Eyewitness a Double Hanging (c. 1890)

posted in: The Way Things Were | 0

A six-card series of cabinet card photographs details a double hanging, c. 1890. While the cards do not contain names or places, the sequence provides an interesting glimpse into law and order in the western frontier. Each cabinet card contains … Continued

Obsession (West Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, 1918)

Mary and Maeterlinch Pavlinich of West Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, took in boarders to earn extra income. So, they opened their home to George Karas, a swarthy, mustachioed charmer from old-world Austria. The thirty-nine-year-old had the square shoulders of a boxer and … Continued

Otto Cobb: Chicken Thief (Corning, New York, 1908)

Otto Cobb, prisoner number J2440, has a sinister-looking smirk in his March 1908 mugshot. His expression is halfway between a scowl and a grin—somewhere on the edge between disgust and cockiness. He may look the part of a Goodfella, but … Continued

Her Bertillon is Only Skin Deep (Rochester, New York, 1908)

Twenty-seven-year-old house maid Ida Olliver apparently had her eye on a particular ring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for sale, so in a moment of weakness, she pocketed it—a petit theft that landed her in a Rochester, New York, courtroom. It was … Continued

Nicholas Moran, Dandy Forger (Cleveland, Ohio, 1906)

posted in: Rogue's Gallery | 0

Newspaper reporters described his as “tall and aristocratic looking, with gray hair and beard.” He typically wore a Prince Albert jacket and a fur coat. He carried a diamond-encrusted pocket watch, which was attached to his jacket with a heavy … Continued

So, I married an axe murderer (Detroit, Michigan, 1895)

Dr. Horace Pope, a Detroit physician, never knew what hit him. The first axe blow sliced off the top of his scalp and sprinkled the dark, green patterned wallpaper in his den with crimson dots. The second blow bit into … Continued

Sundowners: Auburn Prison (Auburn, New York, c. 1880s)

posted in: Dark Places | 0

After a long day’s work, two convicts loaf around their solitary cells, enjoying the sundowners penetrating the windows of Auburn Prison’s B-block in this c. 1880s stereo-view by an unknown photographer. Whoever took the picture managed to capture, for posterity, … Continued

Hellgate Hath No Fury: the “Seduction” of Bessie Leigh (Missoula, Montana, 1916)

Prison mugshot card of Bessie Leigh from an original in the Dark Corners of History archives. Her name was Bessie Leigh. She was young (twenty-six), vivacious, curvaceous, and lonely. What she might have neglected to mention was that she also had … Continued

Shell Game (Kansas City, Missouri, 1912)

posted in: Wanted! | 0

The year was growing old, late October was approaching, and darkness blanketed Kansas City. People had become nothing more than silhouettes in the early morning hours of October 18, 1912. Al Hatch, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most gregarious … Continued

Sisters in the (Big) House (Ossining, New York, 1870)

posted in: The Way Things Were | 0

They poisoned deadbeat husbands, tossed unwanted infants out of tenement windows, and chopped off the heads of lovers. They shoplifted and forged checks. And their misdeeds led them to a temple on a hill in Ossining, New York—the state’s premier … Continued

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