No. 458
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 27, 2020

Packed Away in a Trunk.

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out.
November 13, 2017
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Chapter 2
As regular readers of my blog (all three of you) may have noticed, I have, without really intending to, built a subcategory of stories of people who are found strangely, inexplicably dead. All these cases are puzzling, but there are few that top the end of an otherwise completely normal man named Zigmund Adamski. In fact, some will tell you his death was positively otherworldly. Zigmund
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Strange Company - 1/27/2020


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(Click image to enlarge) new quote attributed to bad man "Soapy" Smith Discovered in an edition of the Alaska Mining Record, April 5, 1899. ______________________ The sensational press of the east are now engaging in some real pipe dreams of their own, and allow a column or two of Canadian and American fights on the Atlin and Porcupine border to creep into their paper. One
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/16/2020
Never heard of “Raisin Street” in Greenwich Village? If you lived in the nascent city of New York in the early years of the 19th century, you might have traversed it. The rise and demise of this little street has a curious backstory. “Raisin Street” was a corruption of “Reason Street,” the name given to […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/27/2020

Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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The Rogers family were early settlers in Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, having fought a bloody battle with Indians to secure their homestead. They never lost their frontier zeal for violence as a tool for solving problems, even for family disputes which, apparently, were frequent and quite intense. In the 1880s, Willis Rogers had eight children, five boys and three girls. In the heat of an
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Murder by Gaslight - 1/25/2020
Blood accumulates upon us. Verily, it does seem that the reins of justice have been loosely thrown to the devil, and that we are all driving at breakneck speed in the same direction. -Nashville Banner (via) On this date in 1866, four youths employed as teamsters in the Army corrals of Union-occupied Nashville were hanged […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 1/26/2020
[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
Turkey Shooting. | Thrilling Railroad Accident.

Packed Away in a Trunk.

Packed in a Trunk

James Lavender of Irwinton, Georgia, tries to elude his bondsmen but is found and dragged out. [more]

A special from Irwinton, Ga., September 12, says: At the April term of Wilkinson Superior Court James Lavender was indicted for shooting at another. Three gentlemen became bondsmen for him. About two months ago it was found he had disappeared. His bondsmen offered a reward for him, and detectives were soon upon his trail, and soon succeeded in settling the fact that he lodged at home, as he was seen to enter the house. The bondsmen were notified of this fact, and they secreted themselves near the house, saw him enter, followed close upon him and demanded admittance. After some delay, were admitted, and a thorough search was instituted, but no Lavender could be found. This was repeated two or three times, when at last on Saturday night last, they again saw him enter the house, and knew he was surely there. They resolved to find him if the ashes had to be sifted. In moving the furniture around, a small trunk was found to be very heavy, and suspicion fell upon this as being the hiding place of the prisoner, but how a man six feet tall could pack himself in so small a trunk was the question. The key was demanded, but Mrs. Lavender said the trunk belonged to her sister who lived three miles away. The party decided to send for the key and investigate contents. A messenger was dispatched for the key and the party sat down to await his return. Something could be heard inside the trunk as a man breathing. In due time the messenger arrived, the trunk was opened, and the imping six-foot Lavender was found coiled up the small trunk. He was brought here yesterday and lodged in jail to await trial in October.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887.