No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

It Was a "She."

July 9, 2013
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

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
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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
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.