No. 448
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 18, 2019

Crazed by Cocaine.

April 10, 2012
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Chapter 2
In 1761, a young Frenchman died violently. This tragedy would lead to what is still one of that country's most famous cases of judicial injustice. Assuming, of course, that it truly was an injustice at all. The grim chain of events began on October 13, when the body of 28-year-old Marc Antoine Calas was found dead in his family home in Toulouse. The Calas family initially stated that
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Strange Company - 11/18/2019


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Lizzie’s Old School Chum, Augusta Poole (Mrs. Cyrus Tripp) Shelley M. Dziedzic, October 2019 (all rights reserved) During the hot …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 10/19/2019
Helen Farr Sloan was the former student—and then second wife—of Ashcan artist John Sloan. When her husband died in 1951, she remained devoted to promoting his art and achievements. But Farr Sloan was an exceptional artist in her own right. Born in New York, she became a printmaker and painter who had something to say […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/18/2019

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
Scene of the Debbins murder Walter R. Debbins was shot twice in the back, in broad daylight, on Highland Street in Medford, Massachusetts, on the afternoon of Saturday, March 27, 1897. Though no one saw the murder or heard the gunshots, there was enough traffic on Highland Street that afternoon for the police to precisely pinpoint the time of the shooting to between 1:00 and 1:05. But
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Murder by Gaslight - 11/16/2019
German spree killer Fritz Angerstein was beheaded on this date in 1925. This tuberculotic managerial type (English Wikipedia entry | German) completes an infernal trinity of notorious mass murderers of Weimar Germany, along with Fritz Haarman and Peter Kürten. He lived a life of moderate domestic angst, with a sickly wife Käthe whom he loved […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 11/17/2019
[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
Burlesque Comes to America. | Killed By Cowardly Anarchists.

Crazed by Cocaine.

Crazed by Cocaine Atlanta, Georgia - September 11, 1887: Doctor Borcheim, a prominent physician of Atlanta, Ga., in a fit of delirium blows his brains out. [more]

A special from Atlanta, Ga., September 11, says: Dr. L. E. Borcheim, one of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens committed suicide in his room at the Kimball this morning. He is a victim to the cocaine habit. Borcheim came to Atlanta about five years ago. He was of the Jewish extraction, has always been prominent in Jewish circles and soon built up one of the best practices in the city. He was a man not much over thirty years of age, stood well socially, was a member of the Capital City club and was surgeon of the famous Gate City Guard. The opium habit has been his curse. One result has been that his health has, for two years been quite bad. He is said to have had fainting fits, and on one or two occasions was believed to be dead.

About two years ago, while in New York, he went into one of the trances, was pronounced dead and was placed in a coffin for burial, when he recovered. About ten months ago he was very ill, a lung trouble having developed. By a wonderful display of will-power he fought his way back to live, although his case was pronounced hopeless by the physicians in attendance. As soon as he was strong enough he went to Philadelphia and when he returned, about five months ago, he looked as if he had completely recovered his health. He was full of animal spirits, and declared that he never felt so well in his life.

The act of suicide was committed at about eight o’clock this morning but not discovered until some time later, when a chambermaid went to his room. As she opened the door a most horrible sight met her gaze, and screaming, she fainted. The body of the dead man lay on his bed, and upon the upper sides of the room and even the ceiling were scattered his brains. A 44-calibre pistol was the implement of destruction, and when found was in his hand. The pistol is a six-shooter, and but one barrel had been loaded.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887