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

The Wedding Postponed.

November 27, 2017
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Hanged April 23, 1845 for poisoning her brother Charles Dimond — and commonly suspected to have offed several other family members by means of arsenic — the “Shapwick Murderess” Sarah Freeman insisted her innocence to her very last breath. “I am as innocent as a lamb,” she said to the hangman William Calcraft as he […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/23/2019

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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
Won on the Midway. | Turkey Shooting.

The Wedding Postponed.

Wedding PostponedMichael O’Toole of Edgewood, Maryland, goes for his bride but gets bullets and hot water instead.[more]

Michael O’Toole, a section hand on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, was brought to the Baltimore City Hospital recently, suffering from several pistol wounds. O’Toole had been shot in the left shoulder and in the hip, and was suffering intensely from his wounds. He stated that he lived at Edgewood, about thirteen miles from Baltimore, and was engaged to be married to Kate Callahan, who lived a short distance from his home. He visited the girl and made arrangements to be married at Abington but Rev. Father Sartoria. Charles Callahan, a brother of his betrothed, warned him off the place, and when O’Toole called for the girl, Charles again appeared. Bitter words passed, both produced revolvers and began blazing away. Callahan slipped behind a tree, and from this point of vantage hit O’Toole twice. Callahan is said to have escaped unhurt. To add to O’Toole’s ill luck Mrs. Callahan dashed a pail of water over him and his face is scalded.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, January 4, 1890.