No. 499
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 26, 2020

A Man under Her Bed.

Had Miss Baker looked under the bed before making her toilet she would have postponed it.
September 26, 2016
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"York Dispatch," November 28, 1905.  (All clippings via Newspapers.com) When normal people think of Thanksgiving, they picture large family dinners, a relaxing day watching football in front of the TV, a general atmosphere of comfort and contentment.Me, I picture turkeys being used as lethal weapons and guided missiles.  The "Passaic Herald-News," November 23, 1956:This inventive lady celebrated
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Strange Company - 11/25/2020

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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

It’s been a good century or so since New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day. But in the late 18th and 19th centuries, this holiday—on November 25—was a major deal, marked by festive dinners, parades, and a deep appreciation of the role the city played in the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day honors the day in 1783 when […]
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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
 Old Cap. Collier, the fictional dime novel detective, tries his hand at solving the murder of Dr. Cronin.The real murder of Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin was stranger than fiction, with the good doctor found naked and dead in a Chicago sewer after confronting the corrupt leaders of an Irish secret society. As Edmund Pearson said, “It was one of those murders over which men nod their heads and look
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/21/2020

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
[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
Another Steamboat Disaster. | A Triangular Fight.

A Man under Her Bed.

A Man Under Her Bed

Had Miss Baker looked under the bed before making her toilet she would have postponed it. [more]

About two weeks ago a smooth-faced young man, who said he was Harold McLaughlin of Philadelphia applied to a Nathial Horner, this city, for a room. McLaughlin had only been in the house a short time when the other borders began to complain that articles of value were missing from their rooms. Mr. Horner also discovered that $50 had been extracted from a roll of bills which he kept in his trunk. The other afternoon Miss Baker, who is also a border at 151, had a little experience.

“I went up to my room about 4 o’clock,” Miss Baker said, “and was surprised to find my door, which is furnished with a Yale lock, fastened, as I generally leave it open when I go out. I did not notice anything out of order in the room, and proceeded to take a sponge bath and make my toilet, which took me nearly an hour. Then I lay down on the lounge to get a few minutes rest before dinner. The lounge is in such a position that I could see under my bed and something there attracted my attention. I wasted just long enough to see that there was a pair of feet clad in black stockings. I also caught a glimpse of a white shirt sleeve. These thing shad never been under my bed before, and they frightened me. I rushed into the hall and called for Mr. Horner. As I left my room some one ran past me an up stairs. I grew very faint and—well, that’s all I can tell about it.

Mr. Horner said: “McLaughlin, whose father is a conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad, came to me about two weeks ago and wanted a room. He said he was going to work for Lippincott & Co. He seemed to be a nice young man, and for a while I didn’t suspect anything wrong of him. Then things in the house began to be missed. One gentleman lost a diamond pin, and another a pair of field glasses, and some one stole $50 form my trunk. I noticed that my new boarder spent most of the day about the house, but we had no proof against him. The other night, though, we got him when Miss Baker arn into the hall and called out that there was a man under her bed, and then he fled. I went up to McLaughlin’s room and found him in his shirt sleeves and stocking feet, lying on the bed. I found a pin belonging to Miss Baker under his mattress. The detective found the other articles in a pawnshop, but I lost my $50. McLaughlin confessed that he had taken the things. I have written to his father. I guess the young man will be locked up for a long time. I hope so, anyway.”

McLaughlin, who is 17 years old, was arraigned at Jefferson Market Police Court, and Justice Ryan held him for examination.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 5, 1892.