Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Maniac Murderer.

Little Murders

John Anderson
John Anderson was a Swede with a quick and rash temper. He worked in the spoke shop of the Hall & Parmelee wheel factory in Wallingford, Connecticut and in March of 1874 Anderson was having difficulties with a fellow worker named Edward Yale. Their arguments escalated rapidly and when Anderson threatened to shoot Yale he was taken seriously. The boss, Horatio Hall, fired Anderson and place another man on the machine he had been running. Edward Yale filed charges with the police and Anderson was arrested.

Out on bail and fuming with anger, Anderson entered the spoke shop on Mach 7 brandishing two loaded revolvers. He fired at Fredrick Newton who had replaced him on the machine, hitting him in the shoulder. He shot Horatio Hall in the temple, killing him instantly. Anderson then began firing indiscriminately around the shop, though he hit no one else. When both pistols were empty he ran from the shop.

Still in a fit of rage, Anderson ran to a nearby railroad depot and cut his own throat nearly from ear to ear. Though he was bleeding profusely it took four men to subdue him.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Drowning is a very personal method of murder, and always a case of the strong overpowering the weak.

The Manhattan Well Mystery -1799

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.

Poor 'Omie - The Murder of Naomi Wise -1807

The haunting folk ballad “Omie Wise” has kept the story of Naomi Wise’s murder alive for more than two hundred years. According to legend, Naomi Wise, a poor but beautiful orphan girl, was courted by Jonathan Lewis, son of a wealthy farmer. His mother persuaded him to stop the courtship but not before Naomi became pregnant with Jonathan’s child. To avoid marriage and scandal, Jonathan Lewis drowned Naomi Wise in Deep River. That is the traditional tale of Naomi Wise, but how much of it is true?

The Blue Eyed Six -1878

It was a foolproof plan. Six men in Lebanon County Pennsylvania bought insurance policies on the life of Joseph Raber, an elderly recluse living in a hut in the Blue Mountains. They were sure Raber would die soon and end their financial problems. But the premiums proved costly and the men grew tired of waiting for Raber to die. In July 1878 they decided to take matters into their own hands. Their plot was common knowledge in Lebanon County and it was not long before all six were arrested for murder. The conspirators had a number of common characteristics–all six men were illiterate, all six were living in poverty, all six were of low moral character— but one trait captured the public’s imagination – all six had blue eyes.

Kissing Cousins -1885

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.

Little Conestoga Creek -1888

Calvin Dellinger was a philanderer, an abusive husband, and a sadistic father, but was he a killer as well?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Betrayal and Mercy.

Little Murders

Two men walking through the woods near Dalton, Georgia, came across the body of a young woman lying in Milk Creek. Her feet were bare, she was clad in old wrapper tied with twine, her chestnut-brown hair hung over her shoulders in disheveled locks, and two deep wounds cracked her skull. No one in Dalton recognized the woman; there was no way to tell where she had come from and who had killed her. Then a liveryman, Robert Springfield, made a startling discovery while taking out one of his buggies. The seat was covered with fresh clots of blood and strands of hair. He had rented the buggy the previous night, to a man named Charles Patton.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Crime’s Worshippers.

How murder becomes a virtue and misfortune a misdeed—two suggestive tableaus which every jail in the country has seen enacted.

The depraved taste of a certain class of humanity is very well shown in the way they run after criminals. The greater the crime the greater the hero. Cases of this kind can be cited from the story of any jail or prison in the country. The brutal wife murderer finds an army of sympathizers, while the poor, betrayed young mother who, in a fit of madness, has made away with the pledge of her fall from virtue, is abandoned by her sex to her despair and her doom. Our artist has effectively pictured the contrast. The shame is that such a contrast exists to be pictured.

Reprinted from "Crime's Worshipers." National Police Gazette 15 Dec 1883.