No. 462
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 20, 2020

It Was a "She."

July 9, 2013
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Via Newspapers.com Tales of stone-throwing poltergeists are surprisingly common, but this one is a bit more unusual than most. The “Indianapolis News,” June 26, 1909: Lafayette, Ind.. June 24. For miles around the little hamlet ot Pettit, seven miles east of Lafayette, the residents are in a state of great excitement over the strange happenings at the home of Rosanna Ritenour. A haunted
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Strange Company - 2/19/2020

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"Denver's Oldest Bar" matchbook cover outside cover - A (Click image to enlarge) new addition to my collection A matchbook cover from "Denver’s Oldest Bar" is a new acquisition to my private Soapy Smith collection. Though it is a "modern" item from the 1960s-70s, it has a direct link to Soapy Smith. "Denver’s Oldest Bar" was once controlled by Soapy, under the name, "Tivoli Club,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/7/2020

On this date in 1935, Germany conducted its last axe-beheadings. The axees were impecunious noblewomen Benita von Falkenhayn (English Wikipedia entry | German) and Renate von Natzmer (English | German), spies for Poland recruited via society love affairs with Polish envoy Jerzy Sosnowski.* Benita von Falkenhayn (left) and Renate von Natzmer. At 6:00 a.m. on […]
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Executed Today - 2/18/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Every day since Halloween 2007, the blog ExecutedToday.com has posted a story of an execution that took place on that date in history somewhere in the world. While this certainly says something about the human condition over time, it also says something about the determination and thoroughness of the blogger of ExecutedToday.com, who goes by the epithet Headsman. As someone who has scrambled to
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/15/2020

Wherever rich New Yorkers built their homes in the 19th century, they also built private stables for their expensive horses and carriages—with upstairs living quarters for a coachman or groom. So when Upper Fifth Avenue along Central Park became the city’s new Millionaire Mile during the Gilded Age, certain Upper East Side blocks to the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/17/2020
[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
Gold from Seawater! | She Skipped.

It Was a "She."

It was a she

Charles Kelly, arrested for burglary near Princeton, Ind., turns out upon examination to be Clara King. [more]

A Horrible “Find.”

A correspondent at Princeton, Ind., writes: It will be remembered that about two months ago a burglary was committed at Ft. Branch, and that Sheriff McGary and his assistant, Wm. Wire, shortly afterward captured five men near Mt. Carmel who proved to be the guilty parties. After bringing them to the city they pled guilty, at the preliminary trial, to the charge of larceny, and were committee to jail in default of bail. The five burglars gave their names as John Kelly, “Charles Kelley,” John Murphy, Thomas O’Neil and James Gallagher. Charles Kelly seemed to be a very young boy, and gained considerable sympathy from several who saw him, thinking that he had probably been enticed into leaving a life of the Lord. The prisoner were placed in cells together and mingled together in jail, and nothing was supposed to be wrong. On several occasions Charles informed the sheriff that he was afraid of the roughs therein, and would rather be locked in a cell. The prisoner then said her name was Clara King, and that she hailed from Chicago, and had no home or relatives that she knew of, that she joined the gang of burglars in order to make a living. She was taken before the judge of court and proved that she was a female, when she was given three years in the State Female Penitentiary.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 15, 1887.