Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Kaiser Conspiracy.

 On a road outside of Norristown, Pennsylvania, on October 28, 1896, Frank Mancil and his daughter came upon an agitated man shouting, “Murder! Help!” The man was bleeding from his arm, and, in a buggy nearby, a woman lay prostrate.

The man, Charles O. Kaiser, Jr., told Mancil that he and his wife Emma had been attacked by highwaymen who shot them both then left with their watches and her purse containing $53. Mancil thought the woman was only unconscious, so they went in two carriages to the office of Dr. Mann in Bridgeport. Dr. Mann could see right away that Emma Kaiser had died from a bullet wound to the left temple.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Mrs. Halliday in Handcuffs.


In 1894, Lizzie Halliday was sentenced to death for murdering her husband and two others and. A state commission judged her insane and commuted her sentence to life in an asylum. Though she exhibited all the signs of a woman who was violently insane, many believed that Lizzie was merely a gifted actress.

At Mattawan State Asylum, she killed her favorite nurse with a pair of scissors. No one disagreed when the press dubbed Lizzie Halliday “Worst woman on earth.”

Read the full story here: The Worst Woman on Earth.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Rogers Murder.

The morning stillness on East 12th Street, New York City, was shattered on December 31, 1869, by cries of “Murder!” Charles M. Rogers lay bleeding on the sidewalk in front of his house as two men were seen running from the scene.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Rescue of Ameer Ben Ali.

This week’s guest post from Howard and Nina Brown of Jack The Ripper Forums - Ripperology For The 21st Century ( continues the story of Ameer Ben Ali (aka “Frenchie”) who was falsely convicted of the 1891 murder of Carrie Brown. "The Rescue of Ameer Ben Ali" focuses on the evidence that led to his release.


In the last Murder by Gaslight article of ours, along with the photograph of Ameer Ben Ali, an article was transcribed which featured a prominent stage actor proclaiming he had been told by Ali's court interpreter that Ali had confessed to being in the same room as murder victim Carrie Brown and inferring that he had committed the heinous crime. 

Whether Ali stated that he committed the crime is irrelevant since he didn't murder Carrie Brown.  He didn't have the key which was necessary to lock the door to Room 31.  Within days a handful of people associated with the real killer's employer knew that and it would not be until a decade passed that this miscarriage of justice would be resolved resulting in the pardoning & exoneration of the Algerian.  There were three efforts towards pardoning Ali; one following the sentencing, another in 1897, and finally in 1901.

The proof of his innocence all along was the key to Room 31 at the East River Hotel taken by the killer and left by the same at the residence of his then employer, 51-year-old George Damon of Cranford, New Jersey.

Damon was the proprietor of a printing firm at 44 Beekman Street, Manhattan, which was not far from the Brown murder site.  Damon was also a pillar of his community in Cranford, situated in Union County 18 miles from Manhattan.  Damon, in addition to his printing firm, dabbled in real estate, held patents, & was a member of the Chamber of Commerce.  This photo is of the Damon residence as it looked 100 years ago.