No. 424
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
March 21, 2019

Concerning Sensational Methods.

There is a class of publications whose lives depend upon their successful appeal to vicious instinct
June 1, 2015
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Coming Soon!
Map of Alaska (Click image to enlarge) oapy Smith arrives in Skagway aboard the Utopia, between 10 and 11 a.m., August 20, 1897 When did Soapy arrive in Skagway, Alaska? This is a question with an on-going quest to answer. With each new lead we get closer to finally solving the mystery. As of this post it would appear that Soapy arrived in Skaguay Bay on-board the small
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/20/2019


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I’m not sure when the low-rise buildings at the southwest corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets were torn down. But if there’s any upside to the bulldozing of another old New York corner, it’s that we now have an amazing side view of the Federal-style house at 149 Mulberry. The view is almost a portal […]
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Ephemeral New York - 3/17/2019
Swiss officer and military engineer Nicolas Doxat de Demoret — also referred to as Doxat de Moretz or Doxat von Morez — was beheaded on this date in 1738 for surrendering to a Turkish siege. Native — as his name suggests — of Demoret, Doxat was a career soldier who had served the Austrian empire […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 3/20/2019


[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
Perry Harrington and his wife, Maria, were spending a quiet evening at their farmhouse in Geneva, Ohio, on December 18, 1884, when the door burst open, and a masked man boldly entered the house. He pointed a cocked revolver at Mr. Harrington and demanded his money or his life. Seeing that he and his wife were at the mercy of the intruder, Harrington went into an adjoining bedroom to get his
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Murder by Gaslight - 3/16/2019
via Newspapers.com This odd little--UFO?--tale appeared in the "Philadelphia Inquirer," September 27, 1950: South Philadelphia police officers had a new explanation last night for what happens to those flying saucers people are always seeing: They dissolve. That's what happened last night to the airborne object first seen about 10 PM. by Patrolmen John Collins and Joseph Keenan. The two
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Strange Company - 3/20/2019
So- did Lizzie have a sweetheart? It would seem one Curtis I. Piece had high but unrequited hopes of winning …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 2/3/2019
The Minister Was Coltish. | Chloroformed While She Slept.

Concerning Sensational Methods.

worse and worse

[more]There is a class of publications whose lives depend upon their successful appeal to vicious instincts. According to the later significance given to the phrase of M. Dumas, these publications are the demi-monde of newspaperdom. Journalistic prostitution furnishes real prostitution with a large part of its sustenance. There are several phases of it. The least harmful is the frankly vicious phase represented the papers of the Police Gazette brand. The most insidious phase is represented by those papers that cloak their sensationalism with moral pretensions. Such a paper largely concerns itself with police and divorce-court records. Its best head-line reads in effect: “Testimony Unfit for Publication; It Was as Follows:” It may attain distinction by selling a few of its columns to thieves and libertines for assignation purposes, or by the light-hearted realism which animates its description of the underwear of a prominent actress. “Sensational” is the mildest epithet applied to such a paper, because it occasionally dallies with politics, or heads a subscription to purchase piano-lamps for starving infants. Its sprit is so insecure and debased that, in comparison, the editorial sprit of the New York Sun is positively one of lofty morality.


Reprinted from Puck, March 22, 1893.