No. 425
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 20, 2019

“For Members Only.”

November 10, 2014
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Chapter 2
Catholic priest Jan Bula was hanged on this date in 1952 at Jihlava A Rokytnice pastor, Bula (English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Czech and German) put himself in the gunsights of the postwar Communist state by defying its strictures on proselytization and commenting publicly against them. Although perhaps a gadfly from the state’s […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 5/20/2019


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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 4/23/2019
Montreal Gazette, October 13, 1857, via Newspapers.com William Townsend was, on the whole, a very ordinary sort of villain. His numerous grim deeds were brutishly uncomplicated, wholly lacking any of the originality, enterprise, or even flashes of humor that go to make some crimes permanently capture the public imagination. Townsend, in his private life, had a talent for mimicry that in
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Strange Company - 5/20/2019

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
In July 1890, a man came into the 126th Street Police Station in Harlem, New York City, to report a conversation he had overheard in an elevated train. A young man and woman sitting near him were talking about the mysterious disappearance of Miss Goodwin from the Storm King flats on East 126th Street. They believed that she had been foully dealt with by “professional malpractioners.” The woman
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Murder by Gaslight - 5/18/2019
I’m not the first old sign enthusiast who came across this beauty of a beer sign on the tenement at 317 East Fifth Street. Grieve wrote it up back in January, and I’m sure other fans walking along this quiet East Village block noticed the ancient signage, too. “S. Cort Wines & Lager Beer” the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/19/2019
[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
Aboriginal Footprints. | Bulldozing a Voter.

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A Lot of Boy Burglars Fit Up and Run a Snug Little Club of Their Own in Boston, Massachusetts. [more]

A Den of Thieves.

A special from Boston, Mass., October 5, says: To run club rooms in the proceeds of burglaries is the latest exploit of Boston youths. Five lads averaging 15 years of age, are behind the bars because of their jovial tastes, and another in in Montreal from fear of arrest. They had fitted up in an elaborate style a front room in a house on Tabor street, at the Highlands, and had named their organization “The Tabor Club.” It appears to have been well supplied with cash; also with cigars. When the members visited the theatre in a body they had plenty of money to buy a box if they desired, They also had plenty of money for supper afterward. The clubroom had lots of change in it at all hours. A big box in the corner had lots of change in it at all hours. This bore the inscription in small letters, “For members only.” Only in one instance in the club’s existence did the box get empty, according to the police. This was several weeks ago, when one member suspected another of taking the last cent to secure a bunch of matches. Two guns were hung on one side of the wall. There was a big hitting bag in the centre. The library opposite the main door was quite extensive. Among the volumes it contained the following half-dime novels: “Deadwood Dick’s Device,” “Kit Harefoot, or Old Powderface,” “Corporal Cannon the man of Forty Deeds,” “Pier Detective, or Phil’s Big Skirmish.”


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 29, 1887.