No. 494
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 24, 2020

Beauty as a Shield.

July 24, 2012
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnIt's Friday morning!Are you ready for Saturday night?Watch out for those deadly clouds!The Biggerstaff Hanging Tree.A brief history of California social novels.The black cat train.Mayans had remarkably sophisticated water-filtration systems.What we know--and, more often, don't know--about Viking children.Science, I've found, is always unsettled.A tour
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Strange Company - 10/23/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

On this date in 1979, Jesse Bishop was gassed in Nevada. The third person executed under the “modern” U.S. death penalty regime — after Gary Gilmore in 1976 and John Spenkelink earlier in 1979 — Bishop was a career felon with a years-long rap sheet of armed robberies and drug crimes. In 1977, he was […]
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Executed Today - 10/22/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Dr. Henry Meyer, his wife Maria, and their associate Ludwig Brant devised an elaborate plan to defraud insurance companies. Maria and Brant held a mock wedding then took out several insurance policies on his life with Maria as beneficiary. The plan was to then obtain a cadaver, declare it was the body of Ludwig Brant, and collect the insurance. Unbeknownst to Brant, Dr. Meyer and Maria decided
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/24/2020

Cigarette ads, a burlesque house, a struggling theater, a flea circus and freak show (likely Hubert’s Museum): If you visited 42nd Street on the west side of Broadway at Times Square in 1932, this is what you’d find. “42nd Street West of Broadway” was painted that year by Edmund Yaghjian, an Armenian immigrant who depicted […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2020
[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
A Slippery and Subtle Knave – The Bank Sneak. | Spectacular Scenes & Sights Down on the Jersey Coast

Beauty as a Shield.

Beauty

Beauty Conquers avarice and outlawry “We won’t rob this house to-night.” [more]

A Midnight Picture that Prevented a Robbery

A couple of desperados who had been committing many acts of crime were recently captured and lodged in a Galveston (Tex.) jail. While confined one of them gave a reporter an extended account of their lives and adventures. According to the narrative, both are more or less imbued with that spirit of gallantry so much admired by young ladies and men of a romantic turn of mind. Situated in the outskirts of the city is a wealthy merchant’s residence, and rumor had it among the outlaws that it was a “good crib to crack.” Both of these men determined to try their luck, and alter a little trouble effected an entrance. On turning their bull’s-eye lanterns on the room they discovered two handsome ladies, daughters of the merchant, locked in each other’s arms, sleeping sweetly. The sight of so much loveliness and innocence unnerved them for the purpose in view. Their sense of chivalry was touched, and after a few moments of admiration they retraced their steps, each admitting that it would be a shame to commit an act that would injure the feelings of two such lovely girls. Beauty proved more potent than avarice.

 

From The National Police Gazette, October 30, 1880