No. 539
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
September 17, 2021

“I’ve Taken Poison, Maudie!”

July 25, 2011
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If you were young in New York City in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s, then you probably remember the thrill of visiting Jonah’s Whale at the Children’s Zoo in Central Park, with that smiling open mouth you could practically walk into. Jonah’s Whale had been part of the Children’s Zoo since its 1961 opening, according […]
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Ephemeral New York - 9/16/2021

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Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020

Via Newspapers.comThis odd little story appeared in the “Altoona Tribune,” March 25, 1875:For the past week a story has been current on the street which at first we could not believe. Mrs. Julien Jerome, a Frenchwoman, whom all that knew her say had always led a very devout, good life, lived on Main street, and was taken sick about five weeks ago. Immediately after a cross appeared on the wall
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Strange Company - 9/15/2021
[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
On Saturday, May 13, 1882, 16-year-old Thomas McCabe shot his stepmother, Catherine McCabe, in their New York City apartment. The wound to her neck was so serious that Coroner Knox was summoned to take her anti-mortem statement. She dictated her story:“Shortly after 5 o’clock, I came from the kitchen and was putting oil in my lamp when my stepson, Thomas McCabe, fired a shot at me. I fell on my
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Murder By Gaslight - 9/11/2021

Frank Reid casket guardsas shown in Klondike '98By Ethel A. BeckerEthel Anderson Becker collectionLocation currently unknown(Click image to enlarge)    rank Reid's Casket GuardsReversed Image    I received the following fascinating email     Greetings Jeff Smith: (re: Sept. 18, 2009 – Speaking frank about frank pt. 2 – Soapy Smith’s Soap Box blog).     Having cruised to Alaska, I got
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/1/2021
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“I’ve Taken Poison, Maudie!”

Ive taken poison

Cripple Creek, Colorado, November 1896 - Josie Coyle, a well-known young woman, of Cripple Creek, Col, ends her life. A house of ill repute in Poverty Gulch, Cripple Creek, Colo., was the scene of a dramatic suicide early the other morning when Josie Coyle, a popular inmate, ended her troubles with poison. [more]

She had taken a large dose of some drug when she was discovered by one of the other girls who asked her if she felt ill.

“I’ve taken poison, Maudie!” was all she could say and then she died in a few minutes.

The name, Josie Coyle, was an assumed one. The woman was married, her husband, a blacksmith, residing in Denver. She had two children living with their father. Almost the last thing she said was that she hoped they would never know the depth to which their mother had been degraded.


The National Police Gazette, November 28, 1896