True Crime Historian

True Crime Historian

United States

Stories of America's scandals, scoundrels and scourges from historic newspapers in the golden era of yellow journalism.

Episodes

The Mystery of My Husband’s Body in My Trunk  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.... Madame Bessarabo’s Explanation ___When the body of a missing international businessman was found in an unclaimed trunk in the train station at Nancy, France, his wife, the French dramatist and poet known as Hera Mertel, and his step-daughter were immediately suspected, but it took two years to end their legal ordeal. Mysteries remain, such as how the two petit women managed to truss up the body and carry it around in the trunk, Mme. Bessarabo was convicted of the crime. Today’s episode focuses on an epistle she wrote from her jail cell as she continues to proclaim her innocence, even denying that it was her husband’s body in her trunk. Yeah, right. ___ If you’re looking to make the perfect hire, visit www.ziprecruiter.com/first and place your ad for free. Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental music by Dana Boule from her album Songs for Paris Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1922bessarabo

The Philadelphia Trunk Murder  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The True Crimes of Edward F. Keller ___ This episode follows the criminal career of one Edward F. Keller, who makes national headlines when he is arrested for murdering his business partner and burying the body in a trunk in the basement of their leather shop. But his trouble doesn’t stop there. You’ll want to stick around to the end to find out how karma accomplished what the justice system could not. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1915keller

Girl Buried in a Barrel  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... The Awful Fate of Mary Ann Rheinhardt ___ This episode explores the heinous crime of the scoundrel Edward Reinhardt of Manhattan and Staten Island who got tangled up with two women, got them both in trouble, and apparently, had to pick a favorite. Yeah, that’s not gonna end well. And when they find the barrel buried on the shore of Silver Lake, all sorts of scandal comes tumbling out. ___ Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun That’s Dave Sams on Guitar ___ And don’t forget, you can post your job openings to the entire internet, more or less, with one click and for free when you sign up at www.ziprecruiter.com/first ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1878reinhardt

Shot Dead on Deadline  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Trial of Miss Edith Colby, Girl Reporter ___This episode tells a sordid little tale of a battle between a small-town female newspaper reporter and a politician who impugned her dignity by calling her a “red light woman.” When she brought a gun into the newsroom, the editor told her that if she was going to shoot the man, to do it before the paper went to press, as it would be good for sales. Yeah, that’s not going to end well. ___ Theme Music: Dave Sams Research Assistant: Anna Priestland Media Manager: Sean R. Jones ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1916colby

The Prosecutor Stands Accused  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- A reading from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Mysterious Murder of Harriet Moss McDaniel ___ In the midst of a campaign for re-election, the prosecutor of Buchanan County Missouri becomes the defendant, on trial for the murder of his wife. He says it was a home invasion by his political enemies, or maybe someone he had sent to jail. The state says it was because of a love affair with his wife’s best friend. Pay attention to that part of the story, because that’s not gonna end well either. ___ Theme Music: Dave Sams Media Manager: Sean R. Jones Research: Anna Priestland ___ truecrimehistorian.com/1916McDaniel

The Duke’s Dubious Double Life  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime. Edmund Pearson’s ‘The Curious Druces’ To ring in the New Year, we return to one of our favorite pioneers of true crime, Edmund Pearson. A librarian by profession, Pearson moonlighted as a true crime writer and his stories are filled with cheeky humor. In this tale, he provides his own sarcastic post-mortem on a bizarre case of extortion in which the descendants of a shop owner lay claim to the estate of the Duke of Portland.

Singer Buried in the Cellar  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... This episode crosses the Atlantic Ocean a couple of times as the little American Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen flees his London practice with a young stenographer at his side and the body of his wife left buried in the cellar of their posh home. This case has has historical significance in that it was the first time the wireless telegraph was used in tracking a fugitive from justice across the sea. __ Theme music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna Priestland

"The Pretty Imposter" & "Granny Knot"  

A pair of short true crime stories. Theme music by Dave Sams.

Star Spangled Soundrels  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.... Imagine a high-ranking government attorney being shot down in cold blood, in broad daylight, in front of the White House. It happened in 1859 when New York Congressman Daniel Sickles had received an anonymous note detailing his wife’s affair with the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia, who happened to be the son of Francis Scott Key, lyricist of the Star Spangled Banner. He made her write out a confession, then loaded his guns. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. ___ Music by Dave Sams

For Betsy's Sake  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty -- The Heinous Crime of William Showers ... The small farming village of Annville, Pennsylvania, is scandalized by the sudden disappearance of two orphan children who were being cared for by their elderly grandfather. William Showers was by some accounts an alright fellow, but he was lonely and craved the company of a woman who would have nothing to do with the young children. Yeah. It’s gonna get ugly. ___ Music by Dave Sams www.truecrimehistorian.com/1888showers

British Dude Stuffed in Trunk  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty.... The Preller-Maxwell Murder of St. Louis This episode spans three years and three continents as a pair of British dandies meet on the steamer ship coming out of Liverpool and make a pact to travel together across the United States and on to Auckland, New Zealand. One of them only makes it as far a St. Louis before his body is found packed in a trunk in a hotel room and his partner gone with all of his traveling money. The case, the chase, the trial and the final reckoning all make national headlines and a celebrity out of the murderer, but that’s not going to make this end any better for him.

