function imageUrl() { return 'http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J9R7LVZX_I0/UtG_zMr11iI/AAAAAAAACK0/4xwpgN9kL3E/s1600/Murder-told-in-Pictures.jpg'; }

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Mystery Solved by a Skeleton.

Little Murders
(From New York Tribune, September 12, 1884)


A Mystery Solved by a Skeleton.

Complicity of a Wife in the Murder of Her Husband and Children.
[By Telegraph got the Tribune]

Beaver Falls, W. Va., Sept 11.—The mystery surrounding one of the most remarkable crimes committed in the Coal Valley has been cleared up by a singular chain of circumstances. Some fifteen years ago the family of John Ireland lived in a cabin a short distance from this town. The family consisted of husband, wife and three children. One Thompson, who had been in the neighborhood for some months was a frequent visitor at the Ireland cabin, called there one morning and found, so he at the time reported, the dead bodies of the three children, all young lying on the floor in pools of blood. Ireland and his wife were missing. Thompson gave an alarm at the nearest house a mile away and a search for the missing people was made. After some time Mrs. Ireland was found gagged and bound to a tree. She affected to be nearly frantic and claimed that her husband had committed the deed. As he was missing she was believed. Soon after Thompson and the woman began living together. They quarreled frequently and one day she was found dead in her bed. No inquest was held and it was given out that she died of heart disease. Thompson disappeared four or five years ago.

On Tuesday, a party of boys came to the mouth of a shaft that had been sunk years before for coal, but for some cause was abandoned. While standing at its edge one of them dropped a knife into the shaft. They determined to recover it. Precautions were taken against foul air and by the aid of a rope and torch the boy was lowered to the bottom a distance of twenty-five feet. A scream of terror caused him to rapidly draw up when he declared there was a skeleton in the shaft. The authorities made examination and brought up few bones and a rusty tin tobacco box. In it was found a document written by Ireland saying that Thompson aided by Ireland’s wife had attempted to kill him but at first only stunned him, that recovering he discovered the three children dead. Seeing he was alive they again beat him and carried him out for dead and threw him into the shaft. He recovered and wrote the note after vainly calling aid. Undoubtedly Mrs. Ireland was bound to the tree by her accomplice to throw suspicion on the husband.




Saturday, February 18, 2017

Murder Among the Whyos, Part 1.

The Whyos, in 1886, were the strongest and most brutal criminal gang New York City had ever known. Under the joint leadership of Dan Driscoll and Dan Lyons, the Whyos grew to control criminal activity throughout the city. But Driscoll and Lyons were too violent and reckless to rule for long and their mistakes led to the demise of the gang. The Whyos’ downfall began when Dan Driscoll stole Beezy Garrity from her pimp John McCarthy. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Murderous Shooting in a Bagnio.

Little Murders
(From Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, June 2, 1875)


Murderous Shooting in a Bagnio.
A Girl Attacked with a Pistol.
Case of Jealousy and Revenge

The after-dark sporting fraternity was all agog last night over the report of a shooting of the inmate of a house of ill character on Longworth street. The particulars, shorn of the reportorial dressing up and exciting bristles, are these. Shortly before 10 o’clock last night a young man, well dressed, pulled the door bell of Kate Riley’s house, located on Longworth street. He was admitted by the mistress of the mansion, and shown to a seat in the waiting room, where he asked for Kate’s sister, Marla Riley, with whom the young man was well acquainted. Kate agreed to all Marla down form her room in the third story, and in a few minutes the young woman appeared to greet her guest. She found him, on entering the room, seated by a table, with a strange expression on his face and his hand behind his back. She misconstrued the expression and the attitude, cordially greeted the visitor, and advancing toward him, asked him what he was holding behind him—was it a present for her? The man responded with a menacing speech, presented a pistol, cocked it and fired at the girl, who, surprised and sorely wounded, and wildly shrieking, fled into a side kitchen. She was followed by her assailant, who fired at her again, and after she had thrown herself behind the stove for protection he fired another shot, while in the arms of the poor girl’s sister, endeavoring to restrain the murderer. In the struggle he dropped the pistol, and it is said he snatched it up again and fired at the prostrate and screaming girl the only load remaining in the chambers of the weapon, which was a four barreled Sharp’s pocket pistol.

Officers Sullivan and Daley, on their beat in the vicinity, hearing the shots, rushed to the place and arrested the man. He was taken to the Ninth Street Station and locked up giving there his name as George Wilder. He was recognized as Frank Wilder, a three-card monte man, and a character who has latterly made a living by following shows with trick and gambling apparatuses.

Doctors Freeman and William Judkins were called in to see the wounded girl. It was found that she had been struck by but one of the pistol balls, which entered her abdomen and came out under the skin of the left thigh. Dr. Judkins pronounced the hurt mortal, though Dr. Freeman thought it was not necessarily so.

The girl’s account is, substantially, that she is about twenty-five years of age, and has lived at her sister’s house for some time. She had known Frank Wilder intimately, as she had known a number of other men. She had not seen him for three years, until last Wednesday morning. He spent Monday night at the house in company with the girl, and left in the morning. The next time she saw him was last night when he accosted her with the pistol.

Wilder came here last from Newtown, Ohio. Some time ago, it is said he attacked the girl in Indianapolis, and attempted to shot her. This is one of the old cases, undoubtedly, of jealousy resulting from fast life and bagnio attachments.

At last accounts, the wounded girl was sinking, and it was thought she would die before morning.
Wilder, in his cell at Ninth Street Station, did not seem to regard the affair in a very serious light last night, but he refused to make any statements whatever in regard to it. In reply to interrogations of the arresting officers he said, “Oh, let up, now, I am just as ‘fly’ as any of you, and do not propose to give myself away.” He was perfectly sober when the shooting took place, and it is said was trying to borrow a pistol early in the evening.

After he had been left alone, he undressed and hung up his clothing in his cell with as much ease as if he were resting in a first-class hotel, and soon after laid down on the bench and fell asleep, in which condition he remained at 2 o’clock this morning when our reporter left the Station.

It looks very much like a clear case of premeditated murder, without the usual accompaniment of “emotional insanity.” The prisoner gave his age as twenty sever years, and his is rather genteel in appearance, about five feet seven or eight inches in height.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monster or Maniac?

Sarah Jane Whiteling
On March 17, 1888, Mrs. Sarah Jane Whiteling of Philadelphia sent for the family physician, Dr. George Smith, to examine her husband, John, who was vomiting and suffering from abdominal pains. The doctor diagnosed John’s illness as inflammation of the bowels and prescribed some medicine. It did not relieve the suffering, however, and three days later John Whiteling was dead.

Dr. Smith was summoned to the Whiteling home again about a month later, this time to attend Mrs. Whiteling’s daughter Bertha. She expired as well, and Dr. Smith attributed her death to gastric fever. When Dr. Smith was called again in early June, to treat 2-year-old William Whiteling he refused; having already presided over two deaths in the Whiteling household he referred the case to Dr. George Dietrick. When William died, Dr. Dietrick gave obstruction of the bowels as the cause of death.