Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Mysterious Murder.

                                             The body of an unknown man with a gunshot wound to the head was found on the corner of 100th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City, the evening of March 7, 1866. At the time, it was a lonely and isolated corner with no houses nearby; the murder could have been committed after nightfall without any witnesses. Near the wound was a large quantity of power, indicating that he was shot at close range.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Massachusetts Butchery.

Two young boys walking down a road in Lexington, Massachusetts, on January 4, 1887, found a bloody shirt atop a stone wall by the side of the road. They stopped to look around and saw a bundle of clothes lying on the crust of snow on the other side of the wall. The bundle consisted of an entire suit of men’s clothing, from undergarments to overcoat, all saturated with blood. The boys gathered the clothes and hurried back to town. The Lexington Police examined the clothing and believed that it was evidence that a murder had been committed within the previous 48 hours.

Their speculation was confirmed the following morning when L. I. Brooks, a farmer from Lincoln, Massachusetts saw what he thought was a large snowball in a patch of bloody snow. Looking closer he saw that it was a severed human head with two or three deep gashes in the left side. About four feet to the right of the head he found a severed arm. He left the body parts where he found them then drove his sleigh as fast as possible into Lexington to inform the Selectmen. A search party was sent out at once and by the end of the day, they had found the naked body of a man, half hidden by bushes in a gully about a mile from where the head was found. The head, left arm, and right leg of the body were missing. The search continued, but the missing leg was not found that day.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Murder Quickly Avenged.

George Lear, an ex-prize fighter living in Altman, Colorado, had a bone to pick with Irene Good, a pretty barmaid at the Branch Saloon on Bull Mountain, Cripple Creek, Colorado. On November 15, 1893, Lear came to the door of the saloon and called for Irene. She went out and soon after, bartender Sam James heard her screaming. James ran outside and found that Lear had knocked Irene down and run away.

Later, Lear came back and entered the rear door of the saloon, he went into the barroom and began shooting. Irene Good, who had come from behind the bar, fell to the floor and cried, “I am killed.” Sam James then emptied his revolver into George Lear. Though seriously wounded, Lear walked to where Irene was lying, shot her through the temple, then fell dead across her body.

It is not clear what Irene Good had done to enrage George Lear.

“Murder Quickly Avenged,” Muskegon Chronicle, November 17, 1893.
“A Pretty Barmaid Murdered,” National Police Gazette, December 9, 1893.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Duel in the Bedroom.

Will Shinall ran a small store and bar in Hackletown, Georgia, a suburb of Augusta. In the backrooms of the store, he resided with his wife and eight-year-old son. Shinall had business interests in Beaufort, South Carolina and would often travel there and stay overnight. When he was out of town, Shinall left his young clerk and bartender, Batty Buck to manage the store. Though not yet twenty years old, Buck was an honest and enthusiastic employee and Shinall had no qualms about leaving him in charge of the business.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Professional Poisoners.

Dr. and Mrs. Henry Meyer used a dazzling array of aliases to stay one step ahead of detectives as they moved from city to city engaging in lethal insurance fraud. It was their livelihood; they were professional poisoners.