Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Murders

Just a quick post to commemorate two Christmas murders that have been immortalzied in song:

Billy Lyons shot by "Stack" Lee Shelton on Christmas Night, 1895

Delia Green shot by Moses "Cooney" Houston on Christmas Eve 1900

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lizzie Borden's Confession

In a book called Piracy, Mutiny and Murder by Edward Rowe Snow, I came across a Lizzie Borden story I had not heard before. It concerns a written confession allegedly signed by Lizzie in 1897, four years after she was acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother. Though the confession was soon proven to be a hoax, in 1959, when his book was published, Mr. Snow was firmly convinced of the confession’s authenticity and tells an interesting tale of its origin.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Manhattan Well Mystery

On January 2, 1800, the body of Gulielma Sands was found in the Manhattan Well, not far from her boardinghouse on Greenwich Street, New York City. There were two contradictory schools of thought among those who knew Gulielma Sands—those who remembered her as melancholy and suicidal, and those remembered her as happy and cheerful, especially so on the night she disappeared when she revealed that she was to marry Levi Weeks. When Levi Weeks was arrested for murder everyone in the city would take a side. The trial of Levi Weeks was the first of New York City’s sensational murder cases, the first American murder trial to be transcribed, and the first defense council “dream team.” Levi Weeks was represented in court by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kissing Cousins

Lillian Madison’s relations with her immediate family in the 1880s were strained if not outright hostile. Her parents disapproved of her social life and kept her from the education she desired and as soon as she could, Lillian left their home in King William County, Virginia. She found comfort and support among her mother’s relatives but she also began a romantic relationship with her cousin, Thomas Cluverius, that would end in her ruin. When Lillian’s body, eight months pregnant, was found floating in Richmond’s Old Reservoir, Cousin Thomas was the prime suspect.