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

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
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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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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[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.