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Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Pelican Point Murders.

George Wright.
Albert Hayes left his parents’ home in Eureka, Utah in December 1894, and went to work on the family ranch near Pelican Point on the west side of Utah Lake, some thirty miles away. He took a team of horses and a new wagon filled with supplies, planning to fix up the ranch and make it a going concern. 22-year-old Albert was later joined by two of his cousins, Andrew Johnson, aged 21 and Alfred Nielson aged 18.

The ranch belonged to Albert’s mother and Albert Hayes, nee Engstrom, was her son from a previous marriage. Albert’s step-father, Harry Hayes, placed little value on the ranch and wanted to get rid of it, but he was also upset that Albert “wanted to boss the place too much.”

The boys were seen working the ranch throughout December and January by neighbors on Pelican Point and John Barnes, a young man living nearby spent several hours with the boys at the ranch on February 16. But on February 18, 19, and 23, neighbors who passed the place remarked that it seemed to be deserted. Cattle, pigs, and sheep were running loose, and chickens were dying; some of the neighbors visited the cabin and found it locked and deserted. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Neal Devaney.

Neal Devaney.

In the summer of 1866, newlyweds Neal and Catherine Devaney left Ireland for New York City. Catherine worked as a domestic servant and had saved enough money to book passage to America for both of them, but they had very little left upon their arrival. They knew no one in New York but Neal had friends in Hazelton, Pennsylvania and planned to find work there while Catherine stayed in the city to work as a servant. Neal thought it would be easier for Catherine to find work if the employers thought she was single, so they agreed to pose as brother and sister. Neal then left for Hazelton promising to send for Catherine when he was established.

In July 1867, Neal wrote to Catherine and asked her to meet him in Easton, Pennsylvania on Monday, July 22. From there he took her to Hazelton and left her at John McKelvy’s boarding house. It had not been a joyous reunion. Catherine confided to Mrs. McKelvy that Neal confessed that he had met and been intimate with a woman named Mary Callahan. She became pregnant and the following Sunday Neal and Mary were to be married. Neal told Catherine that if Mary’s family found out he was already married they would kill him. Neal urged Catherine to return to New York, but she refused. Catherine told Mrs. McKelvy that Neal had shown her a two-barreled pistol and said he had considered shooting himself. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Wash-House Murder.



An excerpt from Wicked Victorian Boston. 

When a Chinese man was found brutally murdered in his laundry on Shawmut Avenue in Boston’s South End, in July 1886, the Boston Police—who usually steered clear of Chinese affairs—were forced to delve into city’s aloof Chinese community. Chinese immigrants, who first arrived in Boston in the 1840s, settled in a small, densely populated stretch of Harrison Avenue and its side streets, which soon became known as Chinatown. From the start, they preferred to handle matters of crime and justice in their own way, without outside interference. The police were happy to oblige but a murder, especially one outside the confines of Chinatown, could not be ignored.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Act of a Mad Man.


Mrs. Emma Marrs and her sister-in-law, Ida Marrs, were preparing breakfast the morning of February 13, 1897, in their home at 129 South Upper Street, Lexington, Kentucky. Around 7:45 Mrs. Marrs sent the servant girl upstairs with a bowl of warm water so her husband John could wash up. When she entered the room, John jumped out of bed with such a peculiar expression on his face that she quickly set the water down and hurried out of the room. She was halfway down the stairs when she heard a pistol shot from the bedroom.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Did Ida Do It?

Mrs. Ida Quinlan and her 9-year-old son Johnny went out to buy a pair of stockings at around 9:00 the night of February 1, 1896, leaving her baby in the care of her sister, Mrs. Sophia Grant. They took a streetcar to the store, several miles away, purchased the stockings and other sundry items, returning to the house at around 11:00. Ida rang the bell but there was no response, so she went the landlord who lived nearby and got a key to the house. Entering the sitting room, she was surprised to see the drawers of the chiffoniers pulled out and the contents spread on the floor. She called for Sophia and getting no response went into the kitchen where she found her sister lying dead on the floor, covered with blood. Horrified, Ida ran from the house to seek assistance from the neighbors. At least that was the story she told the police. The following day Ida Quinlan was arrested for the murder of her sister.