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

A Ghastly Table.

June 5, 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
Street Arabs and Gutter-Snipes. | Kate Warne.

A Ghastly Table.

Ghastly Table New York, New York, 1887 - The horrible curiosity just imported form Italy by a prominent New York surgeon.

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A well-known New York surgeon has just imported form Florence, Italy, a table which for originality in the matter of construction and ghastliness in conception, is probably without rival. It was mad y Giuseppe Sagatti, who passed several years of his life in the manufacture. To the casual observer it gives the impression of a curious mosaic of marbles of different shades and colors, for it looks like a polished stone. In reality it is composed of human muscles and viscera. No less than a hundred bodies were requisitioned for the material. The table is round and about a yard in diameter, with a pedestal ad four claw feet, the whole being formed of petrified human remains. The ornaments of the pedestal are made from the intestines, the claws with hearts, livers and lungs, the natural color of which is preserved. The table top is constructed of muscles artistically arranged, and it is bordered with upward of a hundred eyes, the effect of which is said to be highly artistic, since they retain all their luster and seem to follow the observer. Sagetti died about fifty years ago. He obtained his bodies from the hospitals and indurated them by impregnation with mineral salts.


From The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887