Saturday, January 26, 2013

August Hetzke.

Little Murders:
From Defenders and Offenders:

August Hetzke.

"This individual was convicted in Chicago, Ills., of murder in the first degree, he having beaten his little step-son to death. He was always most cruel to the child and on every opportunity treated him in an inhuman manner. The child’s suffering only seemed more to anger this brute, until at last he beat him to death. The case caused a great deal of excitement at the time in Chicago."

Defenders and offenders. New York: D. Buchner & Co., 1888.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

“…cut off in her youthful bloom”

In August of 1810, four little girls picking berries at the foot of a precipice near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, discovered the broken body of a beautiful young woman.  She was identified as Polly Williams, last seen walking to White Rocks to meet her fiancé Philip Rogers. Though the mysteries of Polly Williams’s death have endured for two centuries, her story is neatly summarized the words engraved on her tombstone:

Behold with pity, you that pass by;
Here doth the bones of Polly Williams lie;
Who was cut off in her youthful bloom;
By a vile wretch, her pretended groom.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Three Iowa Murders.

Little Murders
Here are three little Iowa murders from the same edition of The Marion Sentinel:

(From The Marion Sentinel, Merion, Iowa, December 9, 1897)

Mrs. Behrens Found Guilty.
Davenport Woman Convicted of Killing her Husband.

Davenport, Dec. 2.—In the second trial of Mrs. Claus Behrens the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree, fixing the penalty at life imprisonment at hard labor. This is the first instance in which a woman has been convicted of murder in the Second congressional district. The case has become celebrated, and has cost the county two trials, with another one following. The evidence showed that Mrs. Behrens administered paris green, causing her husband’s death in order to get his insurance and then marry Henry Brendt, who, it is alleged, gave her the poison. He will be tried next week.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Talbotts.

Dr. Perry H. Talbott was among the most prominent citizens of Nodaway County, Missouri. In addition to being a skilled physician, Talbott was state legislator, a writer and a newspaper editor. He was a civic minded citizen with strong beliefs, highly admired by friends and neighbors. But towards his family, Dr. Talbott was cold and distant. Miserly and neglectful, he had little interaction with his children beyond the occasional scolding. When Dr. Talbott was shot by an unknown assassin on September 18, 1880, in his dying breath he blamed his political enemies. The Nodaway county authorities, however, believed the killer was someone closer to home.