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Saturday, July 26, 2014

John Greenwell.

Little Murders:
From Defenders and Offenders:

John Greenwell.

"Crook, burglar, and finally murderer, is the man who was ultimately convicted of the murder of Lyman S. Weeks of Brooklyn, N.Y., into whose house he had broken with the intention of robbery, on the evening of March 13, 1887. Weeks hearing noises below, descended to the dining room and was immediately shot and killed by Greenwell, who had as accomplice his pal named Dutch Miller, who was also arrested."









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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Shrewd Rascal.



Samuel Smith and his wife Emma appeared to the world as a happy and affectionate young couple. She was pretty and vivacious with a dazzling wardrobe and he energetic, with a winning personality. But beneath the surface was a hidden turmoil that did not come to light until Emma was found dead in their apartment, her head blown apart by a shotgun blast, with Samuel nowhere to be found.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The “Rough on Rats” Murder.

Little Murders
(From The Kalamazoo Gazette, February 20, 1884)


The “Rough on Rats” Murder.

A Woman Found Guilty of Murder in the First Degree—Her Husband Awaiting Trial.

Muskegon, Mich., Feb. 19—The Jury in the case of Mrs. Korun Larson, after being out eighteen hours, brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree.. She poisoned John Guild on the first of August last with “Rough on Rats.” Her husband awaits trial on the same charge. She was remanded for sentence until March 3.

The Larsons lived on a farm owned by Guild, who was a single man, sixty years of age. In 1883 he deeded the farm to Mrs. Larson on condition that she should furnish a home during life. On the first of August in that year Guild died suddenly, and the contents of his stomach being analyzed, ten and a half grains of arsenic was found. During the trial a neighbor of the Larsons testified to having purchased a package of “Rough on Rats” for Mrs. Larson, a few days before the death of Guild. It was also shown that the Larsons paid a number of bills that they owed and had considerable money after Guild’s death, and that not a dollar of several hundred that Guild was known to have in his possession a day or two previous to his death could be found by his friends.


 


"The "Rough On Rats" Murder." Kalamazoo Gazette 20 Feb 1884: 1.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mariticide and Uxoricide.

In the years before divorce was common, mariticide—the murder of one’s husband, and uxoricide—the murder of one’s wife, were often seen as the only way out of an abusive or loveless marriage, especially of one was interested in retaining the spouse’s fortune. Here is Murder by Gaslight’s list of mariticides and uxoricides:




Elsie Whipple


Elsie Whipple wanted to run off with her servant, Jesse Strang, but all of her money was controlled by her husband John. She persuaded Jesse to shoot him.


Reverend Henry Budge




Priscilla Budge was constantly fighting with her husband, Reverend Henry Budge. When she was found in bed with her throat cut, the Reverend became the prime suspect.

 

George Swearingen


George Swearingen murdered his wife Mary by pushing her off a horse. He wanted to marry his mistress, Rachel Cunningham.

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Mary Sheedy


To end her tumultuous marriage, Mary Sheedy enlisted the help of her hair dresser, “Monday” McFarland to murder her husband John.


Lydia Sherman


Lydia Sherman poisoned three husbands (and several other family members) primarily for financial gain.


Minnie Wallace Walkup


Minnie Wallace was sixteen years old when she married forty-eight year old James Walkup. A month later he died of arsenic poisoning. Her second husband died the same way.


Emma Cunningham


Emma Cunningham may or may not have been married to Dr. Harvey Burdell and she may or may not have strangled and stabbed him to death.
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Lucretia Chapman


Lucretia Chapman conspired with her Latin lover Lino Mina to murder her husband William.



Henry Green


Henry Green was infatuated with Mary Ann Wyatt and they married in haste. But when Henry’s mother did not approve he poisoned his new bride.




Frankie Silver


After enduring years of abuse, Frankie Silver snapped and took an axe to her husband Charlie.