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

A Terrible Scare.

July 8, 2014
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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
Tennis. | Independence Day in the Country.

A Terrible Scare.

Lunatic

A lunatic makes his escape from confinement and employs his energies in divesting ladies of their hair; Louisville, Ky.[more]

Three Young Ladies Frightened by a Lunatic.


At Louisville the other evening about seven o’clock a well-dressed young man, about eighteen years old, made his appearance on Preston street, between Jefferson and Green, and suddenly started after a lady walking along the pavement with a baby in her arms. The lady ran, and he pursued her across the street, where she entered her gate. The villain or madman, as it was unable to decide at the time, then ran across to the west side of the street and started in pursuit of three young ladies, who were coming down the street. The ladies ran screaming until they reached a three-foot alley between Mr. Peter Stark’s house and an adjoining saloon. They ran to the back end of the ally, and into the saloon. The man rushed in right on their heels, and grabbed one of the young ladies by the hair, threw her violently on the floor. In almost an instant, however, Mr. Stark and the gentleman in charge of the saloon, attracted by the screams of the terrified girls, ran in and caught the lunatic by the arms and released the prostrate lady. She was almost frightened to death, and could hardly walk or speak. The two gentlemen started to the First street station house with the young man, but met Officers Ryan and Darling on the way, who took charge of the captive and conveyed him to the station where he gave his name as Youse, a false name. A short while afterward his brother, who had heard of the occurrence, came to the station house and informed the officers that the young man was non compos mentis and irresponsible for his actions.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October23, 1880.