerized any more than you are this minutes and I suffered awfully, too. My stomach and nervous system are still deranged from the effect of lying in that hard box. It was my first experience of the kind, and there is not money enough to hire me to repeat it. He promised me money, but I had no idea how I should suffer. Just look at my lips and cheeks where he forced needles through them. The pain was simply awful and I came near fainting while he was doing it.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 5, 1896.