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

Was It Mother? Or A Maniac?  

UNSOLVED: A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring one of history’s most baffling murder mysteries. Pittsbugh’s Feely Murder Mystery Put on your thinking caps for this one, friends. It’s about as cold a case as you can get, about 80 years cold, and officials at the time couldn’t even agree on what exactly happened in the back room of that family home, whether it was a murder or a murder/suicide. I don’t expect we can solve it from a few newspaper clippings, but there does seem to be some irregularities. Certainly, some political undertones. I dunno. What do you think? ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Additional music by Chuck Wiggins Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1936feely

Model Murder  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... What The Dog Saw At Beekman Place __ This episode is one of the creepiest and sleaziest yet, when the mad Bohemian debauchery that made Greenwich Village famous spills over into the posh East Midtown. The colorful cast of real-life characters includes a woman who ran a prohibition speakeasy, her beautiful model daughter and her artistic friends, and an estranged husband who is disgusted by the whole thing, but addicted to pornography. And wait til you hear the eerie confession! You’re gonna love it. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1938gedeon

Gypsy The Serial Killer Elephant  

SERIAL KILLER CLIPS -- A reading of Yesterday’s News exploring some of History’s most prolific murderers... Rampage At Valdosta ___ For this episode, True Crime Historian presents its first non-human perpetrator, a great big crazy brilliant elephant first known as Empress when imported into the United States in 1871. She killed so many handlers that she was sentenced to death many times, but doing so was so difficult that she was just passed from show to show. Along the way someone changed her name to Gypsy, and she spent the last decade of her tragic life with the Harris Nickel Plate Circus. She claimed at least seven victims, but she was crazy for a reason, and if you’re an animal lover, I’ve got to warn you that you’re about to get a big dose of outrage and indignation. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Carnival of the Animals: Elephants by Camille Saint-Saëns courtesy Creative Commons. Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1895gypsy

Eyes Of The Murderous Nymph  

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 Saga of Ida and Paul V. Hadley ___ Ida Hadley was so passionate for her husband Paul that they called her a nymphomaniac in court. But I get ahead of myself. Their trouble really started in Beaumont, Texas, when a man makes eyes at Ida and Paul shoots him. This steamy story spans five years and includes three trials, attempted and successful jailbreaks, multiple flights from justice across five states, and two murders -- one of them from a moving train! ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1916hadley

Flight Of The Red Rose Murderer  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime... The Minot Redemption ___ This classic potboiler from the pages of True Detective Mysteries Magazine concerns a party of sailors landing in a private speakeasy in the San Pedro Harbor during prohibition. Told from the perspective of a detective on the case, this is a tale of sin and redemption, of an escape from justice and ill-fated love, and the efforts of an amateur sleuth in discovering the fugitive. Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1925desilva

The Potato Sack Torch Murder  

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... Death of a Teenage Stenographer ___ Fifteen year old Ruth Wheeler, recent graduate of a secretarial school, excitedly picked up a referral from her alma mater and headed to her first job interview in a building on East 75th Street in New York City. She was not seen again alive. Two days later, a man living in the same building discovered that someone had dumped a gunny sack full of trash on his fire escape. But there was something not quite right about that bundle of garbage. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1910wheeler

Assassination At The State House  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Kentucky Conspiracy ___ The Commonwealth of Kentucky was thrown into political turmoil over the election of its governor in 1899. The Republican candidate, William S. Taylor, first appeared to win the election by a narrow margin, but the votes were challenged by his opponent, William Justus Goebel, who eventually won the seat by an act of the legislature. ___ Tensions run high in the days before his inauguration, and as you can tell by the prologue, these Kentuckians took their politics seriously. Deadly seriously. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1900goebel

The Boy With One White Eye  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Brutal Crimes and Punishment of Jesse Pomeroy This episode concerns one of the most heinous crimes ever committed by a teenager. Jesse Pomeroy was but 14 years old when he was arrested for abducting and torturing young boys and sent to the state reformatory. He was released after a little more than a year, due either to the pleading of his mother or some kind of bribery, you be the judge. But anyway, you know it’s not gonna end well. At 15 years old, Jesse Pomeroy was the youngest person to be convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to die. Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1874pomeroy

The Bathing Beauty's New Hammer  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels, and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Brutal Murder of Alberta Meadows ____ Once upon a time, 1922 to be exact, Clara Phillips, a former Hollywood bathing beauty and chorus girl, decides she wants to have a chat with a young lady whom she believes is canoodling with her husband. She stops and buys a brand new hammer on the way. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. This episode is filled with a lot of poignant stories of the incident from a variety of points of view, including a daring escape from justice. The Bathing Beauty’s New Hammer Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ____ bit.ly/1922phillips

A Tale of Two Wives  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... A Double Dose of Arsenic When Edith Carew, an English society woman living in the British expatriate community in Yokohama, went to trial for poisoning her husband, the press couldn’t help but compare it to the case of Florence Maybrick, which took place in Liverpool a few years earlier. And after her conviction, Mrs. Carew was sent back to Britain to serve out her sentence and was placed in the same cell as Mrs. Maybrick. Very interesting... There’ll be a compare and contrast quiz later, so pay attention. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun

Sunday Magazine #3  

True Crime Short Stories -- As I do my research in the dark dusty archives trying to find exciting stories of the scandals, scoundrels and scourges of the past, I often come upon feature stories about interesting crimes and criminal personalities in Sunday magazine sections. They’re not enough for an entire episode, so I’ve strung a few of them together for you. The first two are of a piece: -- Murder for $2.45, which tells of how a newsboy finds the clue to solving a professional, sorta, murder, while ... -- The Waitress and the Death Row War Hero ties in the murder of a theater tycoon with a bit of romantic intrigue. -- Following that, Love and the Counterfeiters is an exciting tale of counterfeiters and double-crossers in the old school Italian mob. -- The next article is titled, When The Ouija Board Spelled “DADDY MUST DIE”, the tragic story of a teenage girl falling into her mother’s web of betrayal and murder. -- And finally, from the classic pages of Master Detective magazine, I give you comes Phantom in the Window: The Murder of Mary Louise Stammer, a heartbreaking tale of another teenager. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun I’m True Crime Historian Richard O Jones signing off for now

A Hatchet In Her Handbag  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime... The Murder Of The Butcher Pops Wagner ___ This episode Sweet 16-year-old Lena Theresa Neinstedt, known as Terry, a pretty eighth-grade dropout with a habit of stealing government checks out of neighborhood mailboxes. A wild child of the streets of New York, young Terry also had a habit of carrying a knife -- to keep the wolves from pawing her, she said. When she lost the knife, she discovered a small hatchet around the house that fit nicely in her patent leather handbag. Yeah, that’s not gonna end well. This story comes from the pages of the classic Master Detective magazine, April 1946. ___ 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 Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1945wagner

Assassination of a Gambler  

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 Corruption of Lt. Charles Becker ___ This episode is about the story of police corruption in New York’s Tenderloin District, so named by the police because there was so much graft to be made, that they stopped eating chuck steak and started eating tenderloin. The trouble starts when the gambling house operator Herman Rosenthal gets double-crossed by his business partner Charles Becker, who also happened to be a police lieutenant. Rosenthal is so upset, he decides to name names in front of a grand jury. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1912becker

Under The Haunted Oak  

UNSOLVED -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring history’s most baffling murder mysteries... The Brutal Murder of Gussie Pfeiffer ___ This is a baffling case indeed. The body of a young factory girl who had been missing for three days is found “brutalized,” as the euphemism goes, before being murdered and her body dumped near a historic tree in the Bronx. How long had she been there? How long had she been dead? With few clues to go on, police head to the mountains upstate, and to the sea, and who knows where else to find the elusive man the press called “a human gorilla”. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun

Mother Chose Murder  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime... The Cleveland Kaber Conspiracy By Marjorie Wilson ___ Back in the golden ages of newspapers, it was common for them to publish serialized novels of romance, adventure and intrigue, but true crime serials were not quite so common. But here is a novella-lenght story published in 19 chapters in five parts by newspapers in 1921 when Eva Kaber was standing trial for leading a plot to murder her invalid husband. It’s a crazy, crazy story of Italian assassins, fortune tellers, and Pinkerton detectives conspiring with amateur spies to bring an elaborate murder plot to light. ___ 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/1921kaber

A Ladder At The Window  

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 Lindbergh Tragedy ___ Here at True Crime Historian, we take kind of a perverse pride in bringing you stories of some of history’s forgotten scandals, scoundrels and scourges. But since I’ve been asking for listener requests, several people have asked for this, one of the rare cases that really earned the title “Crime of the Century.” As you can tell by the introduction, the baby Lindbergh, son of an American aviation hero, the little eaglet, was one of America’s most-loved babies of his day, and that helped make his short life one of legend. So the newspapers went over every little detail of the case and assigned their ace reporters to cover every aspect. I always hesitate at doing stories involving the murder of children, and there’s a particular passage in here that gets a little graphic in its details, so if you’re sensitive to such things, you might want to fast forward through that part. But if you stick with it, you’ll encounter a remarkable description of a mother receiving the most horrible horrible news imaginable. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental music by the Marine Corps band courtesy of museopen.org and Chuck Wiggins Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories. Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ Bit.ly/1932lindbergh

The Mad Pastor of Rattle Run  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... Bloody Murder Among the Pews ___The inside of the Battle Run Michigan Methodist Church was smeared with blood as if it had been the scene of a battle to the death, and charred bones discovered in the stove were presumed to belong to the missing pastor, Rev. John H. Carmichael. But then, the town roustabout also turned up missing, and the game is on to figure out who killed who. This gruesome story plays out in less than a week, and ends with a chilling confession. Gave me the willies reading it. Hope you get ‘em, too. 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/1909browning

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/1915_keller

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