The Polish Ladies Poison Plot  

SERIAL KILLER CLIPS -- Stories of the world's most prolific serial killers told from historic newspaper accounts in the golden age of yellow journalism -- The Many True Crimes of Tillie Klimek and Nellie Koulik -- __ So a man goes to a doctor because he’s not feeling well and the doctor says, Sounds like arsenic poisoning, and suddenly there are four women in jail who discovered that arsenic is more effective in getting rid of a husband than divorce. The ringleader of them all, however, not only poisoned her husband, but, well, just about anybody who crossed her. Including an annoying dog. Before it was through, more than 20 deaths would be attributed to Tillie Klimek. For our 100th episode, we will take a look at one of Chicagos most prolific serial killers and her disciples. __ Music by Dave Sams www.truecrimehistorian.com/1922klimek

Murder in Conestoga Creek  

YESTERDAY'S NEWS The Crocodile Tears of Calvin Dellinger ____ Early one brisk fall morning in 1888, a group of railroad men spy the drowned body of Mary Catherine Dellinger on the bank of Conestoga Creek in rural Pennsylvania. The evidence is thin and circumstantial, but it all points to her husband, Calvin, who expertly plays the part of the grieving husband, but his history of cruelty to women leads to a different conclusion. There’s a coda to the murder story that takes place thirty years later, when Calvin Dellinger again gets into trouble for playing with dynamite. Literally.

Lucy's Lethal Love  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism -- The Crescent City Quadrangle Scandal -- This episode is a rare love quadrangle that comes to light when a woman is charged with accessory to the murder of her banker husband, committed by her physician lover and the state’s attorney turns out to be her former fiance. It’s a tangled, tangled web, and you know it’s not going to end well. __ Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental Music by Chuck Wiggins www.truecrimehistorian.com/1910sayler

Married Then Murdered  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty -- What Happened in the Guttenberg Woods This episode is another story of a honeymoon trip gone awry, but it was likely doomed from the start. For one thing, Mina Muller and Martin Kettler -- if that’s his real name -- were both already married. With children. But they still visit the minister and, well, you know it’s not gonna end well. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental music by Richard Wagner, performed by the Unites States Marine Band ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1881muller

The Body in Big Moose Lake  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty -- 'Billy' Brown's Tragic Affair -- Today’s episode is a tragic story of young love gone bad. Real bad. So bad, in fact, that ended up with the body of a young girl found floating in an up-state New York lake one summer day in 1906. The man she came there went missing, but not for long. Was it a simple accident as Chester Gillette would claim, or a brutal, cold-blooded murder on a honeymoon trip? The answer may be in the tear-stained letters she wrote to him. -- Theme music by Dave Sams. Incidental music by Chuck Wiggins, www.truecrimehistorian.com/1906gracebrown

The Haunted Hangman  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- Exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the death penalty -- San Quentin Executioner Amos Lunt -- In this episode we explore a different point of view of capital punishment, a behind the scenes look at the gallows of San Quentin Prison from the hangman. One of the minor characters in the episode “The Belle in the Belfry” was the hangman, Amos Lunt, who seemed quite shaken by the event and was reported as “seeing spooks”. That was enough to get me to look a little deeper into Amos Lunt and his descent into madness. - Theme Music by Dave Sams

Red Lilac and the White Witch of Buffalo  

YESTERDAY'S NEWS -- tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism. -- In 1930, the famed diorama artist Henri Marchand created a set of spectacular dioramas for a Buffalo New York Museum, had an affair with one of his models, Lila Jameson, called Red Lilac by her Cayuga tribe. She so fell in love with him, that he tricked a superstitious elderly woman into committing a horrible crime so she and her artist could be together. --- Black Bird Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ _ Theme music by Dave Sams - www.truecrimehistorian.com/1930marchand

Something Horrible Happened in Hawaii  

New post by TrueCrimeHistorian

A Family of Outlaws: The Reckless Reno Gang  

PULP NONFICTION__ A tribute to the pioneers of True Crime__ From "The Pinkertons: A Detective Dynasty" by Richard Wilmer Rowan __ After the Civil War, the Reno Brothers explored a new way to rob trains that inspired the James and Younger gangs. But even the wild and wily Reno brothers were no match for Allen Pinkerton and his detectives. Although it takes place in Indiana, this story has the trappings of a tale of the Old West: Daring robberies, fugitives from justice, clever arrests, and a final showdown in the New Albany jail. __ Music by Dave Sams www.truecrimehistorian.com/1868reno

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