Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Brooklyn Wife Murder.

Little Murders
(From The National Police Gazette, November 10, 1883)

The Brooklyn Wife Murder.  
A Saloon Keeper, Prompted by the Green-Eyed Monster,
Kills his Better Half.
The shooting of Mrs. Thomas Young by her husband formerly a clerk in the Internal Revenue Department, and latterly a saloon keeper and politician, has created much excitement in the city of Brooklyn. The affair occurred on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Husband and wife had quarreled for some days, and on the 20th ult. Mrs. Young, who was a woman of great personal beauty, left the conjugal roof and went to live with her mother, Mrs. Mary Cole, at No. 95 Tompkins avenue. On the 23d Young called at this place and asked his wife to return to live with him. She refused emphatically. To his further entreaties she said,

“You have often threatened to kill me, and I know you intend to do it now. You have a pistol in your pocket, and you have come here to kill me.”

Young said he had no such intention, and denied that he had a pistol. He then appealed to his mother-in-law, and asked if he could not go into a private room with his wife, so that they could talk the matter over. If he could see her alone, Young said, he could induce her to return to his home. Both mother and daughter objected. Young again denied that he had any murderous intention, but even while he was speaking his wife saw him draw a pistol from his pocket. She ran from a back room on the first floor, where they had been talking, toward a front room, but before she could escape Young fired directly at her, the ball entering her abdomen.

James McCabe, who lives in the upper part of the house, ran down stairs when he heard the shot. Seeing Young with a pistol in his hand and Mrs. Young lying on the floor. McCabe knocked the husband down and took the pistol from his hand, and held him until the arrival of Roundsman O’Reilly, of the Thirteenth Precinct. After the pistol had been taken from his hand, Young got down on his knees and begged his wife to say that he had not intended to shoot her. Mrs. Young could not speak, but her mother said that no such statement could be made truthfully, because she had seen Young take deliberate aim at her daughter. On the following day the latter died and Young was held to await the action of the grand jury. Jealousy was the cause of his trouble with his wife.

Reprinted from "The Brooklyn Wife Murder." National Police Gazette 10 Nov 1883.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mabel Smith.

Little Murders:
From Defenders and Offenders:

Mabel Smith.

"This big mulatto is a wicked creature, who severed her grandmother’s head from her body with an axe, in order to effect her elopement with her white paramour, who called himself Thomas B. Hayward. After the deed, they skipped off together in a buggy. The old woman was opposed to the connection, and it was supposed the deed was done in a fit of anger while quarreling over the man. They were both captured a few hours after the deed."

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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Another "Bender Family."

In the 1870s the people of Kansas were outraged by the crimes of the Benders, a family of four who welcomed weary travelers then murdered and robbed them. The Benders managed to escape before their crimes were discovered and, by most accounts, they were never captured. When another family in Kansas, the Kellys, duplicated the Benders’ crimes in 1887, the people of Kansas were determined to make them pay.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Murderous Clergy.

In the nineteenth century men of the cloth were often looked upon with as much suspicion as respect. When a minister was accused of murder it would turn the community against him, especially if a woman was involved. Though often condemned in the court of public opinion, clergymen fared much better in a court of law. All of the religious leaders in in our list were acquitted (though one Sunday school superintendent was hanged.)

Rev. Ephraim Kingsbury Avery - 1832

Rev. Ephraim Kingsbury Avery was accused of seducing and murdering Sarah Maria Cornell, but the two had a long, contentious history and the jury was convinced that Sarah killed herself and framed Rev. Avery.

The Prophet Matthias - 1834

Robert Mathiews, aka the Prophet Matthias, was the leader of a religious cult and controlled all aspects of his followers’ lives. When co-founder Elija Pierson was found dead, the Prophet Mathias was accused of going too far. The jury disagreed.

Rev. Henry Budge - 1859

When the wife of Rev. Henry Budge was found with her throat cut, suicide was suspected, but soon suspicion fell on the Reverend. Despite compelling evidence against him, Reverend Budge was acquitted.

Rev. John S. Glendenning - 1874

Church organist Mary Pomeroy was seduced and abandoned by her pastor, Rev. John Glendenning. She died soon after giving birth to his child. Though not technically a murderer, Glendenning was tried by the Presbyterian Church who found him innocent of all charges.

Rev. Herbert H. Hayden- 1886

Rev. Herbert Hayden was accused of stabbing and poisoning Mary Stannard, a young housekeeper employed by his wife. Many  believed that he had seduced and impregnated her. He denied it all and was released after a hung jury.

Theo Durrant - 1895

Mild-mannered Theo Durrant was the superintendent of Sunday school at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Francisco. But Theo had a dark side—he murdered and mutilated two young women, leaving their remains in the church. "The Demon of the Belfry" was convicted.